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Balearic Gabba Sound System

Probably the best-named studio outfit in the world

2016 Feb 01     
2 Bit Thugs

Meet the crew behind summer 2015's most sought-after re-edits and Balearic refixes as they drop their first-ever 'official' single

Given that we're no nearer finding an agreed definition for 'Balearic' some 30 years on from DJ Alfredo's first White Isle explorations, it could be quite some time before the world comes to terms with "Balearic gabba".

Seemingly proud of his efforts, Marco 'Pee-Doo' Gallerani - Hell Yeah! Recordings boss and the DJ who first coined the term - chuckles. "If you say that you play a style that's well-known or clearly defined, at some point it will become a bad word," he says. "So I thought that I'd come up with something that has no boundaries. That's Balearic gabba!"

While it was gabba that first excited Gallerani as an young raver in Italy in the early 1990s, it should be stressed that the music of his Balearic Gabba Sound System collective has little in common with the notoriously fast, intense style of Dutch hardcore. With the assistance of a growing roster of DJs and producers - notably in-house re-editor/producer Enzo Elia, Templehof man Luciano Ermondi (AKA DJ Ca$h), and Norwegian mentor Bjorn Torske - Gallerani has spent the last few years re-defining Balearic music.

"Balearic is about playing what you want while respecting the enivornment around you," Gallerani says. "Before I went to Ibiza to DJ, I don't think I understood that. What you see, smell and feel around you is hugely important, and you have to select records for the environment."

Whichever way you look at it, the Balearic Gabba Sound System's musical output is most definitely White Isle-friendly. The collective's fame initially grew out of a series of celebrated re-edits of obscure, dreamy and deliciously loved-up old Italian deep house records, which Gallerani selected and Elia reworked. Recently, they've gone a step further, releasing their first original productions on New York's celebrated Golf Channel Recordings imprint.

The eponymous EP, which was mostly produced by Elia and Ermondi, with 'executive production and additional addiction' from Gallerani ("I bring the drugs, the records and the concept," he laughs), effortlessly joins the dots between woozy ambience, classic trip-hop, tactile electronica and low-slung dub disco/deep house fusions. As debut singles go, it's quietly impressive - and it definitely follows the Balearic script of ignoring the rules.

So how would Elia, who co-produced three of the EP's four tracks, describe it? "I used to say the Balearic Gabba sound was like a kaleidoscope of music styles. Now I like to say that it's a rich salad, full of fresh vegetables. New music dipped in a very polished olive oil - which is the harmony that you can find mixing different music genres - and finished with cured vinegar. That's old music with that special taste!"

The collective's next "rich salad", another collection of sunrise-friendly re-edits, is due to drop on Hell Yeah! Recordings later in the spring, and we can expect some more original music later in the year. "We have more music we could release, but it's very different to the Golf Channel EP," Gallerani says. "Right now, we're into breakbeat house a lot. I can't wait for the revival!"

Words: Matt Anniss

The Balearic Gabba Sound System EP is out now on Golf Channel Recordings. Below, you can hear the Balearic Gabba take on Soft House Company's 1990 Italo-house classic What You Need.





Tags: re-edit, Balearic, Balearic Gabba Sound System, Golf Channel Recordings, Marco Gallerani, DJ Ca$h, Enzo Elia, Luciano Ermondi, Bjorn Torske