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Balearic Breakfast| Episode 159 | Family Gathering 1 (Rob Calcutt & Virginia Tzioti)

Updated: Mar 2

Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy broadcast the 159th episode of Balearic Breakfast on her Mixcloud and Twitch TV socials on January 16th 2024.

 

About this show. – This very episode has been a long time coming! But it Happened! As Colleen embarked on what one can call "a proper tour" (she is in Australia), she had to find a way to keep the Balearic Breakfast ship afloat! To do so, she secretly asked several members of our Balearic Breakfast family if they could prepare one-hour mixes she would later stream as she would not be able to present the show away from home. And, as expected, we answered Loudly, with a lot of happiness: YES OF COURSE!

Here is what Colleen shared on her socials before heading to the other side of the planet: "I've told you that I’m heading off down under, so you may be wondering what is going to happen to the show? Well, although I shepherd the show and pull it together into something that hopefully resonates, it’s the BB family who choose most of the music and I love the musical conversation. With that in mind, I asked several of our consistent contributors to contribute a one hour mix and I will stream those mixes by hosting Balearic Breakfast on the road.

Starting on Tuesday, the 9th January, I’ll stream Balearic Breakfast at the same time -Tuesdays 10 to 12 GMT and hopefully at the same place - on both Mixcloud Live and Twitch TV. We have mixes from Kieran McCann, Lee Zee, DJ Emma, Rob Calcutt, Virginia Tzioti, Matt Raistrick, Susan Chan and Bert Francois. I’ve been listening to the mixes they sent over and its so inspirational as they all have their own vibe and musical bent. I’ll still be on the chat groups too so we can all get together as we listen to the mixes so yes, BB will take a couple of Tuesdays off and then the live streams recommence on the 9th January."

Well, things didn't go as originally planned as, on the 9th of January, a technical issue prevented Colleen from streaming the show. It brought a lot of sadness to the Family, but eventually, we stayed Balearic and said to ourselves: "Good times are coming; let's keep the fire burning!". And that's what we all did! Finally, the awaited moment arrived, and we all had a memorable show, listening to 2 great mixes crafted by our friends Rob Calcutt and Virginia Tzioti. I even took the time to ask our friends some questions and published these two nice interviews on the blog. As I always like to say, We are the Biggest Musical Family alive on earth. Laughs!

Nota: Rob has put together a guided, 45-minute journey for Balearic Breakfast listeners, containing all kinds of breathwork and ambient sounds. You can get this at www.urbanhealer.co.uk/balearicbreakfast


Listen to the 159th episode of Balearic Breakfast:

 

PLAYLIST


Rob Calcutt 'Urban Healer' Mix

Urban Healer Day Night and Dawn in the Amazon

Fred Morning Meow

Urban Healer Gong bath

The BBC Sound EFX Library Ambience, Rural Britain, Sea Cliffs and Rocky Shores

Mark Knopfler The Rocks and the Water

Amaro Freitas Rasif

Kiefer Cute

Footshooter ft Brother Portrait Dawn (Buffalo Stance)

Idjut Boys One for Kenny (Extended LP version)

Zenit Waitin'

낯선사람들 왜 늘

Madonna Secret Garden

Phavia Kujichagulia Overdose

Christy Essien Take life Easy

Mari Kaneko 金子 マリ Get to paradise

Jolley & Swain Soul Street (12" extended version)

Millie Jackson Leftovers

Opal Ain't No Way (Special Club mix)

Bonnie Pointer Free Me from my Freedom

 

Virginia Tzioti Mix

Ami Shavit Alpha 1

Vangelis Tales of the Future

Tomislav Simovic Waste of Emotional Energy (Repeated Viewing Remix)

Von Spar Scotch & Chablis

40 Thieves The Sandpiper (Pyschemagik Remix)

Wink Higher State of Consciousness (Album Version)

Miyako Koda Butter

The Grid Crystal Clear

(Clear Like an Unmuddied Lake Remix by The Orb)

Samo – A Certain Ratio

The Daou Surrender Yourself (Album Version)

Gala Drop Overcoat Heat

The Phenomenal Handclap Band You'll Disappear

 

THE LISTENING EXPERIENCE


Two mixes, two vibrations, one same tribute to a show and to a person whose humanity brings people together around Music. I couldn't have written that sentence in another way! And you'll very soon discover how much it is all true!

Let's bring a global analysis of the two mixes first, it will allow us to dive into them in greater detail afterwards. Rob's mix presents a great unity, both rhythmically and Musically, leading us in an introspective journey. On the other hand, Virginia's mix is more elevated, it has more variations and has a "dreamy", "flying effect" approach. Both mixes are perfect to listen to if, like me, you've been tired of your week and want to escape this world musically. And, as far as the tribute goes, it is obvious, when listening to the mixes, to hear songs that are like winks towards our Musical Captain, Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy.

