Residing on the island since 1976 and a resident DJ at Café Del Mar in the early ’90s, Jose Padilla is not only a founding father of Ibiza’s Baelaric sound but he also helped cultivate its global appeal.
The Barcelona beatmaker’s influential work as a DJ has led him to curate well over 20 compilation releases in the last 15 years, with a treasure trove of his own singles, EPs and albums to boot. This month the Baelaric pioneer continued to push the boat out with a 11-track LP on Ibiza imprint International Feel.
The album’s title, So Many Colours, lends itself directly to Padilla’s approach on the record. It’s true that it would have been easy for Jose to make a stunning yet simple chill-out album, but his constant desire to push boundaries has propelled him into uncharted territory that whilst being held together under the umbrella term ‘balearic’, is something much more forward-thinking.
Opening with some classic island sensibilities, ‘Day One’ blends soft wave synths, airy arpeggiators, warm bass tones and a dancing glockenspiel melody that gives the track its crescendo whilst background bongo hits provide tropic body.
Whilst it would’ve been enough for Padilla to continue the LP in this fashion without easing or hindering our interests, Padilla boasts more colours as we land onto another highlight, ‘Solito’. With a two minute intro that eases you into a mirage of non-descript vocal murmurs, jangling keys and snake charmer flute notes, the ambience is very much a middle eastern spectacle. Spiritual synths build a wall of sound that finally settles into a five minute dusty addictive bass pattern. Drums remain in the background, steadily paced with a enthralling belly-dance-like-trance and wood-wind sounds that ring out like a call-to-prayer in the middle of the burning heat.
Continuing on in its multi-coloured tendencies, ‘Maybe The Sunset’ brings breathy vocals from Lydmor and has us imagining what The XX would sound like if they grew up in the Caribbean. ‘Mojame’ is another stand out track, sun-soaked in Spanish fervour. Calypso guitar reverberates against quintessential latin vocals whilst electronic tones take a back seat, ad-libbing sound effects every so often. The laid back track wouldn’t be out of place on a South American soul imprint.
Jose Padilla has created an album for dancing wildly, relaxing wholly in nature, and losing yourself in. It is a true musical journey covering all angles of the balearic scene.