Fruits de Mer Records - Psychedelia, Krautrock, Progressive Rock, Acid-Folk, R&B, Spacerock and Vinyl Heaven

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JACK ELLISTER - ROOTS CONFERENCE

Returning back to the Fruits de Mer, the label have announced the first happenings for the coming 2017 season, strictly speaking both releases are heading out on the Friends of the Fish imprint, this is the sub label marketed beneath the umbrella of FdM yet to all intents and purposes is self financed by the bands themselves. First up ‘roots conference’ by Jack Ellister is a 300 only vinyl full length that superbly showcases his grasp of the lysergic pop rudiments to such an extent that we suspect in a parallel universe he’s a Barrett acolyte with means to time travelling and occasionally drawn on by a whim dares to step out of their 60’s into our now with eye swirling musical threads of out there mind warping magick, in essence a covers collection featuring his working of Bowie’s ‘drive in Saturday’ taken from last years FdM annual freebie ‘Fashion’ along with various re-readings of groove by Jackson C Brown, Open Mind, the Fool, Mark Fry and more. Expected sometime February / March.
Mark Barton - The Sunday Experience

waiting for a completely acoustic work in preparation, Jack offers us his second album that continues the line of the electric psychedelic pop, started with the debut album to pay tribute to the musicians who influenced him as a composer, guitarist and sung. A collection of songs among the most beautiful and less obvious the psychedelic '60s, but not limited to, filtered and reinterpreted through the diaphanous personality of a great artist like Jack. There are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Open Mind, etc ... but also Dizzy Gillespie, etc…
Poetically Psychedelic.
Rossana Morriello, Rockzilla

DECEMBER RELEASES - AND MORE

Another splash of colour: UK merry vinyl pranksters unleash wildly diverse December shower
Since appearing in 2008 with an aquamarine 45 featuring obscure lunatics Schizo Fun Addict covering Van der Graaf’s Theme One and the Small Faces’ Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, Fruits De Mer has been building a blissfully-irreverent catalogue and extended global family of space-rockers, psychedelic purists and sonic alchemists with a home-grown eccentricity that predicted the vinyl comeback years ago, usually on eye-blasting coloured wax.
Fruits De Mer celebrates its 100th release with a double album by The Honey Pot (led by Icarus Peel and Crystal Jacqueline). After James Lowe of the Electric Prunes remembers 1969, the set launches into the same-titled psych/proto-prog missive, flaunting the effervescent gusto that carries a barrage of originals and covers featuring a panoply of guests, including Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor, Judy Dyble on luminescent highlight Sitting All Alone, July on the ghostly Half A Memory, plus Bevis Frond and Buggles’ Bruce Woolley.
Swedish folk-rockers Us And Them pull off a label peak with a ten-inch album covering five Sandy Denny songs. Backed by Anders’ crystal backdrops and Tony Swettenham’s Mellotron, singer Britt wins over this daunting challenge by perfectly capturing the late singer’s pure unearthly beauty on haunting versions of Winter Winds and Farewell, Farewell.
Drawn from early FDM releases, the Plankton collection starts with Theme One before commencing more obscure covers (Pink Floyd, Eno, BeeGees, Nick Drake, Amon Duul II) by roster stalwarts including Us And Them, German psych-rockers Vibravoid, Californian psych-poppers Sidewalk Society, the Chemistry Set and guests including Mark Fry; all caught in a delicious time-warp.
Sendelica, the Welsh space-rockers who epitomise FDM’s spangled cottage industry ethos, could be nearest to breaking big in the outside world, releasing several albums over the last ten years and enrapturing European audiences with their Floyd-Crimson-NEU!-goosing slabs of jazz-inflected cosmic rock. The deluge continued in 2016, including studio set The Cromlech Chronicles and now the latest 45 in their series of audacious makeovers, that have included Donna Summer, Bowie and the Velvet Underground, and sees the Walker Brothers’ Nite Flights churned into a dense ghost ride with Sendelica Acoustica singer Sarah Evans before Astralasia contribute a droning dub mantra.
Then there’s Sidewalk Society’s brown vinyl EP containing upbeat versions of ‘60s Bowie and The Action or Vibravoid’s epic take on Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Vida. Even if this freewheeling manifesto can sometimes permit releases that sound a bit like gatecrashing someone’s acid party where sacrilegious indulgence is encouraged, it’s ultimately part of FDM’s single-minded, universe-building charm. Long may they cock their multi-hued leg against music’s tame restraints and ongoing online castration.
Kris Needs, PROG magazine

MOLOKO+ LATHE-CUT

Something of an unexpected treasure here, as Fruits de Mer abandon their customary dalliance with psych and prog, and leap headfirst into that rather glorious five minutes at the beginning of the nineties when it looked like pop songs were coming back into fashion. And so they were, although Britpop was still a few years away, so anyone trying their hand at it now was just a shade too early.
As Moloko+ could probably tell you.
No matter. (And no relation, either, to the mid-80s German dark wave band of the same name.) A paucity of action at the time did not disguise either the greatness of their songs, or their timelessness.. this 45, pulling two songs from the band’s second demo tape, captures everything that everyone loved at the time, from the jangling guitars to the glorious harmonies, punchy power pop that would have looked great spinning on a Sarah single, and looks even better here. In a world where the La’s are still beloved by all, Moloko+ are double-plus brilliant.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine magazine

THE HONEY POT - ASCENDING SCALES

UK band THE HONEY POT first appeared back in 2012 with their debut album “To the Edge of the World”, and have since issued some singles and EPs prior to 2016, when they reappeared with two studio albums. “Ascending Scales” is the most recent of these, a double album which was released by UK vinyl specialist label Fruits de Mer Records.
In the label history of Fruits de Mer Records, this production was a special one. Their release number 100, and they challenged The Honey Pot to make this production something special. Which it is. It is a double album, featuring both originals and cover songs, this latter aspect being a specialty of the label and a key reason for why the label started up in the first place, and in addition to that a whole lot of guest musicians have been invited to participate. Just about two dozen of them to be precise, ranging from musicians from some of the classic psychedelic rock bands to contemporary musicians active in the progressive rock and psychedelic rock environment today. Quite a few of the latter with an existing attachment to Fruits de Mer Records, as might be expected.
With psychedelic rock mentioned, this double album is a nice little gem in that specific territory. That the opening track is called 1969 gives a strong and clear indication of what this album is all about: Psychedelic rock that looks back to that specific era as far as, well, just about everything goes. And we’re taken on something of a joyride through the many instances and variations that did exist within this type of music at around that period of time.
Dark, buzzing garage rock oriented escapades have their place here just as much as creations with more of a lighter and more subtle psychedelic sound. Eerie effects laden creations not too far removed from early Hawkwind in style coexist quite nicely with creations of a more acoustic, folk or even pastoral nature. With both male and female lead vocalists sharing that particular spotlight. Sometimes with a more ominous tone, reminding ever so slightly of The Doors on one occasion, but also touching base at times with the harder guitars and organ driven sound of a band like Uriah Heep.
There’s really no use in going into greater detail on all of the 14 songs here, as they provide such variety in sound and style. The common denominator is that all of them are psychedelic to a lesser or greater extent, possibly with a slight exception for the more Americana-tinged notes of concluding track River Runs By, and all of the tracks would have sounded perfectly at home on an album consisting of psychedelic rock dating back to 1969 or thereabouts.
If you love and treasure vintage era psychedelic rock, then The Honey Pot have crafted a pure honey pot (heh!) of music of that specific nature on this double album, their original compositions fitting seamlessly in with the cover tracks featured. An album that merits a good check by vintage era psychedelic rock aficionados.
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House Of Prog

Much cherished vinyl-only imprint Fruits de Mer notch up their 100th release with this celebratory double album conceived by The Honey Pot frontman Icarus Peel and featuring a bumper crop of Fruits associates in a fitting salutation to a fine landmark achievement.
Although died-in-the-wool Brits, The Honey Pot are often at their best when evoking post-psychedelic California and this provides the touchstone for the first couple of numbers here - ‘1969’ featuring James Low (Electric Prunes) and ‘Solomon Deep’ showcasing Dick “Pretty Things” Taylor on some raucous blues guitar. ‘Love is Green’ wades back across the Pond for some Crystal Jacqueline bucolic balladry that while not quite acid folk but you can almost hear them knocking out Laura Ashley smocks in the background. It kicks into life courtesy of some Grateful Dead style down-home boogie in the coda courtesy of Jack Ellister. You just have to love a song called ‘Dr Crippen’s Waiting Room’ (originally by Orange Bicycle) despite the fact that the subject matter is belied by a happy-go-lucky bubblegum psychedelia. This is where the Pots could hit a bit of turbulence but here they are redeemed by some tight interplay and top notch arrangement. Fondly remembered, ‘Can’t You See The Witch’ was originally a hit for German band The Rattles (featuring Achim Reichel) back in 1970 and here receives foot to the floor treatment featuring a blistering guitar and assured vocal interplay twixt Jacqueline and Carey Grace. A cover that stands favourable comparison with the original, never a bad thing.
July’s Cook and Newman take the helm for ‘Half A Memory’, the gravelly vocal evoking either Mark Lanegan or Lee Marvin depending on which way you happen to be facing and the classy hook-ups continue with Judy Dyble/Us and Them on the very nearly disc 1 highlight, ‘Sitting Alone’ before the “house band” themselves pull out all the stops with “I’ve Been So Tired”.
Disc the second is equally blessed with abundant talent and top notch crafts(wo)manship kicking off with the ascendant ‘Time Machine’ featuring a couple of young tyros named Saloman and Shaw before Gregory Curvey leads the band for ‘Lucky Spaceman’, another which grows in power and passion as the track hurtles towards its climax. The eerie reeds at the beginning of ‘Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow’ ought to be enough of a giveaway that our own Stephen Palmer is Mooching about there somewhere, for indeed it is he. It’s a beautiful version that throws in elements of more reflective Airplane and distils by turn pretty much everything that is enduringly familiar and enjoyable about West Coast rock from that era.
The appeal of Nice’s ‘America’ has always been closed to me and, as a mark of respect, really been laid to rest along with its architect. That said, The Honey Pot’s instrumental spine manage a passable cut and shunt, bookending the bombast either side of some Floydian interlude. I still never want to hear it again mind. Bruce Woolley (a Buggle, it says here) then fronts up an airbrushed and somewhat over produced take on the Pot’s ‘Into The Deep’. It’s all very grown up AOR, perfectly decent fare and of course Jacqueline on companion vocals adds richness and good value as per always.
And then it’s back to the Fuschia, with Tony Durant lending a thoughtful take to ‘River Runs By’, a wistful and only slightly underwhelming coda to what has been a thoroughly commendable team effort and a fitting tribute to one of our favourite labels.
Happy 100th Keith, you don’t look that bad on it, we must say.
Ian Fraser, Terrascope

So the boutique psych label Fruits De Mer, reaches it’s 100th release and celebrates that milestone with this jam packed double album full of guests from their roster of artists.
Keith Jones and Andy Bracken started the label with a 7” coloured vinyl single by Schizo Fun Addict. After trying to licence some of their favourite sixties psych songs, but having a lot of difficulty doing so, they decided to record some of these songs by current artists and so the story began with the inaugural single a cover of Theme 1 (George Martin) and Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake ( The Small Faces)
Icarus Peel from the Honey Pot (a west country psych band) was pleased to be asked by Keith to produce this 100th release and set about picking some old classics and also some of the songs from the Honey Pots’s back catalogue.
The first song 1969, features James Lowe from the Electric Prunes on guest vocals, and is a reminder of what a great band they are. Great slabs of wah- wah guitar peeling out of the speakers, from the off. James recounting of life in the late sixties. I love the way the song develops, complete with cheesy organ solo. Soloman Deep follows this with Dick Taylor from The Pretty Things guesting (Keith’s favourite band is The Pretty Things so he is overjoyed to have Dick doing his thing on the label) on this fine sixties flavoured rock song. Love Is Green has guest Jack Ellister, joining the Honey Pot, for a fairly straight reading of the song which is taken from their debut album To The Edge Of The World. Featuring the vocals of Crystal Jacqueline. Curlicues of acoustic guitars, weaving together throughout, help create an acid folk feeling to the song; it also has a wonderful concise electric guitar solo.
Sitar drones introduce Dr Crippen’s Waiting Room with guest Anton Barbeau, singing this toy town styled sixties nugget, authentic and catchy as hell. Can’t You See The Witch, a great song by The Rattles follows this in style with Cary Grace rocking out on this epic song which arrives on a Bo Diddley beat along with a cooking rhythm section and lots of wah wah. Cary takes the song into the stratosphere, ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space, lovely. Tom Newman and Peter Cook from July arrive for Half A Memory a new song to me, what a great song from this pair of original sixties legends. A real cool creeping psych number complete with woozy organ and nice girly backing vocals. Research on this song has revealed little.
Judy Dyble, (Trader Horne, Fairport, Giles Giles And Fripp), etc, now joins the proceedings along with Britt and Anders from Us And Them with Sitting All Alone, a nice psychedelic folk tune, that has some excellent guitar playing throughout, wistful and beautiful. And so the first side ends with I’ve Been So Tired which appears on the first Mordecai Smyth album, here performed by The Honey Pot alone sans guests, it does have some great ensemble playing, and a nice bit of mellotron thrown in too.
Side two opens with Time Machine which features Nick Saloman and Ade Shaw from the mighty Bevis Frond, a big, fuggy, dubby tune with great slabs of electric guitar. Sung by Jacqueline, It’s only a matter of time before Nick creates some magic which arrives with a fluid guitar burst erupting from the speakers, deeply joyful in the ventricles. Lucky Spaceman has Gregory Curvey from The Luck Of Eden Hall creating high quality space rock featuring some incendiary soloing, good stuff.
Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow by The Strawberry Alarm Clock is treated to a makeover by Terrascope scribe and Mooch main man Steve Palmer. Starting with an eastern motif the song gradually emerges and billows out of the speakers building slowly, it is transformed from an American classic in to a very English sounding song, beautiful guitar solo in the middle, nice keyboard washes and some unusual instruments keep the interest, the song has bags of space for some fine ensemble playing. America the West Side Story number is a group instrumental effort without guests and opens with terrific churchy organ with The Honey Pot on the money throughout, particular mention must go to the superb fretwork by Icarus Peel.
So far so good, now we have a tune by Bruce Woolley (The Buggles). A new artist for Fruits De Mer. Into The Deep, a fishy tune about the ocean, knits together nicely the title of the album Ascending Scales and also the label Fruits De Mer. It chugs along on a gentle motorik beat, languid and unhurried, unfolding into a 10 minute epic. And so we arrive at the final song on the the album, the excellent River Runs By, with Tony Durrant from Fuchsia, closing out this superb double album. On a piano based chamber folk pop song, with a lightness of touch that is hard not to love, a wistful, pastoral, flowing, watery song. What an album!
Andrew Young, Terrascope as well!