It is one thing to share your microphone with other DJs and other artists, but it is something totally different to lend your show to people who admire what you do and to let them propose mixes of their own. Yes, Colleen embodies what it means to be "Balearic", bringing people together around music; well, to me, that's a pretty "Family affair" thing! Don't you think the same? (laughs!) So, now, let's dive into each mix and let's discover these two absolutely nice, by the way, vibrations that are Rob and Virginia!

 

Starting his mix with a nice presentation, the listener is immediately struck by Rob's ability to propose a "mental movie" to him. I can fully feel that as in my own "edited mixes", I use the same philosophy to structure the story I want to tell! Whenever you add sounds to a mix of your own, whenever you add clearly thought sound effects to songs that are blended together, you expand the possibilities of interpretation; you allow your listener to let himself totally go away. It is what I call a "Musical movie", and it is not often used, I think, by DJs or radio broadcasters. So dear Rob, well done here!

The actual Musical adventure starts with Mark Knopfler – The Rocks and the Water [1983 - Discogs]. Very quickly, from the second track on Amaro Freitas – Rasif [2018 - Bandcamp], the listener has a feeling: Rob's beautifully blended tracks do transmit an active willingness to soothe the listener, this feeling being enhanced by the warmth of the sound with somewhat shadowed highs that, nonetheless, show great detail. On a more concrete level, it's interesting to note that these first two tracks do intellectually refer to "homecomings": Rasif refers to a colloquial spelling of Amaro's hometown while "Local Hero" is Mark's first soundtrack solo project out of the Dire Straits, released in 1983...

Coming next, the beautifully mixed-in Kiefer – Cute [2019 - Bandcamp] presents a somewhat shinier sonic approach (my feeling being confirmed by this review), still keeping a somewhat enclosed vibe. The relaxation experience is kept intact with the following musical experience, that is Footshooter ft Brother Portrait – Dawn (Buffalo Stance) [2017 - Bandcamp]. We do have the impression of being sucked into a huge space while we feel the sound has, for the first time in the show, a much "snappier" reality. These tracks really showcase the Wow effect of this first mix, which, to me, is the "musical integration". Rob's mixing is precise, as we do not notice the end of one track and the beginning of another one! This is exactly what happens when the incredible Idjut Boys – One for Kenny (Extended LP Version) [2012 - Discogs] starts. In a review of the Idjut Boy's fourth studio effort, one can read this: "The first single, "One for Kenny", is the album's most danceable track, candy disco that moves at the same pace as a comforting lava lamp. Halfway through it eases (there are no sharp movements on Cellar Door) into a gorgeous, jazzy piano line. It feels like someone draped a warm blanket over the track". This mix sure offers comfort!

The next song, Zenit – Waitin' [1986 - Discogs], also beautifully mixed to the previous one, keeps on taking us through that unknown journey, Rob clearly showing us here he has no meaning of slowing the trip's tempo down. For your information, Zenit's album, Straight Ahead, from which Waitin' is taken, was recently reissued in 2018.

What's great is that you can hear, in each song of Rob's mix, different sonic textures, and different depths, yet you're never distracted from the actual trip because the mixing skills are impeccable, and the general volume of the mix is absolutely perfect, allowing the listener to concentrate on the Music. Without a doubt, it is one of the most homogeneous mixes I ever heard in my life. Furthermore, Waitin' has a similar sound signature to THE BIG BLUE soundtrack, composed by the great Eric Serra, lending us to feel like we've reached our inner sea... There's a Style here; a musical soul is definitely living in Rob's body!

When I said in the beginning that there was a willingness to pay respects both to the show and to Colleen, I was referring to what is happening right now in the mix. We changed tempos as the second part of Rob's mix starts with a beautiful South Korean PIece, 낯선사람들 – 왜 늘 [1993 - Discogs]. Issued on King Record - Hana Music, the album is hard to score. Rob kindly shared with me the song's meaning: "it's a song of longing, and the translation is something along the lines of "Why are we always strangers?"". Thanks Rob! Keeping the rhythm steady, Rob takes us to another great song, which is Madonna – Secret Garden [1992 - Discogs]. As you might expect now, at least you should not be surprised, "Secret Garden" is Madonna's most personal song. Get ready, if you're under 18 please don't read, laughs! "The song is described as Erotica '​s most personal song. In addition, "Secret Garden" is dedicated to the singer's vagina, "the secret place where she could enjoy herself."" Furthermore, the song features a jazz-house beat which samples the drum break from "Soul Pride" by James Brown with the BPM of 117. Interestingly enough, one of Madonna's fans shared his thoughts about the song, writing, "In French, "jardin secret" is an expression referring to someone's unspoken and intimate life and actions, the kind of things that you do mostly on your own without telling anyone else because it's not their damn business, the thoughts that you hardly share with your partner for a lot of reasons, and most importantly stuff that makes you feel good about yourself. Fontainebleau at the end of the song indicates that her secret garden is not only her bush but also that special place in one's life experience that you can only learn about when you're dating someone French. So maybe someone got the pun."

