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Balearic Breakfast| Episode 160 | Family Gathering 2 (Lee Zee & Kieran McCann)

Updated: Mar 2

Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy broadcast the 160th episode of Balearic Breakfast on her Mixcloud and Twitch TV socials on January 23rd 2024.

 

About this show. – For this second edition of our "Family Gathering" series, a feature that Colleen will keep for future occasions by the way (that's great news!), she welcomed two key figures of our Family: our dear Lee Zee, whose deeply reflective mix inspired me creatively as you will see in, what I wanted to be, a real written tribute; and the Great and Kind Kieran McCann here proposing a mix which will take you to views you never saw before (and we shall see together precisely why)!

Colleen shared these words on her socials: "As I’m now in New Zealand, once again, the guest mixes from our worldwide BB family continue. First up is my dear friend Lee Zee who is the designer of the Balearic Breakfast logo and all of those lovely ‘request line’ stencils that use photos of my travels. The last song of his mix is especially poignant as it is dedicated to his late mother who also happened to enjoy the KLF. She was a brilliant woman. His mix is deep and beautiful. It’s followed by a mix from @kieranjmccann of the @cooriedoonparty in Glasgow. His globetrotting mix will have you up and out of your seats in no time and shazam-ing like there is no tomorrow.

Thanks to all who joined in the live chat during the Mixcloud live stream. It’s a grounding experience to be with all of you tuning in and chatting from different time zones and corners of the globe. You mean the world to me. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening."


Listen to the 159th episode of Balearic Breakfast:

 

PLAYLIST


Lee Zee Mix

This Mortal Coil Song to the Siren

RY X Berlin

Gigi Masin Clouds

Cocteau Twins Alice

Izue Asazaki Yoisura Bushi (Kuniyuki Remix)

Mental Remedy Omamiuda (Prayer for Japan)

Endgames Ecstasy (Centurion Mix)

52nd Street Tell Me (How It Feels) (Dub)

Sade Make Some Room

Malcolm McLaren Call A Wave (Breakdown Mix)

Tangerine Dream Love on a Real Train (Live)

The KLF Last Train to Trancentral (Pure Trance)


Kieran McCann Mix

Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek Hastane Önü

Neyssatou War

Horace Andy Get Down

Manu Dibango Goro City

Don Cherry I Walk

Antoinette Konan M'ackô

Nana Tuffour Sikyi Medley

St Germain How Dare You

Esa A Muto

Club Ice Manhassett (Larry Heard Space Mix)

Natalie Cole Annie Mae

 

FANTASMAGORIA...

Dedicated to Lee...


Courtesy of Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy

Dreams do never come true. Dreams do never come true. It’s a perpetual illusion, this world of ours we live in. A perpetual illusion we strive to keep alive and well because, amidst the loneliness, amidst the disillusioned love affairs and the untruthful friends, amidst the useless rules and the fatiguing orders given by those who do never experience their stupidity, amidst death lurking in the corner of our eye, we do all, effectively, have nothing left. So we strive with all of our broken souls to create, to recreate, something coming from a somewhat distant past where all of the reality of our actual dreams was a dream we were not aware of. Time passed, and we didn’t see life’s sail unfurling before our eyes, filled with empty words and lost promises, still thinking we had kept Something from that not-totally forgotten era... Yet, you held nothing, blinded child of the dying sun. You were a mere dream, a passing, a light ghost, and you shall stay in your ethereal and oh-so-long-lost amnesia. Voices, voices here, voices there, where am I? Who am I? Do I even exist? And these shores, are they real… Lee’s voice lost itself as he tried to call someone, something, somewhere, there… In the distance, he couldn’t distinguish anything, and the lonely fog kept waving around his feet. What’s there left to do? It seems I am no one, absolutely no one, since you left… Keep marching Lee... Keep on marching...

Step after step, the fog kept rolling in and out of this undisclosed space, where promises seemed to blossom slowly like small red flowers in the spring's wakening wind… Step after step, you will forget about my dream, dear child. And, by doing so, you will discover the true meaning of life. Just like yourself, I was a dream passing by. Just like yourself, I was an illusion. One you needed, one you reached out to, finding there meanings and explanations, one you cherished and loved, but nothing more than just an illusion. And, in our unknown Balearic World, that is how it is all meant to be. You will find me again, Lee… I know you will… Keep on marching, dear Sun of mine… Voices here… Oh so close to me… But all I can see is your absence...