★★★★ Honey Pot frontman Icarus Peel broke open his little black book toinvite a mouth-watering collection of special guest collaborators to help celebrate Fruits de Mer’s century release. Electric Prune James Lowe recalls ‘1969’, Pretty Thing Dick Taylor demonstrates why he’s still one of our greatest living guitarists with knee-trembling solos highlighting ‘Soloman Deep’, and July guitarists Peter Cook and Tom Newman add sparkling textures to the dreamy ‘Half A Memory’. Original Fairport Convention/KingCrimson vocalist Judy Dyble leads a chorale of angels on ‘Sitting All Alone’, Bevis Fronders Nick Saloman and Ade Shaw kick up the joy juice on the bubbly ‘Time Machine’, and Fuchsia’s Tony Durant adds his dulcet tones to the nostalgic weeper ‘River Runs By’. Peel is no slouch either, his swirling keyboard solos adding proggy touches throughout the psychedelic proceedings. A fitting tribute to one of our cherished vinyl institutions.
Jeff Penczak, Shindig! magazine

UK band THE HONEY POT first appeared back in 2012 with their debut album “To the Edge of the World”, and have since issued some singles and EPs prior to 2016, when they reappeared with two studio albums. “Ascending Scales” is the most recent of these, a double album which was released by UK vinyl specialist label Fruits de Mer Records.
In the label history of Fruits de Mer Records, this production was a special one. Their release number 100, and they challenged The Honey Pot to make this production something special. Which it is. It is a double album, featuring both originals and cover songs, this latter aspect being a specialty of the label and a key reason for why the label started up in the first place, and in addition to that a whole lot of guest musicians have been invited to participate. Just about two dozen of them to be precise, ranging from musicians from some of the classic psychedelic rock bands to contemporary musicians active in the progressive rock and psychedelic rock environment today. Quite a few of the latter with an existing attachment to Fruits de Mer Records, as might be expected.
With psychedelic rock mentioned, this double album is a nice little gem in that specific territory. That the opening track is called 1969 gives a strong and clear indication of what this album is all about: Psychedelic rock that looks back to that specific era as far as, well, just about everything goes. And we’re taken on something of a joyride through the many instances and variations that did exist within this type of music at around that period of time.
Dark, buzzing garage rock oriented escapades have their place here just as much as creations with more of a lighter and more subtle psychedelic sound. Eerie effects laden creations not too far removed from early Hawkwind in style coexist quite nicely with creations of a more acoustic, folk or even pastoral nature. With both male and female lead vocalists sharing that particular spotlight. Sometimes with a more ominous tone, reminding ever so slightly of The Doors on one occasion, but also touching base at times with the harder guitars and organ driven sound of a band like Uriah Heep.
There’s really no use in going into greater detail on all of the 14 songs here, as they provide such variety in sound and style. The common denominator is that all of them are psychedelic to a lesser or greater extent, possibly with a slight exception for the more Americana-tinged notes of concluding track River Runs By, and all of the tracks would have sounded perfectly at home on an album consisting of psychedelic rock dating back to 1969 or thereabouts.
If you love and treasure vintage era psychedelic rock, then The Honey Pot have crafted a pure honey pot (heh!) of music of that specific nature on this double album, their original compositions fitting seamlessly in with the cover tracks featured. An album that merits a good check by vintage era psychedelic rock aficionados.
Olav Martin Bjornsen, The House Of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2017/02/12/the-honey-pot-ascending-scales-2016/?fdx_switcher=true

To celebrate Fruits de Mer Records 100th vinyl release, FDM favourites The Honey Pot embark on an audacious double album. Icarus Peel, Crystal Jacqueline and the band have fittingly assembled a crack FDM friends to guest on a set of psych/rock covers and Honey Pot originals.
Starting with a pair of 60s legends, ‘Ascending Scales’ features Electric Prune James Lowe on the excellent ‘1969’, whilst Pretty Thing Dick Taylor gives searing blues rock guitar to ‘Soloman Deep’, The Honey Pot’s baroque psych of ‘Love Is Green’ blooms into full psychedelia with Jack Ellister. Anton Barbeau then successfully tackles Orange Bicycle’s original psych monster, ‘Dr. Crippen’s Waiting Room’. We then hear a searing duet from Crystal Jacqueline and Cary Grace on ‘Can’t You See The Witch’, with intense moog and guitar. Peter Cook and Tom Newman guest on ‘Half A Memory’, keeping up the high standard with a vibrant collaboration between The Honey Pot and the July duo. Ex Fairport lead Judy Dyble and Swedish folk duo Us and Them then partner beautifully on LP 1 closer ‘Sitting All Alone’.
Time Machine with Bevis Frond guests Nick Salmon and Ade Shaw launches platter 2, a track that builds throughout. The Luck of Eden Hall’s Curvey continues the space rock theme taking over the vocals for ‘Lucky Spaceman’. Steve Palmer from Mooch then guest on the Honey Pot’s take of The Strawberry Alarm Clock’s ‘Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow’, a challenging track to cover that succeeds on every level. Next on the guest list is Bruce Woolley – Buggles and Yes keyboardist – who adds a classic prog touch to ‘Into The Deep’.
Finishing with my favourite, Tony Durant from Fuchsia provides a pastoral feel to ‘River Runs By’ – a track that matches the high standard of Tony’s reflective muse.
All credit to Icarus Peel for crafting ‘Ascending Scales’, an apt tribute to the great vinyl label of our times
Jason Barnard - The Strange Brew
HERE

For Goodness Shake!!!!
I'm just experiencing ONE OF THE BEST Albums of 2016!!!!
Listening to THE HONEY POT's Ascending Scales!!!!
Fook me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Timelord Michalis

Fruits de Mer Records with their sister labels have been very productive since their inception in 2008. What would be a better way to celebrate the 100th release on the label than to make excellent psychedelic musicians to record a great double LP with original and classic tunes and inviting lots of friends of the fish to join the mind-altering ride as guests! This is exactly what happened and the result will see the light of day next month with Ascending Scales, one of the best albums in 2016. The Honey Pot is an U.K based psych rock/folk band featuring FdM / Mega Dodo heroes Icarus Peel and Crystal Jacqueline, who are very capable of creating marvellous music by themselves. On this album their band is joined by many famous musicians like Dick Taylor (The Pretty Things), James Lowe (The Electric Prunes), Tom Newman and Peter Cook (July), Tony Durant (Fuchsia), Nick Saloman and Adrian Shaw (The Bevis Frond) as well as lots of little more underground and modern artists that have been connected to Fruits de Mer. Even 12 of the 14 tracks on this 80-minute album have at least one guest musician on it! Right away from the opener "1969" starting off with a small spoken piece by James Lowe it's clear that this album is a winner. "Solomon Deep" sounds a bit like Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?", so Dick Taylor's great guitar solo fits like a glove. "Love Is Green" with Jack Ellister on guitars is a beautiful, folky tune. Anton Barbeau's vocals are perfect for the rather cheery and up-beat psych pop piece "Dr. Crippen's Waiting Room", originally by Orange Machine. One of my faves on this album! The spooky "Can't You See the Witch" (The Ruttles) rocks out great with synths by Cary Grace, another highlight on the first album. The July guys are a great match to the mellow, a bit bluesy "Half a Memory", a new song written for this album. Then it's time for some folk vibes again with the Pretty Things classic "Sitting Alone". Wonderful female vocals (four different ones) on this one! The seven-minute "I've Been So Tired" is one of the most psychedelic and experimental tracks and originally from Mordecai Smyth's first album. There's also some sax by Tabatha Smyth and very psyched-out solo guitar work. Very nice! The second slap of vinyl starts off with "Time Machine" by Stray. Ade Shaw is playing bass and Nick Saloman does the wonderful guitar solo when the track really starts to rock out. I can never get enough of his guitar! "Lucky Spaceman" has Curvey from The Luck of Eden Hall on vocals and guitar and I like it a lot. "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" (Strawberry Alarm Clock) gets a very special and atmopsheric treatment with Steve Palmer from Mooch playing some exotic whistles and pipes from his large ethnic instrument collection. "America" is a tune we all are familiar with, but it still sounds somehow fresh in here. Then it's time for a The Honey Pot original "Into the Deep" and it sure is a great track as well. I love there spacey sounds and theremin and the guest on this one is Bruce Woolley (from Buggles). Tony Durant from Fuchsia is saved for the last and "River Runs By" joint written by Icarus Peel and Tony for this release is a wonderful, peaceful way to end the trip. There are no fillers on the album, so 80 minutes go by in a lovely haze and wonder. The mix of old and new songs and inclusion of so many superb guests makes this a very interesting and enjoyable experience. Just get this marvelloous album!
DJ Astro, Astralzone
HERE

Will they..wont they get a telegram from the Queen. Fruits de Mer is 100. 100 releases to be exact over the last 8 years. Its possible her Maj may have a shimmy shake to this over the Christmas break, telegram to follow… who knows!! Ascending Scales by The Honey Pot with a helping hand from Nick Saloman, Judy Dyble, Dick Taylor and sundry others have come up with a double album of originals and covers by the likes of The Rattles and Strawberry Alarm Clock to name but two. The disc has been getting rave reviews from many quarters and will do well for the label and the band. I view it as a bit of a Curates Egg myself i.e. good in parts. Tracks such as “Dr Crippens Waiting Room” weren’t all that particularly memorable when originally released and the arrangement here does not convince me otherwise. “1969″ which opens disc 1 with a contribution by James Lowe of The Electric Prunes works well for me. I liked the folky numbers such as “Love is Green” and “Sitting all Alone” (Judy Dyble and US and THEM guest on this one). As I’ve stated previously with Honey Pot releases with the right songs they can really do them justice and make them their own “Morning Dew” springs to mind. This disc is beginning to grow on me and to these ears although on the whole enjoyable there have been better releases on the label this year. Anyway the disc itself is released as a double album on December 12th with a catalogue no WINKLE 25. and its on coloured vinyl as well.
A Box Of Dreams
HERE

I was not familiar with this UK band before this amazing double CD-R released. They released another record on this label back in 2008, so it was well overdue but well worth the weight. A worthy release for FDM 100th release! It features a lot of very cool musicians (from the 60s and the current scene) performing a mix of cover songs and original Honey Pot songs, some new and some re-recorded versions. I love the opening track called 1969 featuring James Lowe from the Electric Prunes. Solomon Deep features Dick Taylor from The Pretty Things. Loveis Green features Jack Ellister, Dr Crippen’s Waiting Room features Anton Barbeau), Can’t you see the Witch (with Cary Grace), Half a Memory (with Peter and Tom from July) and Sitting all Alone features Judy Dyble and Us and Them. Only I’ve been so Tired on the first CD has no guests. The 2nd CD features the almighty Nick Salomon and Ade Shaw on a track called Time Machine. Lucky Spaceman features Gregory Curvey from The Luck of eden Hall, Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow, Into the Deep with Bruce Wolley from the Buggles and finally River Runs by with Tony Durant from Fuchsia. The track America, Icarus takes on his own with the band.. I have been spinning these discs a lot lately and really am impressed. A great release.
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
HERE

