Album: Laid Back

Happy Dreamer
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The Independent Culture

Best known for their early Eighties hits "Sunshine Reggae" and the anti-drug song "White Horse", the Danish duo John Guldberg and Tim Stahl have worked together as Laid Back since 1979, prefiguring many of the developments in techno and computer music that are ubiquitous today, such as sequencing, rhythm programming and guitar synthesis. Released two or three years ago in Denmark, Happy Dreamer offers a soothing succession of subtle chill-out grooves in a global love-vibe style, fronted by a warm European baritone.

But unlike most club-oriented music, Laid Back's acknowledges a pre-rave heritage, with JJ Cale-style guitar breaks, echoes of "Everybody's Talkin'" in the folksy arpeggios of "Didn't You Know" and a sophisticated lounge/exotica tone to the accordion, steel pans and jazz guitar on "Slow Friday". At times, the echoes may overwhelm a track – "Groovin' on a Feeling" sounds like a mélange of "Groovin'", "All You Need Is Love" and "No Woman, No Cry" – but overall Happy Dreamer more than lives up to its title.

Download this: 'Never Too Late to Learn to Fly', 'Slow Friday', 'Once', 'Happy Dreamer'

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