Did Above & Beyond Just Bring Back a 1980's EDM Style in Their Latest Single?
Above & Beyond has again exemplified their name, this time in the quality of their most recent release, a new single officially dropped yesterday, January 20th, “Balearic Balls.”
“Balearic Balls” is certainly a departure from the London based trio’s usual trance/progressive trance style, a mode of production that has earned the group international acclaim. A duly muted yet powerful—paradoxical—house beat seemingly groomed for a festival crowd, “Balearic Balls” is described to signal the UK trio’s “return to club minded songwriting.” Arriving on the heels of Above & Beyond’s celebrated Acoustic world tour in 2016, “Balearic Balls” represents a welcome shift in style, a ready display of the group’s versatility of sound. Can we expect Above & Beyond to announce a club tour soon? Perhaps not in the immediate future, yet the trio’s newly announced focus on “club minded songwriting” indicates that an ensuing tour, or club performances at the very least, are not outside the realm of possibility.
“Balearic Balls” is advertised on Above & Beyond’s SoundCloud as being one of the “highlights” on the forthcoming Anjunabeats Volume 13, a mix available on February 13th. Above & Beyond fanatics may be understandably impatient to listen to A&B’s latest, but for now may preview what is to come with “Balearic Balls,” linked below.
But what is a “Balearic ball?” “Balearic” may refer to the Balearic islands, an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, but is more likely to be the derivative of “Balearic beat,” also known as “Balearic house.” Often called “the sound of Ibiza,” “Balearic house” defined the mid-1980s in its breakthrough in European nightclubs and Ibiza based beach raves. With its cultural origins resting in Spain, as well as the UK—keep in mind that A&B is a UK group—Above & Beyond very well may be alluding to the Balearic style, in spite of its mid-1990s fade out.
While catching up with A&B’s latest, sample “Balearic Soul,” linked below. The song emulates the traditional Balearic style popular in the mid-1980s. Did A&B just do some major stylistic reviving? We say yes— “Balearic Balls” can be interpreted as a faster, more synth dependent Balearic style, but elements of the Balearic can be heard in both songs. Compare both tracks and be the judge.