After eight years as an independent label, Fruits de Mer Records marks its 100th vinyl release with a double gatefold LP by The Honey Pot called Ascending Scales. And in the usual FdM format, Ascending Scales is a mixture of classic and obscure psych / prog rock covers plus some original Honey Pot songs. And to join in the celebration of this milestone, Keith Jones, in concert with Icarus Peel and Crystal Jacqueline, enlisted the aid of a number of illustrious guests including Dick Taylor (The Pretty Things), James Lowe (The Electric Prunes), Tom Newman (July), Peter Cook (July), Nick Saloman (The Bevis Frond), Ade Shaw (Hawkwind, Hawklords, and The Bevis Frond), Judy Dyble, Anton Barbeau, Ilona V, Brian Rushbrooke (Stemroach), Cary Grace, Us & Them, Gregory Curvey (The Luck of Eden Hall), Jack Ellister, Steve Palmer (Mooch), Mordecai Smyth, and Tony Durant (Fuschia). Keith’s guidelines to Icarus were basically include as many guests as possible and to perform some old songs, new songs, and borrowed songs. The recording was done in The Honey Pot’s Devon studio with the guest contributors trading their parts back and forth over the internet, except for Cary Grace who joined them over a weekend to sing with Crystal Jacqueline. The double LP contains fourteen different songs and a range of styles. Disc One opens with a cover of Stemroach’s “1969” including an intro narrative and then vocals by James Lowe to accompany the acid jamming organ and electric guitar. The next song is another Stemroach cover, “Solomon Deep.” Stemroach’s drummer Brian Rushbrooke joins The Honey Pot on bongos along with some cheesy organ to create a hard rocking cover tune. The third song is updated version of The Honey Po’s “Love Is Green” from their first album. It opens with acoustic guitar and Crystal Jacqueline’s beautiful vocals. In the second half Jack Ellister enters with excellent electric guitar to propel this song into acid jam territory. Then we take a step back in time for a cover of the Orange Machine’s “Dr. Crippen’s Waiting Room” complete with 60s ambiance, Anton Barbeau’s vocals, and some cool cathedral organ runs. Next we have a cover The Rattles’ “Can’t You See the Witch” from 1970. This is an energetic song featuring both Cary Grace’s synths and vocal duet with Crystal Jacqueline. The first new song is the freaky, trippy “Half a Memory” with its kooky organ solo and vocals by July. Next is a tune penned by Dick Taylor “Sitting All Alone.” And if that is not enough to entice you, this exquisite song features the pure vocals of Judy Dyble, Britt (Us & Them), Ilona V, and Crystal Jacqueline in four part harmony. This song by itself is a testament to the loving care The Honey Pot put into the production, coordinating multiple inputs into this one song. Disc one closes with a Mordecai Smyth song from his first album, “I’ve Been So Tired.” This song starts out sonically different from all that has gone before in that there is an industrial feel to the intro. It then develops into an excellent and trippy psychedelic jam of guitar, saxophone, and keyboards. Disc Two opens with a cover of a Stray song, “Time Machine.” This song features a fantastic guitar solo by Nick Salomon and bass by Ade Shaw. The song starts out slow and then Nick steps the tempo up with his playing in the middle break. The music slows back down only to rev up again as the song rushes to its end. The next song is a reimagining of Icarus Peel’s "The Wasted Spaceman” from Sing!! by Gregory Curvey of The Luck of Eden Hall. Gregory took it upon himself to make the song more upbeat, change the lyrics to “The Lucky Spaceman,” and make it his own. Then The Honey Pot presents a dreamy atmospheric cover of Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “Rainy Day, Mushroom Pillow.” The Mid-Eastern motif from Mooch and the electric piano and harpsichord give this song a West Coast psych treatment, even resembling “Riders on the Storm.” Then The Honey Pot presents an ambitious cover of Keith Emerson’s “America” from The Nice’s Ars Longa Vita Brevis. Having listened to Emerson’s keyboard licks on this song since 1968, I find it difficult to separate my expectations from what I hear on this track. Keyboardist John Wyatt tries his best. Though his performance may be note perfect, some notes seem to be held slightly too long, and overall it lacks the punch provided by the maestro. Next is a re-recording of The Honey Pot’s “Into the Deep” released earlier this year on Mega Dodo. This new version is twice the length of the original and features Bruce Wooley. This song has a very strong West Coast Doors influence, as well as a Jules Verne sci-fi ambiance. There are swooping Theremin sounds and tasteful electric piano to carry you drifting away at the end of the song. And the disc ends with a brand new song “River Runs By.” Icarus came up with a chord sequence based on Nick Drake’s “River Man” and sent that to Tony Durant in Australia. Tony was fascinated by the sequence and then asked for the lyrics and melody, only to be told that it was his job. The result is a pastoral singer-songwriter ballad with acoustic guitar, violin, and piano with a retro vibe drawing obvious comparisons to Nick Drake. This beautiful song is over before you know it. It is just too short! I have to say that Ascending Scales is a wonderful celebration of turning 100. It is hard to believe that FdM is only eight years old. They have firmly planted themselves in the musical community. Now we can only forward to the next 100 releases. Congratulations!
Henry Schneider, Expose
HERE

US AND THEM - DWINDLING WITHIN THE FADING SUN

★★★★ If that vogueish Scandi phrase hygge can be represented in purely sonic terms,then Swedish duo Us And Them capture the vibe perfectly. This is music to sink in to,as warm and welcoming as a blazing hearth in deepest winter.This is FdM’s first 10”, and a fine release it is too, featuring a handful of songs associated with Sandy Denny,constructed around sparse, warm, mostly acoustic arrangements, overlaid with breathy, close-miked vocals from Britt,who seems to be whispering sweet intimations rather than simply singing.This is alluringly beautiful stuff, sounds and voices hanging in the air like chilled,frost-touched breath.
Shindig! magazine

This coloured 10” vinyl is out now on Fruits de Mer Records. It's a five-track tribute to Sandy Denny featuring three Denny-penned tracks and two more songs she made her own. Anyone doubting that Us and Them can due justice to the music of Sandy Denny need only check out the 7” they released a couple of years back which contained a sterling cover of 'By The Time It Gets Dark'. As we approach the solstice, the sun is dwindling it does indeed get dark early. I can't think of a better soundtrack for to accompany the midwinter stillness. My advice – avoid the High Street madness, do your shoppong online (from Fruits de Mer reputable mail order service), find a quiet spot and let this music take its effect. It's a perfect piece of wintry folk, and another jewel in the Fruits de Mer catalogue. Just right for those moments of quiet reflection, when you take stock of the preceeding year and charge your batteries for the next 12 months. Have a great solstice everyone.
Harmonic Distortion
HERE

Swedish band US & THEM consist of the duo of Britt Rönnholm and Anders Håkanson, and together they aim to create, explore and release “fragile, dreamy, otherworldly music”. They have done so on two full albums and half a dozen of EPs so far. “Fading Within the Dwindling Sun” is the most recent of the latter, and was released as a 10 inch vinyl album by UK label Fruits de Mer Records towards the end of 2016.
Fruits de Mer Records are known for inviting artists to recreate the psychedelic music of yesteryear, and in this case we’re treated to an EP consisting of five songs from Sandy Denny’s repertoire. Songs Sandy made her own, some penned by her, one by Richard Thompson and one traditional tune. I understand that Sandy Denny is quite the name in the right circles, and as she is also listed as an inspiration by Us & Them I rather guess this has been a challenging task due to that context.
I’ll have to acknowledge that the originals are not items all that known and precious to me, but my impression is that Us & Them have made a good job: This is an entertaining and well made EP, and one the band can be proud of in it’s own right.
Of the five tracks here, three are shorter creations with a clear and distinct singer/songwriter foundation, and I suspect they were made with merely the acoustic guitar and vocals in mind. On this occasion each of them have been lightly flavored with orchestration details, adding depth and emotional impact, with concluding cut Take Away the Load also featuring a sequence I’d describe as pastoral.
The two long cuts on this EP expands the canvas ever so slightly. While clearly folk-oriented in style and perhaps also with something of a singer/songwriter foundation, these have been broadly expanded to include not just orchestration details but also a liberal array of fleeting, mystical and ever so slightly exotic sounds. Neatly and carefully done I should add, and flavoring these compositions with a distinct psychedelic sound and presence.
The soft, slightly cold and careful vocals of Britt Rönnholm is the delicate presence that really gives life to these songs, the almost ethereal chill breeze of her voice giving these songs a distinct identity. On the one song where Anders Håkanson joins her, his dark, smooth and calmly warm voice comes across as a perfect supplemental contrast.
Careful, well made and delicate music is what Us & Them provides with their versions of Sandy Denny’s music. All of them operating out from a singer/songwriter foundation, expanded either by orchestra details or more elaborate yet careful psychedelic textures. Those who finds that description compelling or merely have an interest in artists covering the material of Sandy Denny might want to take note of this EP.
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2017/01/16/us-and-them-dwindling-within-the-fading-sun-2016/

Just in time for Christmas Sweden’s Us & Them have a new color vinyl ten inch on Fruits de Mer. And quite an ambitious one as they cover five different songs by the iconic Sandy Denny. Attempting to cover a song belonging to Sandy is dangerous as it will immediately draw comparisons. Fortunately Britt’s pure and breathy voice adds a new dimension to these songs along with the acid folk reinterpretation. The disc opens with a Fotheringay song “Winter Winds.” Sandy’s vocals on the original were a bright light. In contrast Us & Them’s cover adds a darker and sadder feel to this delicate and eerie song. The next is Richard Thompson’s “Farewell, Farewell” that is so similar to Pentangle’s “Willy O’Winsbury.” What Us & Them have done is taken this beautiful song and enhanced it with Andy Settenham’s Mellotron. The third song, “Next Time Around,” is from Sandy’s solo album North Star Grassman and the Ravens. This is another dark introspective cover with violins and drones. The traditional “Banks of the Nile” from Fotheringay is next. This song is one of the best known ballads arising out of the British campaigns against Napoleon. It is a touching song about a young woman wanting to go to sea with her man. He prevents her by taking shelter behind Naval regulations. When Sandy sang this song, she sang all the verses. Us & Them change it up by having Britt sing the girl’s part and Anders sing the sailor’s. And contributing to this painful parting of ways, Us & Them layer on more Mellotron and bass clarinet. The last song “Take Away the Load” is a song by Sandy written for Dave Swarbick and only appeared as a demo, though Swarbrick did eventually release it on Fairport's Gottle O’Geer. This final exquisite song is the shortest on the disc. Their cover brings a tear to your eye. If you step back and separate yourself from your Sandy Denny prejudices, you will find great joy in this release. And for those unfamiliar with Sandy Denny, you can approach this release with a wide open mind and enjoy the music by itself.
Henry Schneider, Expose
HERE

More incoming Fruits de Mer loveliness, this time I think I’m in saying, the labels first 10-inch release – indeed it is I’ve just specced the press release, pressed upon which you’ll find Us and Them entrancing one and all across five sonic interpretations of songs once upon a time gracefully touched by Sandy Denny. I’ll admit on a personal note that I did fear for this release, its not so much that Denny covers are a sometimes perilous and foolhardy venture as the press release so rightly notes, its more to do with the fact that across five tracks the attention stakes are set high and well let’s be honest Denny purists are a critical and fickle lot and anything less than mercurial would be deemed a failure. Its okay and plausible to have a stab at maybe one track, but five is an audacious order to undertake and as much as we’ve tried to find fault to criticise, this set is so stunningly crafted that you’d be hard pushed to prize a cigarette paper between the tracks to decide your favourite. I’ll be honest we’ve listened to this twice through, the first time it was all woos, coos and aah’s with each passing track having us furiously scribbling out and switching our ‘best track’ allegiances. Second listen, the fear now gone, you’re able to sit down and enjoy the delicacy of the magic unfurling within. From the moment the ghostly florals of ‘winter winds’ usher in you are immediately struck by the lightness of touch of the musical craft and the tender siren like tones of Britt’s demur, its something that crystalises eloquently on the chasing track for adored with a hymnal phrasing, ‘farewell, farewell’ has that breezily cosy autumnal toning perfect for the coming season to which just fills you with an inner fuzzy glow. Matters shift a pace in terms of creative perspective with the appearance of the spellbinding ‘next time around’ – a frost chimed crystal tipped floral posy who minimalist murmurings touch to form an enchanted circle with broadcast, beautify junkyards and lake ruth, utterly beguiling. And while you busy yourself picking up your jaw from the floor along ghosts the exquisitely breathless fragile and shy eyed love note ‘banks of the nile’ to softly serenade and captivate, quite something else and quite possibly the finest nine minutes you’ll hear all year. Its left to ‘take away the load’ to round out the set’ all at once intimate and giving, though at this point your pretty much past caring, bewitched as you are by the rich lush harvest pressed upon these affectionately crafted grooves. When you consider the wealth of releases and the names who’ve graced the label – the pretty things, soft hearted scientists, beau, vibravoid, the chemistry set et al, as impeccable and illustrious the FdM back catalogue is, this might just well be the finest thing they’ve put out to date.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
HERE

This is a forthcoming 10″ EP (the first for the label) of US and THEM interpreting tracks by the much missed muse Sandy Denny. The band have spent the last year working on the 5 tracks that make up this EP and give Sandy’s work a new twist adding to the sheer brilliance of the material that Sandy originally recorded. Banks of the Nile was always my favourite Sandy song (recorded originally by her band Fotheringay) and as much as I want to like what the band have done to the song here there seems to be something lost in this version (maybe because I am so familiar with the original and use it to introduce Novice’s to Sandy’s illustrious back catalogue). No complaints whatsoever though about the remaining 4 numbers and the band are to be congratulated for their thoughtfulness in the arrangements.
I love everything this band have put out
A Box Of Dreams
HERE

SENDELICA (with Lou Palmer and Marc Swordfish) - NITE FLIGHTS

I discovered the genius that is Scott Walker originally through a Marc and The Mambas LP (track was Big Louise). Back then it was nigh on impossible tracking down Scott Walker solo LPs. Next up I found a copy of Julian Cope’s compilation “Fire Escape in the Sky” – The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker which was a release on the Zoo label. This disc turned up in a little record shop in Tamworth long since gone. The track “Big Louise” knocked me off my feet and the compilation laid me out flat! The godlike genius that is Scott Walker finally gets the Sendelica/Fruits de Mer treatment What we have here then to the uninitiated is a Walker Brothers track from their final album they made together. The disc itself from what I recall came after the success of the band when they re-grouped for “No Regrets”. This track came from the follow up album released a couple of years later entitled “Nite Flights” Dark, Brooding, Essential and the B side contains the song re-worked in a tabla mix by Astralasia’s Swordfish. This will sell fast folks. If you’re a fan of Scott there is much to enjoy here and does the man proud. More please…
A Box Of Dreams
HERE

