Album review

Various : Café Del Mar: The Best Of
Mercury Records

Various : Café Del Mar: The Best OfTen years ago, Café Del Mar, one of Ibiza's most famous venues, released the first instalment of what soon became the definitive chillout series. Compiled by long-standing resident DJ José Padilla, the original Café Del Mar compilation captured the essence of his celebrated twilight sets, evoking balmy sunsets and sand between your toes.
    A decade on and the Café Del Mar releases are recognised worldwide as some of the best in their genre, despite losing Padilla after number seven. Volume ten was supposed to be the last, but José's been enticed back to close the series properly with a look at the best bits of the proceeding volumes.

Café Del Mar: The Best Of needs to be absorbed as a whole for best effect. When it is, it does everything that other chillout packages promise, but fail to deliver. It's mood music, pure and simple, and over two CDs Padilla runs the gauntlet from Spanish folk to remixes of multi-platinum behemoths with admirable dexterity.
    It seems almost impolite to be highlighting individual tracks, but there are some real gems here, not least José's own compositions; the Stone Roses shuffle of Adios Ayer is unexpected but fits in perfectly with Lamb's Angelica and the fabulous Smokebelch II from Sabres Of Paradise.
    There are also big names secreted across both discs, albeit in heavily remixed form: Coldplay's God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, U2's In A Little While and Moby's Whispering Wind are all featured.
    You don't need to be obsessed with Ibiza's more frantic nightlife to get this music, and that has got to be a big part of the series' success. For those times when an overdriven guitar just doesn't scratch that itch, Café Del Mar: The Best Of is highly recommended.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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