That's something to feel Balearic Breakfast's soul breathing slightly differently in the hands of its supporters. To experience that is so heartwarming, really! To feel Colleen's support is really something mindblowing; we are the biggest musical family on earth people, and we Feel the love as the next song enters our dancefloor, Christy Essien – Take Life Easy [1979 - Discogs]. We experienced a lot of Beautiful mixes by Colleen, but that one, with the following track Mari Kaneko 金子 マリ – Get to Paradise [1983 - Discogs], has such a Balearic Feeling to it, I think it will be hard to top! As we can hear it, Rob's cat is in heaven; I know he is cuz' as a Lioncub, I talked to him, and he said to me, "Whenever Rob mixes, I fly elsewhere!" There you go! We're effectively flying on Jolley & Swain – Soul Street (12" extended version) [1985 - Discogs], which does have a "Music and Lights" feeling all over it! We're three tracks away from Rob's mix end as the great, and already featured in the show previously with "If Loving You Is Wrong" from her previous album "Caught up" ISSUED IN 1974, Millie Jackson – Leftovers [1975 - Discogs] takes us to a slower, groovier but somewhat darker place; Rob's mixing is, of course, still perfect here!

The next song, Opal – Ain't No Way (Special Club mix) [1983 - Discogs], is not played in its entirety and when you hear why, you'll be jumping on your feet from exaltation; so well done, Rob! We end the beautifully crafted mix with Bonnie Pointer – Free Me from my Freedom [1978 - Discogs].

 

As I said at the beginning of this detailed playlist, Virginia's mix is more on the "open" and "outer voyage" side whereas Rob's mix was, to me, in its first part, more introspective. This trip towards an unknown yet foreign land is very well documented in Virgini'as Tribute to Vangelis, through the two tracks she plays that are Ami Shavit – Alpha 1 [1977 - Discogs] and Vangelis – Tales of the Future [1994 - Discogs], which has already been featured in the show. Vangelis shared, in an interview, how he worked when composing; I feel it is very interesting to remember that as it is true for artists: "They happen. When I do something like that I try not to think. It just comes naturally. And why naturally? Because what I see creates an emotion and this emotion comes out immediately," he says with a click of his fingers. "It may be the right one or it may be the wrong one. Usually the first one is the right one, and then the second and third are much more intellectual in approach which is second best. That's why I work in a very quick way. From this set-up," he says embracing the keyboards that surround him, "I can trigger anything I want in a split second. I like that immediacy and playability".

Virginia's approach to this mix is more upfront in the beginning; the way she mixes the following track Tomislav Simovic – Waste of Emotional Energy (Repeated Viewing Remix) [2021 - Discogs] shows it perfectly, and we understand why she decided to put it here as it shares with the previous track the "airiness", enhancing the listener's flying sensation! As Ana Maria said to me, "I like Virginia's mix because there are a lot of cinematic moments"! There you go! Keeping the flying feeling absolutely alive, Virginia takes us to Von Spar – Scotch & Chablis [2010 - Discogs]! Strangely enough, we were speaking about wine with Colleen in the first part of the show, and she shared with us that she loved French white wine! Virginia's mix kept on opening itself, like a flower, and the next song, 40 Thieves – The Sandpiper (Pyschemagik Remix) [2014 - Discogs], is great evidence of that.

Taking risks in changing rhythm is always a stressful moment for whoever tries to do it in a live set! Virginia does take that risk with a nice success here as Wink – Higher State of Consciousness (Album Version) [1995 - Discogs] takes us to a higher musical ground offering wider visuals. We can't help but think about David Mancuso here as this track is absolutely close to the Loft Classic that is the Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds"! When this track ends, we clearly hear Virginia's adventurous side as Miyako Koda – Butter [1998 - Discogs] enters the scene, with its slower rhythm. Estranged by this change in rhythm, we quickly let ourselves dive deeply into this intoxicating musical phenomenon. The next track, The Grid – Crystal Clear (Clear Like an Unmuddied Lake Remix by The Orb) [1993 - Discogs], rides on perfect time and makes us think of some of Ace of Base's productions from the 90s. Nice musical unity here with the following and very funky, track (find more about it here) Samo – A Certain Ratio [2023 - Bandcamp] !

As Virginia's mix is reaching to its end, we strongly feel her Balearic Soul coming through The Daou – Surrender Yourself (Album Version) [1992 - Discogs]. I love the soundstage of that one so much, and there is an interesting interview right here. As Gala Drop – Overcoat Heat [2010 - Discogs] drops, we clearly see this was Virginia's "I'm flying" mix. Virginia ends her mix with The Phenomenal Handclap Band – You'll Disappear [2009 - Discogs]. Absolutely Balearically Approved Mix, Virginia!


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