Welsh spacerockers Sendelica greet you this Christmas season with a cover of Scott Walker’s (The Walker Brothers) “Nite Flights” from 1978. On the original song you get an appreciation for how much he influenced David Bowie. However Sendelica takes this song and blows the roof off with their psychedelic wall of sound and high energy to create something entirely different and quite enjoyable. The A side is their cover clocking in at 5:49. And on the flip side is Astralasia’s tabla mix of “Nite Flights” (6:47), which takes the song in another completely different direction. You would not even know that this is the same song. Astralasia add saxophone to the mix making me think of Jerry Rafferty. This is a great release and worthy of Fruits de Mer
Henry Schneider, Expose
HERE

originally appearing on the fractured last album by the Walker Brothers – a set by all accounts described by All Music as ‘taking you down an alleyway, stripping you and then running off wearing one of your socks on its head whilst singing songs from ‘South Pacific’ or something similar to that effect – if I hadn’t heard it previously I’d be chomping at the proverbial bit right now. The title track ‘Nite flights’ was one of a quartet of cuts penned by Scott Walker for the album, in retrospect in terms of mood and execution it gave hint as to the direction a solo Scott would later venture. Covered by both Bowie and the Fatima Mansions in the 90’s, it now gets an overdue re-appraisal by the Welsh answer to the Acid Mothers, Sendelica who pour light onto its shadowy framing and set about lushly toning its fragile detailing into a seductively tripping senses overloading orchestral cosmic whirlwind amid whose mystical mists are devilishly demurred the kind of psychotropic mind morphing mosaics that were once the trademark ear candy attaching to both curved air and Jefferson airplane platters of yore. Over on the flip the same track, though this time remodelled through the mind expansive lens of Astralasia who set about giving it a ‘tabla’ trimming into the bargain stripping it down to its bare essentials and hooking it up with transcendental turbos that allure and seduce to an intoxicating hypno grooved haze of smoking swarthy shimmering. Due December time, the release comes in limited quantities of coloured wax all accompanied by three postcards depicting alternate sleeve designs.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
HERE

Their new single, which is December 12, 2016 on 7 "colored vinyl through the Fruits de Mer Records label appears, is called" Nite Flights "and a cover of a Scott Walker song, which is on the last album of the Walker Brothers. the a-side is the single performance of" Nite Flights "and in it I hear the band a brilliant blend of pop and space rock play, which also has slight progressive jazz influences (listen to some of this number through the youtube link below the review), while the B-side to hear the Astralasia tabla mix, said Swordfish of Astralasia the band a helping hand crossed and in this I will be presented with a fantastic danceable progressive instrumental version of this song, which as I tabla suspect is one of the main instruments in this song. "Nite Flights" of Sendelica contains two wonderful performances of this song and I can fans of progressive rock and space rock, this single also heartily recommend.
Carry Munter, New Underground Music
HERE

STATIC CARAVAN SPLIT 7"

Having established itself in the brotherhood of independent vinyl labels, this December Fruits de Mer releases its first split single with another independent label, Static Caravan. The FdM side features cuts by long-time label artist Jack Ellister and new band The Insektlife Cycle. The Static Caravan side features cuts by the Art of the Memory Palace and Cheval Sombre. Jack Ellister contributes the lo-fi neo pop psych song “Reminder” with reversed tapes, other manipulations, guitars, and synths. The Insektlife Cycle is a Philippine instrumental / progressive / psychedelic rock band. Their “Sleepcrawler” is from their upcoming debut album Neonderthal due out by the end of 2016 on China’s Weary Bird Records. This instrumental track is a trippy surf rock tune with a Hawaiian influence. Art of the Memory Palace provide an instrumental Euro synth pop track full of crystalline sounds. Cheval Sombre is a one-man band providing a dark gothic / acid folk reading of Sam Cooke’s classic “A Change Is Gonna Come.” This release is an odd collection of music and artists, but a great introduction to both labels.
Henry Schneider, Expose magazine
HERE

A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN

PLANKTON - CD REISSUE

back in the day when we were all so much younger, some of us hairier, a fledging label took root initially dovetailing its elder sibling Bracken records. It was a quiet affair, there was promise of sounds hinted in krautrock, psychedelic and progressive phrasings, the latter being a genre that over the proceding years had come to be accepted albeit cautiously welcomed after years of exile by the music press fashionista, an acceptance one suspects begrudgeoned by a realisation that what emerged on their favourite sons (Radiohead) ‘hail to the thief’ full length was summed up by the careful albeit stark evaluation that if it sounded prog, looked prog and pretty much walked prog then the chances were, all things being accepted, that it was prog. Of course I’m being flippant here, there had been many crossovers alluding to progs heritage – both post rock and a lot of the trippy ambient / club sounds of the early 90’s clealy owed a debt. However, back to the script. Fruits de Mer seamlessly took over the harnesses from Bracken records, its first release was by a much adored New York based psyched out collective by the name of Schizo Fun Addict who themselves had pretty much taken up residence on the former labels enviable roster. Several years down the line and with a landmark 100th release looming large (Honey Pot’s ‘ascending scales’), fruits de mer have since established a reputation that’s second to none, compared to the classic labels of yore – vertigo, island and charisma, the label has built up a formidable back catalogue of vinyl releases. And perhaps this is the key to their success – that vinyl element and bloody mindedness to stay faithful to a medium that was still largely ignored in the early days of the label. Add to that, and much in tune with labels such as Static Caravan and Polytechnic Youth, its run by a record collecting fan, who by the very nature of being a fan knows exactly what another like minded fan wants / expects – therefore we’ve had limited editions, factory cock upping coloured vinyl variations, test pressings, flexi discs, cassettes – one version if I recall rightly even including a walkman, box sets, lathes, freebies for early bird orderers, a subscribers club, festivals and more. More than a label, a family. One of fruits de mer’s earliest supporters, the esteemed Record Collector, went as far as to press up a limited edition release as part of their record club, that gathered together several key note early outings from the label. The set entitled ‘plankton’ has long since been sought after not only because of its relative scarcity but also for the fact that it gives the opportunity to revisit those sold out releases (most of whom fetch upwards of £50 a shot these days) however, through careful negotiation the label has been given permission for a limited pressing of 300 CD’s to be made. A remastered 11 song strong rich picking through the first dozen or so singles including everything from the original wax pressing of ‘plankton’ even down the rogue Pretty Things live nugget that came pressed on the sets one-sided seven-inch bonus cut. This compilation comes housed in a gatefold digi sleeve replete with extensive liner notes penned by head honcho Keith and heads out with the acid psych swing of Schizo Fun Addict’s superb rendition of ‘theme one’ – originally penned by George Martin, for many years it was the fanfare marking the start of broadcasting for Radio 1 until later being hoodwinked by Van der Graaf Generator as their own, left in the hands of the Schizo trippers this overlooked classic assumes an acutely cooled groove that sits somewhere between the Walking Seeds ‘bad orb…’ and John Cameron’s macabre ‘psychomania’ theme. Next up, frequent FdM flyers and soft psych alchemists Stay get all chill tipped and woozy with the sitar laced mesmerina of Strawberry Alarm Clock’s ‘rainy day, mushroom pillow’ here oozed in all manner of head tripping 60’s lazy eyed bliss kissing Hammond hued hullucinogenia. Then it’s off into psychedelic oblivion courtesy of two happenings from Vibravoid, the first a neatly psychotropic take on Amon Duul II’s freaky ‘eye shaking king’ is given the trademark hairy beatnik treatment emerging out of the other side as though its fallen through a bad tripping Butthole Surfers wormhole, however its way they do to the Floyd’s ‘set the controls for the heart of the sun’ that might just lift the preverbial wigs clean off your third eye channelling headspace, so warped and out there we fear some space cadets may well never return to normality. Whatever haoppened to hausfrauen experiment is a question wwe’ve long pondered on many a sleepless night, for early in 2010 they dropped off a killer 4 track covers EP – notable for a killer version of the Silver Apples ‘oscillations’ – however it was their smoking and somewhat subtly sleazy and slinkily seductive starry eyed disco-fied take on Eno’s ‘baby’s on fire’ that had us all agog and swooning in the aisles – very Cobra Killer all said. Anyone will tell you that covering Nick Drake is a cautious thing given that in their original form they are as near to perfection as you could wish. ‘day is done’ is one such track from the toppermost essential part of the hallowed Drake canon here covered once upon a time with much aplomb by Mellow Candle-r Alison O’Donnell whose ghostly rustic and dream charming application drew to its formidable faint and fragile palette a supernatural kiss. In many respects it was Mark Fry’s remodelling of his own acid folk nugget ‘dreaming with Alice’ that marked the label out as being not only special, but a player quick to establish a unique niche in an over populated underground label market, perhaps into the bargain giving hint as to its direction, pull and visioning – this track being a cornerstone of the aforementioned acid folk scene and claearly a forefather and influence of the magical Nick Nicely. Those fancying enchantment unbounded may do well to fast track your way through the track listing to the adoring pastoral psych folk of Us and Them’s take on tudor lodge’s ‘home to stay’ while many – the types not quite in the know – may snigger at the thought of a Bee Gees cover – snobs that they are but let us put things into perspective here, prior to going disco the Gibbs were master alchemists of the song craft, their debut full length is certainly deserving of re-assessment which while you’re there you’d be doing yourself a favour tucking in everything up to ‘trafalgaer’ for an eye raising earful. Enough with the lecturing, step up to the plate the Sidewalk Society – taken from the labels first – game changing – full length ‘a phase we’re going through’ these dudes take up the Gibbs ‘red chair, fade away’ and endow it with fracture toning shimmers of freakbeat wooziness while from the same album an early visit from the Chemistry Set found them breathing new life into Del Shannon’s forgotten tear stained gem ‘silver birch’ leaving the pretty things to wrap up matters with much gusto with a ripping live take of the strut sassy rock-a-hula ‘midnight to six man’. Did I mention it was essential, what was that – I didn’t – well it’s essential.
the inestimable Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
HERE

Approximately 2 years ago now I would guess, Fruits de Mer records in collaboration with Record Collector magazine put out a disc through the magazines limited edition modern collectibles club. That first in RC’s ‘Modern Collectibles’ series has now been made available on CD directly from the label. Now as you probably already know the earlier releases on the album are these days rarer than hens teeth. I have attached the full track listing below and must say as a collector of the label myself all of the material on the disc was totally new to me and therefore an essential purpose as there is so much to enjoy on here. Remember those Island LPs such as “You Can All Join In”, “Nice Enough to Eat”, “Bumpers” and “El Pea”. Look on this release as something akin to them albeit on CD this time. The disc contains a re-mastered selection of tracks that were originally put out in the fledgling days of Fruits de Mer. There are apparently 300 copies of this disc produced and available now from the Fruits de Mer website for the ludicrously low sum of £6 inc P&P in the UK elsewhere you will need to enquire re. postage costs. FULL track listing…. Theme One (George Martin) – Schizo Fun Addict (from FdM Vol 1) Rainy Day, Mushroom Pillow (Strawberry Alarm Clock) – Stay (from FdM 3) Eye Shaking King (Amon Duul II) – Vibravoid (from FdM 6) Day Is Done (Nick Drake) – Alison O’Donnell, with Head South By Weaving (from FdM 2) Dreaming With Alice (Mark Fry) – Mark Fry, with Nick Franglen (from FdM 5) Home To Stay (Tudor Lodge) – Us and Them (from FdM 8) Red Chair, Fade Away (The Bee Gees) – Sidewalk Society (from FdM 11) Silver Birch (Del Shannon) – The Chemistry Set (from FdM 11) Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (Pink Floyd) – Vibravoid (from FdM 10) Baby’s On Fire (Eno) – Hausfrauen Experiment (from FdM 12) PLUS BONUS track ‘Midnight to Six Man’ – The Pretty Things (EXCLUSIVE live version – originally included with the LP as a one-sided 7″)
There’s not one duff track on the disc (my personal faves are “Day is Done” and “Set the Controls”. If you are thinking of dipping your toes into the label for the first time, this makes an excellent place to start or could make a great Christmas present for someone as a stocking filler.
A Box Of Dreams
HERE

VIBRAVOID - IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA

let's kick off with German tough acid eaters Vibravoid delivering a distant-yet-upfront version of the Iron Butterfly rusty lump of sheet psych. Oh, that dodgy organ again; a highly distorted riff grinding much of the way through the song, and the sort of drum solo you thought the world had forgot, though this does at least keep time and is somehow curiously melodic and, gasp, enjoyable. The record's about a quarter of an hour long and split, 60s style, across two sides. That's authentic, and so are Vibravoid
Ian McCann, editor, Record Collector

Vibravoid’s fearless cover of the Iron Butterfly classic ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’...Ten glorious minutes of psychedelic freakery spread over two sides of coloured vinyl. It’s pretty much as you’d expect– crazed, Phantom Of The Opera organ and heavy fuzz-guitar riffs riding over that famous, repetitive groove, with a drum solo which phases and fades out nicely at the end of Side One. All this and a gatefold sleeve too. Utterly mad, but in a good way.
Shindig! magazine

Europe's leading psychedelic acid rock band Vibravoid has been playing Iron Butterfly's lenghty hard rocking 1968 hit song "In-A-Gadda-da-Vida" live for some time now and also released their live version on Loudness for the Masses 2LP last year. With their psychedelic groove, mind-bending sound effects, druggy vocals, mind-warping guitar and talented, authentic 60s sounding organ player the track is somewhat perfect for Vibravoid to cover. In August they will also release this heavy psych monster on a limited seven-inch single as a studio version! The track has been edited down to "just" ten minutes and divided as Part 1 and Part 2 for two sides of the single. But don't worry, there's even a short drum solo in there finishing Part 1 as well as psychedelic jamming so the vibe is intact! The sound is totally amazing and you just can't help grooving to these catchy melodies and punchy rhythms. I'm in love! Get this single fast or you will miss out on a real gem.
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone
HERE

This classic Iron Butterfly track has been a standard in the Vibravoid set for a while. I only saw them perform it once. Vibravoid are a band that are very good at doing cover versions and this is no exception. A very strongly organ driven version and also including a drum solo… Great stuff.. what more can I say!! Everyone knows this song!
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
HERE