Lee kept on marching in the lost ethereal space, a crystal tear vanishing in the awakening wind, there, somewhere, as a path started showing its waving ways in the now slowly, in the o so slowly disappearing fog. An actual path? How?! So lost, being offered a path? The never-ending source of philosophical elevation embarked Lee on the lost reality in its ever-renewing dreams, soothing his turbulences with steady and somewhat affirmed rhythms. Renew yourself, you’re nothing, and being nothing is the key, be everything but something tangible, that’s lost story, that’s a thing from your past now. Your only possibilities are in the never-more, and remember, just be Balearic, like the never-ending wave, like the high-flying bird, forever disconnect, disconnect, disconnect yourself from your inner tribulations, detach yourself from the Mortal coil they said was your only destiny, be open in your forthcoming conversations, for nothing here will be real. Go, go, go my child, awake in my sunny embrace and smile at all that's left here for you. Take a trip down to nowhere, Find Solace in the Kaleidoscope of your new Ecstasy and, at last, dear Sun of mine, embrace your only and true eternity...

 

THE LISTENING EXPERIENCE


Certain songs of broken love take heavenly aspects, sometimes. This Mortal Coil – Song to the Siren [1984 - Discogs] is one of them, undoubtedly. The song, originally composed by Tim Buckley, whose lyrics were taken from a poem by Larry Beckett, was issued on Tim's sixth studio album, Starsailor in 1970 and had quite a long story, both in its creating process as well as in its own musical reality afterwards. Leading us on a path of sorrow, Lee keeps the aerial aspect of his mix to another level with RY X – Berlin [2016 - Discogs]. This song, through its sadness, still elevates the listener thanks to the musicality of the vocal line, which contrasts with the melody of the guitar, which is, to me, on the lower register. There's something very contemplative here, but sadness is not overwhelming, though it is heavy, for sure.

We can feel Lee's delicacy as he lets the song die peacefully before starting the following ones; this mix is a flow, a march, a silent march. As Gigi Masin – Clouds [2016 - Discogs] starts (this track has been sampled many times), we get closer to the marching aspect of Lee's mix; it is a journey through the unknown, confirmed by the following track, Cocteau Twins – Alice [1996 - Discogs], which perfectly fits in rhythmically speaking. Released in 1982 as part of Cocteau Twin's' album “Garlands,” the track showcases Elizabeth Fraser's beautiful vocals, the song sharing with the rest of the tracks an ethereal element, leading us to picture clouds or fog in an unknown space... Though we feel lost somewhere, it is strange because we do not feel darkness; a sad peace surrounds us; this feeling is beautifully confirmed by the stunning track Izue Asazaki – Yoisura Bushi (Kuniyuki Remix) [2014 - Discogs], clearly indicating that this mix is a call ("Yoisura Bushi" is a traditional Amami Island song of prayers for the safety of sailors).

Telling a story through a mix is one of the most hard things to achieve. You must know your tracks and their lyrics and keep the narrative clear. Normally, you should be able to write your story down on paper once you complete the playlist; at least, that's how I always worked on my own mixes. When we heard the following track, Mental Remedy – Omamiuda (Prayer for Japan) [2012 - Discogs], we all were in awe because we knew the track from Colleen's Balearic Breakfast Vol. 2 compilation, and, on a personal level, I felt this was a structuring point of Lee's story. This moment Wowed the Balearic Breakfast Family. From a lost world, from sadness, from grief, a path was born; a way out, somewhere, showed its indirect ways. Cleverly done, Lee, and with the right rhythmical touch, too.

Being in Colleen's musical embrace gives us Joy, a tremendous amount of joy. Because we share the music but also the Show's soul. Lee, of course, did exactly what had to be done at the dawn of the second part of his mix by steadily speeding things up with the wonderful track that is Endgames – Ecstasy (Centurion Mix) [1983 - Discogs]. The voyage is still taking place; it is just lighter now, and the following track, 52nd Street – Tell Me (How It Feels) (Dub) [1985 - Discogs], while keeping the rhythm steady, does not kill the ethereal element that was present in the first part of the mix. We have a great intellectual unity here, it seems obvious. Even the great Sade – Make Some Room [1994 - Discogs], with a more closed approach to the sound, keeps an openness into the void that can't be denied. Found on the B-side of their 1988 single "Nothing Can Come Between Us", "Make Some Room", "a dreamy ambient techno tune with 909 rhythms, a rubbery 303 bassline and some chopped-up vocals", shows Sade's voice less to the upfront than usual, "the track offering a sneak peek at the more electronic and downtempo sounds she would explore on her next LP, Love Deluxe".

