Mark Barrott – Sketches From an Island review



Some of the most interesting music is created in the crossing point between different genres. Mark Barrott’s Sketches From an Island has the coolness of the dance music genre known as balearic house. But if you listen closely, you’ll hear and sense the depth and atmosphere of New Age music. Sketches From an Island may very well be the missing link between club music and New Age that we have been waiting for.

Mark Barrott is an English DJ and record producer. He is most famous for releasing drum and bass music under the Future Loop Foundation name since the mid 1990s. Sketches From an Island was made during Barrott’s recent stay on Ibiza, Spain.

Beautiful Birds
What makes Sketches From an Island different? Firstly, the sounds of nature and birds effectively removes Barrot’s music from the dance floors and clubs and into the wild (there is however a long history of Ibiza club DJs mixing bird sounds into their sets, but that is another story). Yet from the first track you’ll notice Barrot’s cool attitude; There’s something very modern and fresh here. But after listening to the album opener, Baby Come Baby, I was very close at turning off the whole album because it sounded very off topic to my field of expertise and interest. But I’m glad that I kept on listening because hidden within is a world of sound which has a lot in common with our genre.

The song Dr. Nimm’s Garden of Intrigue and Delights is a feast for the ears. Its laid-back atmosphere is as delightful as it is impossible to label. The same goes for Go Berri Be Happy. If this is balearic house, I’m a fan! There’s one track here that’s all New Age music though; it’s called Island Life. The analogue sounding synth and the light but fast rhythm is a marvelous description of the lazy island atmosphere.

Sketches From an Island is definitely an album to check out, especially if you want to hear something modern and fresh. It also shows that a genre like balearic house depends just as much on atmosphere as on drum and bass. That is strangely comforting for a New Age music fan.

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