It is always risky to cover an iconic song, as it invariably draws comparisons to the original. Not one to shy away from iconic psychedelic treasures, Vibravoid’s Christian Koch has incorporated Iron Butterfly’s classic “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida” in their live performance for some time. This August sees the release of a studio version on Fruits de Mer. Back in 1968 Iron Butterfly released two versions of this song, an edited single and the side-long 16 minute version with the amazing drum, organ, and guitar solos. Vibravoid have created a shortened version that spans the two sides of the 7 inch, for a total of ten minutes. I listened to the Iron Butterfly so much in 1968 that I have effectively memorized the song, so much so that I cannot help but focus on where Vibravoid misses the boat, rather than enjoy this new version. The guitar work is exemplary, as well as the drums (although there are some shortcomings with the cloned drum solo) and the organ work. What I have difficulty getting passed is Christian’s vocals. They just do not capture Doug Ingle’s testosterone-laden mellifluous baritone. But for those of you who are much younger than I, you won’t have this same bias and will be able to enjoy this new release. Kudos to Vibravoid to taking on this challenge!
Henry Schneider, Expose magazine
HERE

It’s not the longest version of the old Butterfly chest beater you’re ever going to hear… fifteen minutes, split across two sides of the single, in fact, feels like a radio edit, and torments the mind with visions of an even longer version that lurks in the crypt of Castle Vibravoid, shifting restlessly, growling softly, just waiting for the moment when…. Enough. Fifteen minutes is quite sufficient for a 45 and what was “In-a-Gadda” anyway, but a great idea for a three minute single, with a bloody great drum solo stuck in the middle? The percussives are here as well, a-rattling and a-clattering across the final two minutes or so of side one, and they’ll be back in the middle of side two as well. Love them at your peril.
But still it’s hard to escape the grip of the gadda or even the vice of the vida, because every passing moment brings you that little bit closer to “normal service” being resumed. And that’s a riff with spider legs, a bass line that slips like banana skins on ice, and a lyric that makes the Ramones’ “gabba gabba hey” sound positively old-fashioned.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
HERE

SIDEWALK SOCIETY

Meanwhile, over in California, Sidewalk Society are also trawling the 60s, with very different results. Two Bowie songs, two from The Action, neither necessarily the tunes you'd most obviously choose. Strange Roads becomes a tad Hendrixy, all wah-wahed riffery and splashing cymbals, though the vocals would suit independent US rock. Look At The View is equally retro-modern. Can't Help Thinking About Me is all splashes of fire and energy, a bit first album Who, with Nicky Hopkins there on the joanna. I'm hearing early Move on Let Me Sleep Beside You thanks to the guitar sound and Denny Cordell-styled, everything upfront production.
Very nice.
Ian McCann, editor, Record Collector

California’s Sidewalk Society offer up a quartet of choice cuts from Bowie and The Action, focussing on a couple of early obscurities from the former, which makes a nice change from yet another ‘Starman’ cover. It’s difficult to strike a balance with this kind of thing between slavish impersonation and heartfelt tribute. Sidewalk Society get it just about right, with an authentic ’60s/’70s sound, which sounds well-intentioned and quite sublime. The Action’s ‘Strange Roads’ is a favourite, with its carefully-arranged layers of guitar: full, ringing chords, hallucinatory shimmer and fuzzy lead. Their stripped-back, no-nonsense approach pays dividends here – a worthwhile tribute to both artists
Shindig! magazine

Four songs strong, two Action classics and a pair of Bowie oldies, Sidewalk Society’s customary clatter through the authentic barrage of sixties Britbeat might well have hit its peak (so far) here. Recorded before Ziggy fell in January, the two Bowie songs both hail from his sixties struggles. But “Can’t Help Thinking About Me” (originally released on FdM’s Bowie covers album last year) and “Let Me Sleep Beside You” not only capture precisely the sound that Bowie was seeking when he himself revisited choice oldies (including “Sleep”) for his unreleasedToy album, but also that which he might have enacted had he cut them both with the Mannish Boys. Or, for that matter, for Pin Upsi. Lesser-known, but just as fine, are two cuts from the Action catalog, a storming “Look at the View,” that expertly recaptures the original’s farsighted freakbeatery even as it casts itself as the missing link between the Who and the Misunderstood; and “Strange Roads” – the last track on the EP, and maybe the best as well – adds the early Jam to the brew, and makes you wonder why the Action were never the biggest band in the world.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
HERE

Although originating from sunny California, Sidewalk Society certainly seems to be obsessed with 60s UK psych. They have previously released one digital album and one album on vinyl and CD with all original tracks as well as one cover 7" on Fruits de Mer and taken part in several FdM cover compilations as well. This four-track 7" EP that will be released next month features four songs penned by young David Bowie, one of this power trio's greatest heroes. For your information, the tracks were recorded way before our Star faded away from this plane. "Can't Help Thinking About Me" was originally released on a single by David Bowie with The Lower Third in 1965. It's a great, energetic early mod/freakbeat track that sounds quite a lot like The Who, and Sidewalk Society do a great job on it. Their version was previously released on the rare "members-only" Bowie compilation on Fruits de Mer. "Look at the View" by The Action (an early band of Bowie's) is a bit more cheerful and happy, not bad at all. "Let Me Sleep Besides You" (single track from 1967) is an atmospheric mid-tempo pop track that somehow brings to mind The Moody Blues. Well done, once again. The EP is finished with "Strange Roads", another The Action mod/psych tune that also works splendidly. So in summary, this one is a must for Bowie fanatics and Fruits de Mer collectors alike!
DJ Astro, The Psychotropic Zone HERE

THE FdM GUIDE TO THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE

"Fruits de Mer face that famed pub quiz question: which country rock band wrote the theme tune to the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy? Their answer is three versions of the ditty, by Astralasia (kosmische future-past Euroweird), Icarus Peel (psych dub in space) and Blue Zeta Giant Puppies (Hawkwind vs The Ventures). All those answers are wrong, chaps, but they were fun to hear and each highly distinct. The 7" comes with a CD of more cuts and other Dented Buggeration. Don't panic"
Ian McCann, editor, Record Collector

Summer’s here, and those nice boys and girls at the ever-reliable Fruits de Mer label have come up with another batch of delights to keep us occupied during the current heatwave/Autumnal blast (delete according to current weather conditions).... First up is ‘Journey Of TheSorcerer’, in which a trio of FdM regulars explore a well-known ’70s sci-fi TV theme tune which should be all-too familiar to Shindiggers. Astralasia’s take is all space-rock guitars and synths wrapped around an almost anthemic Jean-MichelJarre-style extravaganza, which should really come with its own laser show. Icarus Peel, by contrast, take a more laid back approach, slow, spacey guitars, keys and occasional flute floating weightlessly against a steady pulse. Blue Giant Zeta Puppies opt for a rumbling, bassy metronomic rhythm, anchoring some rudimentary Dave Brock guitar soloing. All copies come with a bonus CD of extra stuff that didn’t come with the press promo, so if you want to know what that sounds like, you’ll have to buy the single.
Shindig! magazine

Also known as the Fruits de Mer Records guide to the hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy.. Yes.. 3 bands doing the same but very different versions of the song, Journey to the Sorcerer featured in the intro to the UK TV series. Astralasia starts things off with a drum machine and keyboard oriented version. Icarus Peel do a completey different and very laid back and spacey version until the end part where there is some great guitar playing. Cool stuff… Blues Giant Zeta Puppies play their version kind of like a mix of the first two bands.
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
HERE

I was never an Eagles fan. They were too mainstream for my tastes. So I had no idea that the BBC used their one excursion into space rock, “Journey of the Sorcerer,” as the theme music to the TV dramatization of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Fast forward 40 years and this summer Fruits de Mer decided to try something completely different rather than merely featuring Eagles covers. They enlisted FdM regulars Astralasia, Icarus Peel, and the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies to create three wildly different cover interpretations of The Eagles' tune. In addition to the 7-inch single, FdM is also including a bonus CD of remixes of The Eagle’s track plus another version by the Quantum Surf Rocket Garage Dolls that could not fit on the vinyl. The CD also contains new music by Astralasia and Sendelica’s Pete Bingham. However, the CD tracks were not provided with the promo copy, so we will all have to wait for the August release to hear the bonus music. The 7-inch proudly kicks off with Astralasia’s repurposing of the theme liberally using the VCFs and VCOs on their analog synths to create an abstract intro. Then they launch into the theme with a heavy beat that propels the entire energetic piece for some great prog-psych music. The tune ends with sped up voices saying, “So long and thanks for all the fish.” In stark contrast is Icarus Peel’s slow and quiet version. He uses wah-wah guitar and a voice slowed down to a growl. For the bulk of the track it is hard to detect that this is a version of “Journey of the Sorcerer.” About two thirds in, there is a great Hammond organ solo that leads into the theme. The third version by the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies relies on a bass riff similar to “Peter Gunn.” All three are quite different and quite fun to experience.
Henry Schneider, Expose magazine
HERE

A follow-up of sorts to the EP of TV themes that highlighted FdM’s output a few years ago, three very different takes on the theme to that most beloved of early eighties sci fi shows – which, in turn, started life as an instrumental on the fourth Eagles album. Yes, it’s “Journey of the Sorcerer,” as seen through the ears of Astralasia… virulent electronics, redolent of an acid-housed rewiring of the theme from Doctor Who; Icarus Peel… stripped down spacey sounds, eerie and so open-ended that, even after it’s finished, it’s still going on; and the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, who turn it into a sunburned and blistered surf instrumental, with more than a hint of Peter Gunn on the prowl. All we need is a few verses of Vogon poetry, and we’d never see the world in the same way again. Neither does the fun end there. Three tracks on the single are appended by a bonus CD of remixes, another version of the theme by the most impressively-named Quantum Surf Rocket Garage Dolls, and further cuts by Astralasia and Pete Bingham (of Senedlica). Which Spin Cycle hasn’t heard, but what the hell. One day, all TV themes will sound like this.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
HERE

CARY GRACE/CONSTERDINE - BOWIE LATHE-CUT

Fruits de Mer continue to produce oustanding mega rare releases, this time with a lathe-cut 8″ single of Bowie covers. The set opens with Cary Grace glamming up David’s earthy Black Country Rock with Eno Roxy style synth. Fittingly we then hear Cary’s version of Sound and Vision from David’s magnificent Low album, that wash Cary’s vintage synths with her lovely vocals. This then segues into Consterdine’s sparkling instrumental version of the same track. Only 50 copies are available at the forthcoming Games For May gig on 29 May at the Half Moon, Putney. With Sendelica, The Honey Pot, Magic Bus , Soft Hearted Scientists it should be quite a night.
Jason Barnard, The Strange Brew HERE

JULY 'CAN I GO BACK AGAIN'

"...West London psych obscurists July originally formed in 1968. This new limited edition, colour vinyl seven-inch comprises an extended of a track from their 2013 comeback album Resurrection. Don't be surprised if you hear distinct echoes of Syd-era Pink Floyd, The Move, The Beatles and, yes, Family. Anglo-prog eccentricity at its absolute finest."
Phil Alexander, Mojo magazine

July is one of those late 60s British R & B/blues/psych bands that I have somehow missed listening to until now apart from a few songs on UK psych compilations. They released just one eponymous album and a few 7" singles in 1968 and the original pressing is very rare and unbelievably expensive (2.500£?!?) nowadays. You might have heard some of their songs like "The Way", "Friendly Man", "Dandelion Seeds" or "My Clown". The Second of July was released in the 90's including demos recorded before the first album, and finally the band made a comeback and started to play live shows in 2011 and released a new album Resurrection in 2013. What we have here, is the first 7" by the band since 1968 including an extended version of a song from the 2013 album as well as an unreleased demo version of the same track on B-side. Cool! "Can I Go Back Again" is a song that at first doesn't really sound all that special but slowly gets into your head and you suddenly realize how great it is. The demo version is not overtly different, but a nice addition to the fans to give a work-in-progress vibe. Now I feel like listening to some more July! As always, this 7" released in May will be highly limited so get your orders in right now.
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone HERE

Iconic psychers' triumphant return five years ago led to a series of sold-out gigs and a 2013 reunion album. This single pairs an extended version of one of its tracks with the original demo. Vibrating sitars yield to crashing thunder (literally) and Tom Newman's treated, whispered vocals not far from Marc Bolan's Tyrannosaurian pronouncements (and a distinct improvement on the demo's Roger Champmanesque bleating goat warbles). "Pepper" lightly with Beatlesque guitar pyrotechnics and none-too-subtle lyrical borrowings ("You can't do that", Miami Beach/BOAC" "Talk about the love we share", Counting holes in Lancashire"), drop in some McCartneyesque piano and wake up George for additional sitar accoutrements, and you've got one of the best direct tributes since Barclay James Harvest's 'Titles'! But I do wish they omitted the hip-hopping, "scratchy"y chorus effects at the end and retained the original's original dreamy end ("Time to wind the clock back to '68. July are back")
Jeff Penczak, Shindig!

