Fleche/Tulipe Jaune - 2001 - 74 minutes
As the nights begin to darken earlier and the air turns chilly, escaping to the utopia of a Mediterranean beach seems the best hope of solace. Ibiza has spawned a million chill-out compilations, notably the series named after San Antonio's legendary Cafe Del Mar. Unfortunately many are uneven, with a tendency towards the bombastic – often including tracks by cheese superheros Sasha and Paul Van Dyk.
Marc Ricci's background is a bit of a mystery (even his record company know nothing about him!). All I know is that he is part of the recent wave of quality French DJs, and is the resident at the Hotel Costes in Paris. His mix is definitely a superior prospect, starting with the scratchy 78rpm sound of Telepopmusik's 'Yesterday Was A Lie', and taking in Japanese soul, deep house from the US and nu-jazz straight from Germany. The highlights include Shantel's beach bar samba style 'Backwood', the wide empty spaces of Kevin Yost's 'Sunset: Secrets' and the Chet Baker sampling stomp of Waldeck's 'This Isn't Maybe'.
San Francisco's Andy Caldwell chips in with a funky re-working of Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim's 'Quiet Nights', truly a meeting of mellow minds. 'St Tropez Beach Listening' climaxes with a Marc Ricci composition – the vibes are sweet and the beats delicious as the album finally fades away to the sound of crashing waves and the noctural creaking of cicadas. I can almost taste the salt spray and feel the sand between my toes. Time to book that holiday.
Tracklisting: Yesterday Was A Lie - Blue Grass Land Baffin - Les Vagues Incessantes - Get Ready - Cenario - Still Alone – Sunset: Secrets - Cold Fusion - L'ere Des Effects Secondaires - Backwood - This Isn't Maybe - Quiet Nights - Watercolour