- Tom Bioly and Benjamin Fröhlich's Permanent Vacation label has occasionally seemed to ride the crest of the zeitgeist. They released John Talabot and Todd Terje records just as nu-disco and deep house took hold around the turn of the decade, and they put out bona fide anthems like Tensnake's "Coma Cat" and Azari & III's "Reckless (With Your Love)." But the Munich label has otherwise followed its own course over the last ten years. Even when their music has coincided with outside trends—like the Space Oddities compilations with library music—it was more like the currents of fashion had rolled into waters where Permanent Vacation were already dipping their toes.
Considering that they've long worked with artists like Woolfy vs. Projections, Permanent Vacation probably isn't cashing in on Balearic chill-out's latest surge in popularity with their new compilation, which is dedicated to what they call "the more beachy side of the dance floor." But if that concept sounds like a cliché then so do the chimes, breezy synths, chanting and flutes in Carrot Green's "Vodou." Plenty of other "beachy" signifiers find their way into Permanent Vacation 4. Prins Emanuel's "Ivys Boogie" has funk bass and wah-wah guitar with the swagger of a man in Speedos, Hi & Saberhägen's woozy "Spreepark" sounds like it's stumbling with sunstroke and there's gentle hand percussion in Benedikt Frey's "Lucid Dream."
Other producers take a slightly different angle. "Interstellar," Hugh Mane's deep house shuffler, sounds like it's paddling through outer space. The almost subliminal voices blurred into map.ache's "Let Me Sleep" give the track a disconcerting edge, setting it apart from sunnier sounds like the infectious piano hook in Alex Burkat's "Brooklyn Bridge."
Burkat is the only artist here who's released original material on Permanent Vacation. Rather than calling on their current roster, the label called on artists who fit the aesthetic they had in mind. No one's really pushing themselves or any boundaries here, but that doesn't hamper the allure of their soft-focus grooves.
01. Hi & Saberhägen - Spreepark
02. Carrot Green - Vodou
03. Young Marco - Dreamless
04. Fantastic Man - Seaside Special
05. Prins Emanuel - Ivys Boogie
06. Alex Burkat - Brooklyn Bridge
07. Man Power - Pelame
08. Benedikt Frey - Lucid Dream
09. Hugh Mane - Interstellar
10. Cleveland - Rio
11. map.ache - Let Me Sleep
12. Suzanne Kraft - Tiles