While Malcolm McLaren – Call A Wave (Breakdown Mix) [1989 - Discogs] slightly slows down the rhythm, we clearly see that the march keeps going on. With his great mixing skills, Lee is able to keep, slowly and in an almost perfect rhythm, the flow to the absolute greatness that is Tangerine Dream – Love on a Real Train (Live) [2015 - Amazon]. Featured in the movie "Risky Business" (the movie soundtrack also includes the great "Old Time Rock'n'roll by Bob Seger), this trippy musical scene seems to find influences in Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians and remains, to this day, their most important production. Lee's last mix is pure bliss here, just right here, perfection. Listen to how the last track, The KLF – Last Train to Trancentral (Pure Trance) [1990 - Discogs], arrives on Time...

Beautifully done, Lee...

 

Following such an "inhabited" mix is not easy, but it seems that Kieran's musical trip perfectly marched into Lee's introspective work, actually because of its absolute "openness"!

Logically, Kieran starts his set with the somewhat worried Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek – Hastane Önü [2021 - Discogs] as it beautifully sets the stage and the Foreign Musicality this mix will propose throughout its hour lengthy sonic reality... It is not every day that you hear Turkish sounds taking you so far away from your homeland! This incredible musical piece is followed by a complete change of territory (we're closer to Tunis now) and rhythms (a light touch of Jamaican reggae!), with the beautiful Neyssatou – War [2019 - Bandcamp]! This beautiful piece is taken from the great "Pay It All Back Volume 7" compilation which proposes 18 tracks stitched together with a number of special pirate radio-style segueways, creating a unique journey through the modern world of On-U Sound!

Did you notice the dynamics of these songs? I think I already told you that Balearic Breakfast was all about the dynamics, didn't I? Talking about that, Kieran keeps the groove absolutely on by playing another groove, Horace Andy – Get Down [1985 - Discogs]. It seems obvious, as the next number, Manu Dibango – Goro City [1980 - Discogs], enters our dancefloor, that Kieran, on that mix, was not rhythmically obsessed (at least in this first part, hint!). He went all the way towards an eclectic mix, showcasing beautifully recorded songs that must sound very good on a nice big sound system, laughs! For those of you who would like to know more about this particular song, there is a great French page on musiqxxl.fr. Gone Clear, the first of two reggae albums by the legendary Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango, was recorded in Kingston with Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar (who will also work with Serge Gainsbourg a few years later), and a brass section featuring the Brecker brothers!

Sly & Robbie know how to do things... I also had the Brecker Brothers on horns... It's a good album, isn't it! In fact, I recorded two of them [Gone Clear released in 1979 and Ambassador released in 1981]. There's Gwen Guthrie and Jocelyn Brown on backing vocals, singers who've made huge hits... When you listen to the record, you hear it's singing... There's a special sound to it. I was happy to do it. I did stay in Jamaica for a month. It was a very good time. The mixing took place in London.
Manu Dibango

Keeping the rhythm steady for the next number with Don Cherry – I Walk [1985 - Discogs], one thing is sure: Kieran's selections sound huge and precise, with a beautiful depth to them. Interestingly enough, Don Cherry's studio album Home Boy, Sister Out from which I walk is taken was only issued in France, his international issue taking place some 40 years later on Wewantsounds! Once again, I can only recommend you have a Google translation of this great page; it's a fascinating story!

Sometimes, the best mixes are the simplest ones, and Kieran just proves it right now with the still very Balearic Antoinette Konan – M'ackô [1986 - Discogs], reissued in 2019, followed by the joyous Nana Tuffour – Sikyi Medley [2018 - Discogs], which has been reissued in 2018. What's happening here in the mix just Wowed the Family! Take the time to listen carefully; you should simply lose your mind when realising how beautiful this passage of Kieran's mix is as St Germain – How Dare You [2015 - Discogs] enters our musical cells (this particular beauty containing a sample of "Nightmare Blues" written, composed and performed by Robert Burnside)!

Clearly and slowly, Kieran takes us down to another Balearic side with the following number: Esa – A Muto [1986 - Discogs], nicely mixed in, by the way! ESA's first album, "A MUTO", was released in Cameroon in 1986. It marked a turning point in the Makossa practised in the southwest of the country. For the record, ESA (pronounced ESSA, a term which, among the SAWA people of south-west Cameroon, means "evocative magic" or "contact with the beyond") is an African music concept created by Georges DAYAS WONJAMOUNA and embodied by the exceptional Stephan DAYAS.

I mean, come on, Listen to the realism of the sound; I'm just feeling ecstatic right now (oh, by the way, we're in Cameroon right now if you were curious)! Kieran keeps the Balearic Vibes alive and well with the incredible Club Ice – Manhassett (Larry Heard Space Mix) [1992 - Discogs], ending his set with the very "Credits like" song, Natalie Cole – Annie Mae  [1977 - Discogs].

What A Trip that One was, Kieran!


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