I discovered this record only this summer. California Grooves was released back in 1991, and I heard it in July 2013 for the first time. Happy that heard it at least before my vacation, this record was a perfect companion in my trip to the sea). Right before my vacation Jose Padilla “Cafe Del Mar Number One” mix came out on Testpressing. And maestro Padilla have played 4(!!!) tracks from this album (of course Shazam helped to figure it out). These four Dancing Fantasy tracks have created that special vibe in the mix. Since then California Grooves became a Balearic blueprint.
Maybe the most famous track by Dancing Fantasy is Voodoo Jammin on Blaxx Maxx from 1989 (this track also was re-edited by Justin Vandervolgen on Blackdisco as Nice Costume). Heard it at Low parties sometimes and always was amazed with its melodrama effect and some early 90s feeling. Dancing Fantasy is a well-known New Age, Balearic act, duo (Chris W. Williams and Curtis McLaw) from Braunschweig , Germany. In their own words, their mission is “to present acoustic dimensions to listeners eardrums, to bring warmth, relaxation and smooth grooves into a digital, cool world full of hectic pace”.
California Grooves was released on the legendary ambient imprint Innovative Communication. Album contains music tracks and some live scetches, samples (one of which is a pretty duff track featuring a couple of kids doing a sort of street rap). This record is a brilliant synthy evocation of life, the people and the whole feel of the southern Coast of USA. All tracks have simple beautifully harmonic composition. There are many liquid sounds, whistles, whispers, otherworldly voices, samples, groovy basslines, atmospheres. There is a Sea in this music. Sundowns and Sunrises, Wind and crystal clear Air are also in this album. Ambient, Downtempo, soft grooves, free Sax sounds. Sounds of Californian beach were reconstructed by two musicians far from America. And it’s a magic about this album. I can listen to it endlessly. There is only one minus: CD only release. I can buy only 7-inch on Discogs with album’s highlight — melodramatic Malibu.
Text by Sasha Tessio