'Down to the Sea and Back - Volume Tres'

Album Review

Balearic Mike and Kelvin Andrews return with the third volume in their continuing journey of the Balearic Beat

Words by Mark Limb • June 3, 2024

Back in 2010, Balearic Mike and Kelvin Andrews released the first volume of their Down to the Sea and Back series. A collection of sometimes rare, often obscure, but always lovingly selected musical treasures, covering countless genres and spanning multiple decades.

Volume 1 and the equally essential 2014 follow up have both now become highly collectible records, and so, as the love for white isle continues to grow from strength to strength and a new generation of Balearic DJ's and labels spring up almost annually, it feels fitting that as we approach the summer of 2024, Music for Dreams have blessed us with the third chapter in this 'Continuing Journey of the Balearic Beat.'

The limited edition vinyl release spans four sides, and from the first moments of the opening track, as the sound of the ocean washes over Josete Ordonez's delicately picked Spanish guitar, Mike and Kelvin prepare the listener for a journey through what could be the best edition of their series so far.

Robert Williams - 'I Believe You're The One', with it's acoustic guitars, phasing synths and a vocal refrain that hypnotically loops and loops into the closing bars, is the kind of obscure Greek folk that used to get diggers scrambling for ID's when Balearic Mike dropped similar obscurities in his superb 'Cosmic Alphonsus' mix series back in the early 00's.

Like Volumes 1 & 2, the selections here no doubt owe a huge debt to those many years that Mike, Kelvin (and Moonboots) spent in the trenches... digging through old Baldelli tapes in a pre-internet era, surfacing leftfield bombs like this that might otherwise have stayed tucked away alongside the the more traditional Greek pop and Eurovision entries that Robert Williams was otherwise known for.

Next on the album is the huge Library jam 'Electro Eye's' by Lee Ryda, taken from the 1987 Bruton LP 'Human Desert', which like a lot of the classic Bruton albums, seldom surfaces on vinyl, making its inclusion here all the more vital.

It is is a wonderful piece of ambient, experimental, electronic funk, that evokes the nostalgic feel of 80's Ibiza, not unlike the classic Innovative Communication LP's that Jose was such a fan of at the Cafe del Mar in its early days.

The album isn't all downtempo, though. As the sun sets, Mike and Kelvin switch up the vibe, featuring more recent tracks from Sunshine Jones, Pressure Drop, and the Idjut Boys, with the inclusion of their lesser-known, dubby remix of "Steal My Sunshine" by the Canadian pop rockers Len, (as championed by Kruder and Dorfmeister.)

Volume 3 draws to a close with my personal highlight: an unlikely cover of The Cult’s even more unlikely Balearic classic "She Sells Sanctuary," performed by folk rockers M. Craft.

This was previously only found tucked away on the b-side on a 7" from back in 2006 and like a lot of the music featured here, doesn't crop up that often. I for one completely missed it the first time round, so its inclusion here is greatly appreciated.

The whole compilation plays out like a carefully crafted journey, with a breadth and style that is testament to the the countless years that Mike and Kelvin have between them, both as DJ's and collectors, and this really is an incredible addition to the series.

Finally, if the music alone wasn't enough, the album comes with extensive sleeve notes and is adorned with the stunning artwork of Andy Votel, making this release truly an object of desire and a worthy addition to any collection!

Down to the Sea and Back vol.3 is available now.


Piccadilly Records


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