From his compound tucked away in the beautiful Ibiza countryside, Sheffield born Mark Barrott is quietly building more than just a cult following, he is at the vanguard of a new generation of artists producing music that is born of Ibiza. His quiet, reflective personality is in contrast to the loud and brash beats of the Techno and EDM waves that crash over the islands shores each summer. Like a flower growing in a monotone landscape, Barrott’s music reminds us that beauty will always shine through even in the darkest of times. Using simple tools, Barrott has captured the essence of the islands character in the two albums he has recorded to date, the Sketches From an Island series. While the first album was an awakening to the island, the second album, Sketches From an Island 2, is much more a personal and intimate relationship with the place he now calls home.
It is an album of feelings and emotions inspired by daily life and interaction with the seasons and landscapes around him. Happy and upbeat summer moments captured in the albums opening three tracks, Brunch with Suki and Over at Deiters Place, the first house the composer lived in when he moved to Ibiza from Uruguay. A traditional Ibicenco Casa with a hippy soul. The third track, Driving To Cap Negret, conveys the anticipation of a DJ’s upcoming performance as he sets out to the inspiring Hostal La Torre where Mark holds a summer residency. Distant Storms at Sea, with its Arabic and deep undertones, toys with the darker side of the composers emotions, which is echoed in the beautiful simplicity of Forgotten Island a track Mark wrote as the soundtrack to his funeral. This for me, is the highlight of the album, as the composer bares his soul to his audience.
The recurring theme of nature resonates in the airy Cirrus and Cumulus while Der Stern, Der Nie Vergeht reflects on Marks seemingly happy time spent in Germany. The final track, One Slow Thought, is an expansive free piece of ambient music that finds the island in its wholesome prime when viewed through fresh eyes. A fitting conclusion to a loving piece of work and a soft beacon of light for the future of music production on the island. As Barrott is the proud owner of International Feel Recordings he is independent of corporate and industry dictate, where music is made within a defined template to make money. What Barrott has achieved with this album is more than just a collection of tracks, it is a statement of artistic freedom and a new wave of the Balearic sound, seeds of which are beginning to grow on the island. Sketches From An Island 2 is available on Vinyl and digital download.