The long-awaited full length finally drops and yes, it was worth the wait
With anticipation high after two trailer singles, UK Balearic hero Pete Herbert and Bali-based Bulgarian Martin Denev at last bring us their collaborative long-player.
Made In The Shade opens with one of the aforesaid singles, Batu Karang, its lazy, hazy bassline (which vaguely recalls Dennis Edwards & Siedah Garrett's classic Don't Look Any Further) setting the tone for the first half of the album. Laidback, summery nu-disco vibes are the order of the day here, the perfect soundtrack for poolside chillin', backyard BBQs or - should you happen to be one of those 1% types - cruising round the marina in your Porsche convertible! Such mellow vibes continue through Time, the Robert Owens-vocalled Pass Me By and the album's shimmering title track.
Once we get as far as track 5, Washed Up, though, we venture into slightly more uptempo territory - it's as if, after a day spent lounging on Las Salinas, the sun's gone down and the deadly disco duo are ready to part-ay. Washed Up's surging pianos, euphoric synth throb and squelchy bassline will, without doubt, conjure fond recollections of youthful White Isle antics for many an ageing raver, and again that's a feeling that's maintained throughout the second half, via the languid, west coast-ish Sun Fish, the spangly Night Boat and the vaguely oriental-tinged closer Ruby Star.
All told, while there's little here to surprise anyone who's familiar with the previous output of either Mr Herbert or Nang Records, this is a classy collection that'll wrap your ears in sunshine and smiles. Just what the doctor ordered for the summer months.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 23 June
Review Score: 8