You sit upon a narrow vessel bobbing in a damp, vast darkness. How long has light been absent from your vision? You aren’t sure of this, but you see something up ahead. You shield your eyes as you emerge from the seemingly-eternal river tunnel. The gondolier at the rear of your boat is shrouded in a black cloak and silently navigates the still waters. A city forged in gold surrounds you, and the echoes of the sun reflect off of everything, and it’s beautiful . . .
Kick up your feet and grab a cold one. So Many Colours is the new full-length from aural pioneer José Padilla, referred to as the “godfather of chill-out.” The lauded producer is known for his renowned Café Del Mar sets, and for constructing the stencils that eventually formed Balearic music. For this glowing album, Padilla worked with Barrott, Jan Schulte, Telephones, and Tornado Wallace to craft a true dance music gem.
The collaborative aspects of this album shine brightly in the form of some epic improvisational moments, but the record as a whole is surprisingly and pleasantly cohesive. These songs have beginnings and endings, and the journeys in the middle captivate with some melodically superb progressions. These tracks not only paint colorful, vivid worlds to envision, but also weave living narratives to inhabit the worlds.
This quintet of formidable influences produce a spread of tantalizing genres, including high-strung funk (“Afrikosa”), luscious disco (“Lollipop”), and even some dubby house (“Day One”). The warm, silken production is a sight to behold, but it’s the live, terrestrial instrumentation (namely Padilla’s Spanish-influenced guitar) that holds the most luster. If you’re seeking chilled-out, tropical dance music, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)