A familiar name to fans of '60s UK psychedelia, July have made a number of selective live appearances since reforming for their 2011 comeback. And vinyl fans will be happy to hear they have a forthcoming 7” single due out in May on Fruits de Mer Records. 'Can I Go Back Again' is a track from the band's new album Resurrection, but features here in an extended version with the slightly more lo-fi demo version on the flipside. The track opens with a drone and sitar motif before settling into vamped piano chords. Over the hypnotic backing the lyrics pay homage to the heady days of their '60s high watermark via lyrics which list titles of Beatles' songs along with snatches of their lyrics. A simple enough trick and one which on paper shouldn't work. Truth is, as the track progresses you're pulled in by its genuine yearning and simple charm. I get the impression they're not yearning for lost youth as such, more for a lost age of innocence and open possibilities. I think we're all down for that, where do we sign up?
Harmonic Distortion
http://harmonicdistort.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/july-can-i-go-back-again-ltd-colour-7.html

Ignored at the time, July’s meagre canon has, in the intervening 48 or so years benefited from critical evaluation so that their debut album (original copies of which are as rare as proverbial rocking horse droppings and fetch squillions at auction) is now considered something of a classic from that first psychedelic era. Taken from their new album Resurrection, their first since that eponymous 1968 debut, “Can I Go Back Again” is a wistful or perhaps tongue in cheek yearning to travel back and do it all again. To say it could have been a lot worse would be damning it with faint praise, and that would be doing it an injustice. A number of borrowed hooks, lines (good job this isn’t a folk review otherwise we could be talking reels as well) and song titles lend a pleasingly nostalgic air to proceedings, but it’s all underpinned by a strong, vaguely eastern sounding riff which suggests that these guys are not only having fun but could still have something to offer in the here and now (hey that’s another old band, isn’t it?).
Ian Fraser, Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_April_16.htm

July was a underground UK band from the 60s. They disappeared for ages and then came back in 2011 and still play today. There was a great article on them in the Greek Timemazine a couple of years ago. They released a new album of material called Resurrection. The track on this 7” is an extended version of Can I go back Again plus a slightly shorter demo version of the same song from that album. I always have my doubts about people spending their money on something like this as it is a song you already have and now just two slightly longer versions. There is a lot of music out there.. but the collectors follow this label and they have to buy it… The sound production is very clean and modern and not very 60s sounding but the song is a quite cool experimental piece with some strangeness and a bit of throwback feel with sitar twanging mixed with some electric guitar. A cool song for sure. The demo version is more vocal driven and less refined for sure.
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/july-can-i-go-back-again-7-fruits-de.html

CRYSTAL JACQUELINE 'MORNING DEW'

I can’t say I was particularly thrilled to be facing down yet another version of Bonny Dobson’s “Morning Due”, having grown up with the Dead’s typically elastic interpretation and endured with good grace countless others, notably, Bob Plant’s from some years back. It’s some achievement then, that Crystal Jacqueline, aided and abetted by musical and life partner Icarus Peel, manages to breathe fresh life into what can in the wrong hands be a bit of a tired and clichéd old standard. A spoken word intro over a jangling guitar lays the suitably dreamy foundation before the song opens out to us like a radiant bloom. Jacqueline possess one of the best voices on the scene at the moment and when she and the band opens up you can be forgiven for thinking that this were Jefferson Airplane on an extended UK sabbatical and with a much sweeter Grace. Equally tasteful and adept covers of Joe Byrd’s “Moonsong: Pelog” and another oft-covered (with varying success) composition “Sally Go Round The Roses” make up the undercard together with a perfectly delightful and wonderfully strange original by Peel “Ivy”, in some respects the highlight of a hugely impressive and well-crafted EP, which incidentally has been cut at 33rpm so as to fit 16 minutes of magnificent music onto one 7” single.
Ian Fraser, Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_April_16.htm

Jacqueline Bourne's Fruit-ful collaboration with FdM and Icarus Peel continues on this four-track EP, proffering three covers and a Peel original. Bonnie Dobson's title track gets an emotionally draining, dreamy arrangement with shimmering guitars and ferocious drumming. Peel's 'Ivy' is another floater, like dandelion seeds wafting through a meadow on a summer day. The flip replicates the hallucinogenic world of pastoral folk and metaphysical circuses via Bourne's spot-on resurrection of susan de Lange's ethereal vocals on Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies' 'Moonsong : Pelog' , and we wrap up with one of the better reinterpreations of The Jaynetts' 'Sally Go Round The Roses', mixing raga guitar , wah-wah vocals, and tribal drumming into a haunting musical stew that gives Grace and The Great Society's attempt a run for its money"
Jeff Penczak, Shindig!

I've written about Crystal Jacqueline's music before, with her most recent album Rainflower becoming something of a soundtrack to last summer. This four track EP maintains the high standard and contains three well chosen covers and one brand new original song. Jacqueline is ably backed throughout by her partner and musical collaborator Icarus Peel. The EP opens with a five minute version of Bonnie Dobson's 'Morning Dew', stealing it away from its folksy roots and into ethereal dream-pop territory. It's quickly followed by a brand new original song, 'Ivy'. Multi-tracked vocals backed with finger-picked guitar and synth washes, it's short but sweet and bodes well for any future full album plans. The remaining two tracks are well chosen covers of obscurities. (well, obscure to me anyway!) 'Moonsong:Pelog' is so perfectly suited to Jacqueline's voice it could well be mistaken for self-penned but it's actually by written by Joe Byrd and The Field Hippies and first appeared on the band's 1969 LP The American Metaphysical Circus. Rounding off the EP is 'Sally Go Round The Roses', a song by one-hit-wonders The Jaynetts. Eschewing the R&B feel of the original for something more psychedelic and majestic, it's a triumphant end to this four song odyssey. As ever buy with confidence!
Harmonic Distortion
http://harmonicdistort.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/crystal-jacqueline-morning-dew-ep-ltd.html

CJ have made a few releases on this label and are back with a new 7” with four underground tracks all performed with the bands usual skill and excellence. Three are covers. I was quite surprised at the take of Morning Dew. I love the way Warren Haynes does this song and of course know the Grateful Dead version but this is something totally different. The female vocals are very beautiful and passionate and I like the way the keyboards sort of flow in and out and across the track. Ivy is an original track with some beautiful acoustic guitars, floating mellotron like keyboards and multilayered vocals. Moonsong (originally by Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies) is more keyboard oriented with dreamy vocals and a more psychedelic feeling. Sally go Round the Roses closes the 7”. Totally different from the original. Cool band.
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/crystal-jacqueline-morning-dew-7-regal.html

Crystal Jacqueline was in Wiltshire, England born and from an early age she developed her talent and love for music. She performed regularly in and around Bath on, which brought her praise and a valuable experience, and later moved to the south of the country, where she played in several bands, which occurred within and abroad. she lives in Devon with her ​​pig, cats, geese and her partner Icarus Peel, with whom they played together in the band the Honey Pot, which started in 2012 and the beginning consisted of 5 people, but now only consists of:. Crystal Jacqueline - vocals and piano, Icarus Peel - all other instruments and Brian Rushbrooke - drums in 2010, she released her solo debut album "Heal Yourself" by Psyche Dandy Records and 2012 her first album with the Honey Pot, entitled "to the Edge of the World" on the Mega Dodo label. In november 2012 she recorded the EP "A Fairy Tale" by showing three covers: "Cousin Jane" (the Troggs) "A Fairy Tale" (Second Hand), "Play with Fire" (Rolling Stones), which by Fruits de Mer Records was released. Her album "Sun Arise" was introduced in 2013 using the Mega Dodo Records label in the market and contains 16 tracks, including the songs from the EP "a Fairy Tale". Her CD album "Electronic Memory," from 2015, the Honey Pot, appeared in a very limited box edition of 100 pieces and includes a 12 page booklet, 2 postcards and badges. the tracks on the CD whose cover "Hole in My Shoe" Traffic has been published for the first time on CD, previously, in the summer of 2014 by Fruits de Mer Records released on two vinyl EPs . "Rain Flower" is the second album, published its 2015 and this are all the numbers once again written and produced by her husband Icarus Peel. the album was released on May 25 on 180 gram vinyl, with the first 100 copies been accompanied by an A5 poster and to rain flower scented petals and also the album is released in a limited edition as digipack with bonus track "in My Chair". the album's music was heard on May 24 during the occurrence of Crystal Jacqueline & the Honey Pot at the Half Moon in Putney, where she was part of the "Games for May Festival", organized by Mega Dodo Records and Fruits de Mer Records. the LP is the song "Winter Deep" in November 2015 released as a single, while there is also a previously unreleased track, plus a live performance of his hear a song. then, beginning in 2016 became the LP / CD (which 2 are additional songs) "Inside the Whale" the Honey Pot released while only 150 appear from the limited edition 3CD version and includes the album "Inside the Whale", the exclusive live album "Live In London" (recorded performance at the Games for May), the single "Lisa Dreams" plus two bonus tracks and an interview with Icarus Peel and Crystal Jacqueline, the whole is packaged in a special numbered tin with familiar fish. especially for members of the single was also "Lisa Dreams" in a limited edition of 150 copies on colored vinyl the squeezed Mega Dodo Records club and this has also appeared on black vinyl. on May 9, 2016 shows the 7 "33 rpm ​​EP" Morning Dew "in a limited edition on colored vinyl from the Regal Crabomophone label Fruits De Mer Records then stand 4, on which she is assisted by her partner Icarus Peel. the EP starts with "Morning Dew", a gorgeous cover of Bonnie Dobson song, which Crystal Jacqueline's voice quite comes into its own and I will be presented with a beautiful pop song , played at an average tempo and contains some fine tempo. (listen to some of this number through the youtube link below the review) is followed by a composition of Icarus Peel entitled "Ivy" and Crystal Jacqueline herein let me enjoy . a fantastic quiet psychedelic pop song Then they put me back a wonderful light psychedelic song for which "Moon song: Pelog" hot and a cover of the song by Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies and also in this issue the pace is not too high.the last song of the EP is also a cover and be of "Sally Go Round the Roses", which was released by the Jaynetts originally in 1963 and in this song it makes me enjoy a wonderful swinging slightly psychedelic pop song which has a high sing-along limit plus a catchy rhythm. the EP "Morning Dew" Crystal Jacqueline contains four great songs, which are to be run screaming and I can every fan of psychedelic music and better pop, this disc also to recommend wholeheartedly.
New Underground Music (translated from Dutch)
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/review-crystal-jacqueline-morning-dew.html

SENDELICA 'THE CROMLECH CHRONICLES'

West Wales’ finest celebrate ten years of (un)togetherness with the release of this new album, recorded live in the studio back in the summer of 2015. The side-long “The Cromlech Suite” is precisely what we’ve come to love and expect from Pete Bingham and co, 23 minutes of sumptuous psych grooves pitched somewhere between Gong’s more floaty and uplifting moments and Eternal Tapestry at their fluid and languid best, interspersed with some tasty up-tempo cosmic boogie that still owes slightly more to flying teapots than silver machines. The flip side features a rare cover, an excerpt of “Satori” by Flower Travellin’ Band, a dramatic slice of what ought to TV theme tune heaven but of course never was. Bingham’s guitar trades off Lee Relf’s tenor sax and vice-versa to the extent that the hairs on my arms are bristling as I type (the ones that cover the palms of my hands are behaving themselves, honest). “Vellichor” is rather too lush and loungy for my liking, but thankfully “Zenosyne” restores the natural order, a near eastern, not to mention near perfect, sensuous stumble through the souks, fleshpots and hash dens, if not of Cardigan then some far off place in one’s imagination. The introduction of violin also gives the welcome impression of a loping, instumental “Hassan I Sabbah”. They’ll be doing it to you on the festival circuit again this summer (14th Dream, Surplus Festival, Kozfest etc) and it would be highly remiss of you not to see them at least once. Dr’s orders, Sardonicus or otherwise.
Ian Fraser, Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_April_16.htm

Fruits de Mer has always straddled psych's endless shapes, sizes and permuatations in its vivdly presented missives, from fluorescent pop to expansive prog. Welsh space-rockers Sendelica diligently navigate the latter on this widescreen celebration of their 10th anniversary, which captures them warming up for last year's 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus festival by occupying the Mwnci (promounced "monkey") studio in deepest Wales and letting fly with a brace of high-flying instrumentals, on limited vinyl LP. The cromlech refers to the 3,000 year-old ancient monument looming within pole-vaulting distance from the studio which inspired the stratospheric, guitar-dominated ebb and flow of side one's 23-minute , 'The Cromlech Suite', a larval, soaring epic which can veer between arcane mystery and sun-drenched melody, sometimes recalling late Floyd. Side Two starts with a cover of Japanese progsters Flower Travellin' Band's 'Satori', before they playfully star-sail through two further dense emissions in the form of 'Veellichor' and 'Zenosyne'
Kris Needs, Shindig!

Recorded more or less live in the studio, and titled for the standing stone that lies just a short walk from the building, The Cromlech Chronicles serves four new songs, across forty fresh minutes, but is dominated, utterly dominated, by the near-title track. Twenty-three minutes short, “The Cromlech Suite” is… well, it’s slow-burning space rock, if it has to be anything, which means it’s also redolent of all the usual names that come to mind when you say that. There’s a Floydy vibe, circa Meddle, maybe; an Ozrics aura, a Gong-on-course-for-parts-unknown adventurousness. But it’s Sendelica too, and that’s the key exception, because few bands of the current age have so firmly nailed those notions to the 21st century, at the same time as stripping back more centuries than that. Hypnotic to nigh-on boleric proportions, but free to scoot off into themes that feel almost free form at times, the suite is propelled by its most primal underpinnings, while Pete Bingham’s guitar and Lee Relfe’s sax color in the edges, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes alone. This is especially true as the piece shapeshifts from what we might describe as its first part to its second – a more relaxed jam than before, but more open to shaking the energies up. There’s a comparison to be made with Hawkwind’s “Wind of Change,” if it had gone on for fifteen minutes, but it’s a loose one. Again, it’s easy to try and match faces to the music, but better to just lay back and let it devour you. Flip the vinyl and a second side-long piece opens with “Satori part one,” Sendelica’s densely driven take on a Flower Travellin’ Band number; merges into the near-pastoral “Vellichor,” which could well be Sendelica’s “Albatross,” were they ever to choose to have one; and finally, everything lets rip for “Zenosyne,” nine-plus minutes of orgiastic jazz androids arguing over whose turn it is to turn up the stereo. A fitting conclusion to a sensational album but, more than that, the conclusion to the rite that began, whether you knew it or not, when the needle first touched the vinyl, forty minutes ago. Some albums are so good that you call them an experience. The Cromlech Chronicles is an experience that just happens to be an album.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine magazine HERE

