The Sound of Mercury Rising Vol. 1 (1CD)

The selections, for the most part, are typical examples of the Balearic style. The vibe is as predictable as it is pleasurable. Acoustic six-string guitars strum. Choruses brim with oohs and aah. And sun-dappled melodies welcome all comers. The rhythms move blissfully—sometimes with an Iberian lilt, sometimes with a jaunty disco-tinged bounce. Others have a serenely lysergic chug.

DJ Pippi contributes “Ibiza World Inspiration,” a song that embodies the compilation’s overall sound. A beatbox taps out a syncopated tick-tock underneath a placid, percolating synth and minor-key guitar picks. Spectral vocal snippets meander and string stabs build a bit of tension. It sounds simple (and it is), but it has a subtly hedonistic charge that’s hard to resist. Idjut Boy’s “One For Kenny,” the duo’s 2012 tribute to the late Kenny Hawkes, is another standout, its rubber dub groove graced by a quietly joyous piano.

Not all of The Sound Of Mercury Rising works with the same degree of subtlety. “She’s A Lady,” from Tore, is a flamboyant disco throwback that stays just on the right side of syrupy thanks to a hazy electric piano that anchors the tune. Roberto Rodriguez’s breezy “Danza Dell’Acqua,” with its vocal syncopation, good-time horns and near-comedic percussion, has a novelty hit feel, but it’s a good fit for the compilation’s dreamland aura.

It’s easy to give into that aura, and the best track here is the dreamiest of them all. Lovefingers’ remix of The Project Club’s “EL Mar Y La Luna” swoons and sighs and shuffles, a soundtrack to a sky-blue reverie. As with much of The Sound of Mercury Rising, it feels unbound by era—it could have been made in the ’70s, or yesterday. (It’s from 2011.) Also like the rest of the compilation, it’s exactly the kind of music you’d find at an intimate gathering on a Spanish island with Harvey at the helm.

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Title Performer / Composer
 Next to You (Marcy Rising Edit)  Locussolus
 Abran Paso – Ahoa (Enrolle)  Elkin and Nelson
 I’m Not Scared (Disco Mix)  Eighth Wonder
 One for Kenny  Idjut Boys
 Mustat Varjot  Roberto Rodriguez
 Spanish Boogie  Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
 El Mar Y La Luna (Lovefingers Remix)  The Project Club
 Ibiza World Inspiration (Feat. Antonio M Jemenez)  DJ Pippi
 Danza Dell’acqua  Tony Esposito
 Love Mecanica (Not Love Game)  No I.D.
 She’s a Lady  Tore
 Invisible College  Gatto Fritto

Additional Information

Weight 105 g