"The Cromlech Chronicles presents some new studio recordings by the band recorded mostly live with just some minimal overdubs just before the 13th Dream Festival last year. The title of the album comes form the ancient megalithic monument dating back over 3000 years that was close to the studio in Wales. It will also be pictured inside the open gatefold cover, and the already sold-out box version comes with a Cromlech DVD, Cromlech print etc. Pete's rather obsessed with prehistoric stone monuments, you know... Anyway, let's get to the music. This instrumental LP that will be released next month begins with a long jam "The Chromlech Suite Parts I to IV" that takes the whole A side of the vinyl version. This is a dreamy, spacey and atmospheric jam that somehow manages to bring some of the ancient mysteries back to our modern age. The band starts to rock out more in the middle of the 23-minute piece and I'm loving it. "Satori (Part I)" is a loose cover version of a Flower Travellin' Band track form 1971 and works very well. "Vellichor" is one of those beautiful, melodic and emotional pieces that Sendelica are so great with. Very nice! Roger Morgan plays some piano on this one. Then we only have one more track left, but it's the ten-minute psychedelic space-time continuum "Zenosyne" that has lots of excellent electronic violin by spacial guest Cyndee Lee Rule. Wow! Another killer album by Sendelica, pre-order while you still can
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/sendelica-ill-walk-stars-for-you-live.html

Sendelica was founded in 2006 in Cardigan, Wales, and includes: Pete Bingham - solo guitar and electronics, Glenda Pescado - bass guitar, Colin Consterdine - electronics and programming, Lee Relfe - saxophones, Meurig Griffiths - drums and Lord Armstrong Sealand - theremin and keyboars . the band released their debut EP "TheOwlsHaveEyes" on their own FRG Records label in July 2006, in which the vocals by Chris Gibbs and the keyboard performance was given by Roger Morgan and this was followed by the album "Entering the Rainbow Light", which appeared in a limited edition in 2006 through FRG Records. Then followed: "Sleepwalker Fever" (TidyLike Records, 2007), "Spaceman Bubblegum And Other Weird Tales from the Mercury Mind" (Raig Records, 2007), "the Alternative Realities of The Re-Awakening Somnambulist "(TidyLike Records, 2008)," The Girl From The Future Who Lit Up The Sky With Golden Worlds "(Raig Records, 2009)," Streamedelica She sighed As She Hit Rewind On the Dream Mangler Remote "( Raig Records, 2010), "The Pavilion Of Magic And The Trials Of The Seven Surviving Elohim" (FRG Records, 2011), "The Satori In Elegance Of The Majestic Stonegazer" (FRG Records, 2011) (Italian vinyl edition via Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, 2013), "Strangefishone" (with Craig Padilla, limited edition split LP on Fruits de Mer, 2013), "the Kaleidoscopic Kat And It's Autoscopic Ego" (FRG Records, 2013) (Italian edition through Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, 2013) "the Megaliths Vol 1 and Vol 2" 2 CD (FRG Records, 2013) (limited edition of 200 pieces on picture disc with card sleeve plus a very limited edition 3box set of 25 pieces with a build your own Sendelicahenge model and hand painted images), "The Fabled Voyages of The Sendelicans" (vinyl edition via Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, 2014 CD release via FRG Records, 2014), "Live At Crab Stock" (Friends of the Fish Records vinyl / CD edition, 2014) and " Anima Mundi "(FRG Records Vinyl / CD edition, 2015). Furthermore, the EP published" A Nice Pear "containing" Venus In Furs "and" Maggot Brain "(Fruits de Mer, 2010), plus the live albums" Live at Knitting Factory, New York 2008 "(2008) and" Live at Kozfest, July 2012 "(2012). the album" the Cromlech Chronicles ", that 9 May 2016 by Regal Crabomophone / Fruits De Mer Records label as a precursor of the "13th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus "festival appears colored vinyl in a limited edition, has a gatefold sleeve and a poster and will also be released in a limited edition in a box set. It is worth mentioning also that the band released the album in the deepest, darkest part of Wales, has included in the Mwnci Studio, a short distance from a Cromlech (a monument of more than 3000 years old). the a-side of the album contains one long song, "the Cromlech Suite" titled and shows the band dishes out to me a dark starting number for that player turns into a quiet few minutes spacious sounding melodic piece of music where the drums largely determined the pace, while the saxophone and guitar give the song color, but about half the number the band decision to step up the pace and I hear a fantastic swinging piece progressive rock, which will all be back after a short time to the quiet pace and I again a lovely melodic piece progressive rock hear that slowly returns faster and more hypnotic. ( listen to the teaser of the album via the youtube link below the review) is also ready-B, contains one song, "comprising ...", which consists of three parts, of which "Satori Part 1" is the first and leave it to the tie me enjoy a wonderful progressive number, in which the leading role for the saxophone, but in the second part "Vellichor" the music changes totally and turn the tire me a wonderful, almost orchestral sounding, melodic piece of music, which in a free is played leisurely pace, after which the band again makes a transition and me dishes out the last part, "Zenosyne" hot and here I hear a brilliant hypnotic mix of space rock, krautrock and gypsy music, which the band put me in a light trance brings. "the Cromlech Chronicles" by Sendelica a great LP, which the band me from beginning to end has managed to captivate their music and I this disc can also recommend it to any fan of progressive music.
New Underground Music (translated from Dutch)
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/review-sendelica-cromlech-chronicles.html

The Welsh band, Sendelica, is probably the most prolific band in the entire UK, are back with another new record. This one was performed most live in the studio last summer after the 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival in Wales near Cromlech. Side A is one long 23min track. It is a slow and spacey build with a really wide open sound production, like it was recorded in a church hall or something with the instruments feeling like they are spread all over the room. Pretty cool. Around the 10min mark, the guitar begins to get a bit more heavy as the tension has built after a long saxophone solo. The band brings it down again after about 3mins though but it is more rocking and heavy for most of the end part. A lovely jam this one is. Nice melodies, floating sounds.. The left side is the sax and the right the guitar. Side B starts off with Satori Part 1 by Flower Travellin’ Band! Wow.. I love the original album and quite cool to hear a new take. They replace his voice with a saxophone so it is not quite so intense. Vellichor changes the mood completely and sort of freaked me out as it is a piano driven nearly pop instrumental. The last track, Zenosyne is a really cool spacey track with a heavy vibe and some intense sax playing layered between the synths and heavy bass lines. Another fucking great record… Cool Welsh band…
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/sendelica-cromlech-chronicles-regal.html

SENDELICA 'ZIGGY STARDUST'

Forget Lady Gaga’s karaoke at the Grammys and Lorde’s ill‐judged display at the Brits, this single is what a tribute to Bowie should be like: mysterious and bewildering, with scintillating space‐rock swirlings, mildly unhinged female vocals, backwards tape-loop FX and more. You get 15 minutes of music for £5, but hurry – only 600 coloured‐vinyl copies are available. (8/10)
Geoff Barton, Classic Rock magazine

Welsh band SENDELICA appears to have established themselves as something of a household name in psychedelic and progressive rock circles for the last couple of years, with what appears to be a steadily increasing amount of both live performances and releases from this fine band, and among the many productions already released or lined up for a 2016 release from them is this single, Ziggy Stardust, set for an April 2016 release through UK psychedelic rock specialist label Fruits de Mer Records. One might presume that the band choosing to cover this song isn’t altogether accidental, and many would suspect that this project came as a rather swift response to the news of David Bowie’s all too sudden passing in January 2016. According to the label this isn’t the case however, stating that this song was recorded prior to Bowie’s all too soon passing from this world. Still, as someone not all that invested in the music of Bowie, this single still comes across as just as much a lament as a tribute to the late and great David Robert Jones. Guest vocalist Alice Davidson does add a sensual, and arguably even subtly erotic, dimension to the proceedings with her vocals and vocal effects, with the slower paced bass and drums foundation creating a mournful atmosphere beneath and a vast array of swirling, surging, echoing and cosmic sounds on top comes across as a proper send off and appropriate company for the soul of the departed Bowie on it’s journey in the afterlife, whether it’s through an outer or inner cosmos or to a heavenly sphere somewhere. Astralasia’s remix version gives a slight emphasis to the cosmic sounds by way of an ongoing staccato synthesizer motif applied to the proceedings, while the original song is a subtly dampened and softened undercurrent beneath. A description that probably sounds goofier and much less enthralling than the end result itself. Then again, when even the record label releasing this single is at a loss for words in how to describe this remix, using mere words to describe this one in an appropriate manner is perhaps just to difficult. If you can imagine seeing a star-sign version of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust walking through space then I suspect you’ll be on the right track envisioning that and imagining what the soundtrack to this would be like. While apparently not planned nor conceived as a tribute to a great artist following his passing, Sendelica’s take on Ziggy Stardust does come across as a highly appropriate track to play in such a context. There’s a mournful edge to this cover version, bordering on lament at times in terms of mood and atmosphere, combined with a sensual/erotic vocal presence and the psychedelic, cosmic light toned overlays that gives this piece something of an otherworldly general presence. A tribute to a great artist in the game if not the name, to put it that way, and I doubt if too many others will manage to make their tributes to David Bowie in a manner as compelling as this one for some time. My rating: 100/100
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House Of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/03/21/sendelica-ziggy-stardust-2016/

Written way before Mr Bowie's untimely departure, Sendelica swap the usual space-rock vibes for something more shoegazey and relaxed with their dreasm laden version of “Ziggy Stardust”, Female vocals adding another twist as does the incredibly slow tempo, to be fair it takes some getting used to it once you are tuned in you realise that it is really rather good as it floats away for seven deeply ambient minutes. Complementing the tune is a long remix from Astralasia that slows the whole thing down even more turning the tune into a droning cloud of electronic bliss that is wonderfully mixed, the vocals disembodied in the middle of the soundscape, the guitar soaring over the electronic pulses
Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Rumbles_February_16.htm

The Welsh space rockers had this one in the can long before something happened to Mr Jones (and we all know what it is), so there is no reverential kid-glove treatment to worry about here. In fact, it all starts out with electronic synth swashes that sound like violins chasing sprightly wood nymphs through the forest. Ziggy on ‘ludes is closer to the groove here – slowing things down to a crawl and totally shitcanning the glitter and glam in favour of phased, backwards instrumentation. It sounds like an orchestra tuning up or all playing different songs and the eerie effect kind of loses the emotional impact of the original. Now I’m a big fan of reinterpretations and cover versions, but this one left me a bit cold, sounding rather meandering and aloof, like Boy George poncing around the garden scattering rose petals off the tea tray. On the flip, Astralsia’s Marc Swordfish took a stab at remixing this, adding a female vocalist that improves on the rather effeminate vox on the plug side, so if you can imagine, say, Alison Moyet having a go at the old chestnut, you’re in the right pew. There’s also more oomph to the arrangement and some nice guitars razorblading through the proceedings that improve on the still rather perplexingly slow syrup drip oozing out of your speakers. An interesting experiment that doesn’t quite work, but certainly won’t be accused of phoning it in from the nearest Xerox machine.
Jeff Penczak, Soundblab
http://soundblab.com/reviews/singles/9256-sendelica-ziggy-stardust-sendelica

their latest single, almost double the length of the live LP cut, and realigning the saga of Stardust onto side two of Low. It’s utterly spellbinding, totally absorbing and absolutely dislocating. Bowie would be proud
Dave Thompson, Goldmine magazine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/reviews-fashions-sendelica-sons-of-the-void-dodson-fogg-bordellos-schizo-fun-addict-united-bible-studies-soft-hearted-scientists-proud-peasant-juju-in-the-cities-of-your-eyes-claudi#sthash.HAo0fLbk.dpuf

The psychedelic space rock band, Sendelica from Wales present us with a fitting tribute to the great David Bowie with a cover of Ziggy Stardust and female lead vocals, which is not so common for this band. The track is very airy and spacey, and nearly mainstream, if it was not for all the real strange sounds and psychedelic nature of the backing music! The promo sheet mentions Sigur Ros! The B side is an Astralasia remix of the same track but 30 seconds longer and more tripped out. The vocals are mixed futher back and effected a bit more and the trippy synths take a more prominent role. Far out…
scott Heller, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/sendelica-ziggy-stardust-7-fruits-de.html

And before you all start crowing, like you I’m a little perturbed and somewhat disbelieving of the cash in’s following Mr Bowie’s passing, but fruits de mer had this release long planned before the thin white duke slipped his mooring (its vinyl pressing set to celebrate the bands 10th anniversary) having initially featured on the excellent subscribers only CD set ‘fashion’ – a gathering of FdM folk paying homage to the great man that slipped out to fond reviews at the tail end of last year. In the light of Mr Bowie’s departure, Sendelica’s acoustic version of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ assumes a hitherto new found significance, a band playing outside of their usual comfort zone melodic maxim dismantling and rephrasing anew one of the corner stone moments of Bowie’s career. To the mercurial Sendelica touch, ‘Ziggy Stardust’ is re-visioned as a ghost light – displaced, detuned and reforged fit for purpose into a disorientating dream dazed vapour trailing hymnal of fracturing folk motifs and shimmering star gazed wooziness, all said a most perfect and fitting celebration of the man. Over on the flip Astralasia’s Marc Swordfish assumes the remix duties to reposition the Sendelica head trip upon a more ethereal footing jubilantly tweaked in cosmic serenades, celestial string chimes and a deliciously head tripping bliss trimmed orbital trajectory. Stunning.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/sendelica-9/

One of the next releases on Fruits de Mer will an ultra cool cover 7" by Welsh psychedelic space rockers Sendelica. This is a great homage to the late musical genius David Bowie including two versions of his masterpiece "Ziggy Stardust". I must add that the tracks were recorded months before Bowie passed away. Sendelica has played this song live and you can hear an acoustic version by them on the compilation album Fashion - Songs Written By David Bowie, the limited Fruits De Mer club members only year 2015 freebie. This of course is a whole different deal. On the A side we've got a marvelous, slow, atmospheric, psychedelic and dreamy version of the song with gorgeous female vocals, sax, lots of floating synths etc. What an amazing vibe, the band really turn this track into something ethereal and very different. If that wasn't enough, Astralasia does an excellent remix of Sendelica's version on the flip side. No, Marc Swordfish does not transform the track into an up-beat dance hit, on the contrary. His remix is even more ambient in nature. I like the way he has added some sequencers and stuff but still uses some of the vocals, lead guitar and sax to a great effect. Wonderful! A must have for Bowie and Sendelica fans. As always, this will be limited issue so hurry up!
DJ Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.co.za/2016/03/sendelica-ziggy-stardust-7.html

Recorded before his passing to the stars, Sendelica’s superb Bowie cover ‘Ziggy Stardust’ sees a well deserved single release on Fruits de Mer. Moving away from this landmark song’s rock edge and amplifying its spacier elements, Sendelica shine a light on ‘Ziggy’s’ strength whilst being in tune with David’s spirit. As a bonus the flip adds a sparkling remix, its ambient tone echoing ‘Heroes’, courtesy of Astralasia’s Marc Swordfish.
Jason Barnard, The Strange Brew
http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/http:/thestrangebrew.co.uk/sendelica-ziggy-stardust

PROUD PREASANT 'COSMIC SOUND'

Proud Peasant are Texas-based prog connoisseurs par excellence. This limited-edition coloured vinyl seven-inch includes two choice covers: Daybreak (originally by Eloy) and Manfred Mann's Earth Band's Saturn, Lord Of The Ring/Mercury, Winged Messenger. Reference points? Hawkwind, Status Quo, the Jason King theme, Santana...and that's just for starters
Goeff Barton, Classic Rock magazine

Manfred Mann’s post-hit period yielded numerous attempts at a new name to accompany numerous more attempts at finding a sound that suited the times. Hence, Manfred Mann Chapter Three (presumably chapters one and two were the Paul Jones and Mike D’Abo-led incarnations), Manfred Mann, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, and simply Earth Band. Prog, hard rock, jazz, and various other styles wafted around these different permutations until they opted to tackle the de rigueur concept album approach on 1973’s Solar Fire. Certainly not where I’d be looking if I were searching through my record collection to find something to offer to the wonderful 'covers label', Fruits De Mer, known for their vinyl-only releases focusing primarily on current artists tackling cherished nuggets from the golden age of psych and roll, with the occasional proggy jazzer tossed in to keep the chinstrokers happy and attentive. So what to my surprise do I uncover here but a bunch of lads from Austin, Texas whipping out a beaucoup of keyboard-driven German prog nastiness entitled ‘Daybreak’, originally perpetrated by krautrockers Eloy on their ’73 Inside album. A couple of guitarists fisticuff their way through the strident, charging rhythms like the running of the Pamplona bulls through a china shop until their dueling keyboardists (organ and synth I think) wrestle the melody and run with it like Keith Emerson trying to uncover another way of playing ‘America’ without it sounding like the other hundred versions you heard already. Flip it over and the tide and mood changes for the mysterious ‘Saturn, Lord of The Ring/Mercury, The Winged Avenger’ from the aforementioned Manfred whatsisname this week. Despite the headscratching title, it’s a nice little floater, featuring stellar guitar soloing, melodic little motifs that could fit onto the soundtrack to your next swinging bachelor pad party album. A little Bacharach, maybe some Electric Banana-era Pretty Things, with a soupcon of groovy soundtrack music a la Giorgio Tuma and you’re ready to kick back and let your head roam the stars like a SETI light beam travelling across the Milky Way. I don’t understand a lick of it, but if you roll it in a brownie and smoke it, it doesn’t taste all that bad.
Jeff Penczak, Soundblab
http://soundblab.com/reviews/singles/9258-proud-peasant-cosmic-sound

Back when I interviewed Proud Peasant’s frontman Xander Rapstine in July 2014, he mentioned his love for Krautrock, especially Eloy, and also Manfred Mann’s Earthband. During the interview I immediately recognized that Proud Peasant needed to appear on Fruits de Mer. I introduced Xander to Keith Jones and roughly 18 months later their first vinyl release is part of FdM’s April singles batch. For their FdM debut, Xander chose to cover Eloy’s “Daybreak” and Manfred Mann’s “Saturn, Lord of the Ring / Mercury, The Winged Messenger.” As a bit of history, Eloy released two different versions of “Daybreak.” The first version was the B-side of “Walk Alone” released in 1970 and included as a bonus track on the reissue of their debut album. Then they released a second version of “Daybreak” b/w “On the Road” in 1972. This second version was included as a bonus track on the reissue of their second album, Inside. It is this second version that Proud Peasant covers on their single. Proud Peasant performs a brilliant cover that out-Krautrocks Eloy! They bring warmth to the music that Eloy did not have and it sounds like the band had a lot of fun covering the song. On the flip side, Proud Peasant shows a different side musically. They’ve taken Manfred Mann’s original and reinterpreted it from a more jazzy and blue perspective. Xander’s lead guitar is impeccable. On the “Mercury” portion of the instrumental they experiment with different cosmic guitar effects much like what happened in the 60s. Plus the arrangement is very tight. If you just listened to the disc in its entirety without any other information you would never guess that this disc was recorded in Austin, TX in 2015. Proud Peasant continues to mature as a band and they are headed into the studio this summer to record their next full length album, which is sure to please all of their new fans.
Henry Schneider, Expose magazine
http://www.expose.org/index.php/articles/display/proud-peasant-cosmic-sound-6.html

First up to connect to the Sunday Experience stereophonic stylus a quite remarkable twin set from Austin, Texas based long hairs Proud Peasant who serve up a brace of well-heeled covers, the lead cut of which – and I know I’m on perilous footing here when I say this – out wigs even the mighty loons Cranium Pie and the Earthling Society. A furiously freaky version of Eloy’s ‘daybreak’ here progified within an inch of its very being and retuned with a galloping acid blues grooving which to these ears sounds not unlike a stoned n’ freakin peace pipe sharing gathering of the Mountain and Supersister clans. That said for the purists it’s the flip side retelling of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s ‘saturn, lord of the rings / mercury, the winged messenger’ that’s liable to be the cause of many a listener not returning all parts intact from this mammoth out-there sub seven-minute head trip. A colossal prog bad boy dream weaved under the converging influences of Embryo and the Ozrics all gorgeously tailored in a truly authentic vintage tasting that at various points incorporates dreamy soft psych florals a la Komeda, thunderous head battering space rock-a-hulas and hallucinogenia phrased trippy fringe flipping mind wiping warping sequences. Off the radar in short.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/proud-peasant/

Texas based Proud Peasant giving us a bit of old school prog as they cover Eloy and |Manfred Mann's Earth band on their “Cosmic Sound” release. With some driving guitar and shimering keys, “Daybreak” (Eloy) will get you shaking your head and your loon pants as it aims for the stars, the mood slowed down and made more mysterious as “Saturn, Lord of the Ring / Mercury, The winged Messenger” takes over, some majestic guitar soaring over a solid rhythm section with plenty of tricky bits, the second half becoming spacier and drifting before turning into some righteously heavy prog that makes you glad to be alive, fabulous stuff.
Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Rumbles_February_16.htm

A rollicking slice of old school prog for yer, Texan Peasants setting the controls for the hearts, on one side, of Eloy; and, on the other, Manfred Mann’s Earthband – “Daybreak” in the first instance, thundering like more horsemen than even the average apocalypse could muster; “Saturn” and “Mercury” in the second, moodier still but just as momentous, and would it be bratty to say it’s nice to find the Fruits catalog getting back to the pastures of Prog that it once stalked so imperiously? Probably, but we’ll say it anyway
Dave Thompson, goldmine magazine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/reviews-fashions-sendelica-sons-of-the-void-dodson-fogg-bordellos-schizo-fun-addict-united-bible-studies-soft-hearted-scientists-proud-peasant-juju-in-the-cities-of-your-eyes-claudi#sthash.HAo0fLbk.dpuf

This is a band from prog band from Austin, Texas (lead by Xander Rapstine of the Evildoers), who give a go to songs by two classic bands and totally amazing versions. I was really blown away by this 7”. The A side is a cover of Daybreak by Eloy and played with a hell of a fury and powerful drumming. Reminds me of Astra in some ways. Great track. The B side is a cover of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Saturn-Lord of the Ring/Mercury. This brings things down but features some great guitar work and feelings in this rendition, which includes a female vocal here and there but the rest of the track is instrumental. Great stuff..
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/proud-peasant-cosmic-sound-7-fruits-de.html

Proud Peasant are a VERY talented band. I’ve been a fan since I first heard their debut album “Flight.” They are an old school progressive rock band with a flare for the cinematic element of the genre. “Flight” could have been a soundtrack to a very strange but fun movie. The band is back with a single, a real VINYL single, to hold people over until their follow up album. “Cosmic Sound” features two obscure covers that showcase the band’s influences and talent as a whole. “Daybreak” was originally done by German prog rockers Eloy and “Saturn, Lord Of The Ring/Mercury, Winged Messenger” was performed by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The arrangements of both songs are very true to the originals which is a good idea since many people might not be aware of these songs. So this makes for both a good introduction to both Proud Peasant and the bands that originally did the tracks. Each band are very influential to Proud Peasant so the care taken to perform each is no surprise. “Daybreak” is a great rollicking prog number that the band could certainly use as a concert opener. It makes me want them to cover more Eloy to be honest! The cover of “Saturn, Lord Of The Ring/Mercury, Winged Messenger” is more of a mixed bag for me. I love the second half “Mercury, Winged Messenger” as they again showcase their playing which is stellar. The problem on “Saturn, Lord Of The Ring” is the use of wordless female vocals in place of keys that were on the original. It winds up sounding like bad jazz improv when it isn’t. Each time I’ve listened, I cringe a bit. Very unfortunate as it’s just not for me at all. Overall, it’s great to hear this very talented band showing off their love of these unappreciated bands. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band did more than “Blinded By the Light,” folks! Kudos to Fruits de Mer Records for releasing a true single of two great songs by a great band!
Progressive Music Planet
http://progressivemusicplanet.com/2016/02/23/proud-peasant-cosmic-sound-single/

Proud Peasant is a totally new band to me but they are from the U.S.A. and clearly know their 70s prog rock. I really love the German progressive space rock band Eloy, and it's a real pleasure to hear Proud Peasant cover their track "Daybreak" that the band released in 1971 as a 7" single (I need to get that now too!). Proud Peasant have dropped the vocals altogether so we get a totally instrumental, faster, rather energetic and powerful version that works really well. I only wish it would last a lot longer then the 3+ minutes... Epic going. I can't say I'm such a big fan of Manfred Mann's Earth Band, but Proud Peasant's atmospheric, proggy and bluesy "Mercury, The Winged Messenger" cover sounds pretty cool. At around the three-minute-marker there is a weird, spacey and smooth part, and then the track starts to rock out more in a rather heavy and progressive way. Whoa! This is a great version and makes me want to investigate the original performer further too... All in all, this is a very nice instrumental prog rock single that the fans of this genre will enjoy for sure.
DJ Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.co.za/2016/03/proud-peasant-cosmic-sound-7.html

US band PROUD PEASANT was formed back in 2001, and so far they have one album and two single releases to their name. “Cosmic Sound” is the most recent of the latter, and is set for an April 2016 release on vinyl through UK specialist psychedelic rock label Fruits de Mer Records. The greater majority of productions released bu Fruits de Mer Records consist of cover material in part or in whole, and the latter is the case for this label debut by Proud Peasant. They have opted to go for two progressive rock classics on this occasion: Daybreak (Eloy) and Saturn, Lord of the Ring / Mercury, the Winged Messenger (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band). Eloy’s classic 1973 single is given a rough 70’s hard rock makeover in this case, with galloping bass and guitar riffs not light years away from the core Hawkwind bass and guitar sound from the early 70’s, with calmer, mellow interludes where the keyboards and, unless I’m much mistaken, the violin combines to craft flightier arrangements of a kind and manner that should tickle most classic era progressive rock fans the right way. The band’s take on Manfred Mann’s classic is more of a quirky one, with ethereal passages and interludes separating firmer sequences, of which a bass-pumping blues based hard rock section in the opening half and a gritter dark riff based galloping sequence more or less of the same general nature as explored on the Eloy track in the second half of this track are the most prominent. The manner in which guitars, keyboards and violin combine here also gives this song something of a Kansas vibe here and there, and for many I suspect this aspect of Proud Peasant’s take on this song is the one that will stick best to memory on initial inspections. Proud Peasant deserves credit for taking on this classic pair of progressive rock songs and transforming them into material that sounds cohesive, despite the originals not being all that similar to begin with. The end result is two compelling songs, perhaps with a bit too much of an early 70’s hard rock vibe for some, but for me at least this aspect of the material elevated these songs as a total experience, with the vibrant, energetic take on Eloy’s Daybreak as the standout track on a high quality single
Olav Bjornsen Martin, House Of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/03/21/proud-peasant-cosmic-sound-2016/

CLAUDIO CATALDI 'HERE SHE COMES NOW'

Claudio Cataldi mixes electronic and acoustic sounds on his four track release with the lead track being a cover of “Here She Comes Now” (Velvet Underground) a fuzzy guitar and some lovely jangle giving the tune a relaxed and mellow feel, the vocals almost buried under the thick layers of sound. Equally lovely, is “All My Friends Are here”, a home-spun hippy feel pervading the tune, gentle waves of guitar floating above the melody. Raiding his back catalogue, “Final” and “Ropes and Strings” continue the mellow psych feel of the EP, with the latter being an excellent guitar piece, whilst the former is a classic slice of relaxed song writing that is beautifully constructed.
Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Rumbles_February_16.htm

Perhaps the only psychedelic rocker from Sicily, Cataldi, delivers a sparse rendition of Lou Reed’s old chestnut through a “small mic and a half-broken amp”. It’s sloppy, hazy arrangement gets into the skin of the enigmatic lyric in much the same way Kurt Cobain peeled this cherished onion on a long ago-Velvet Underground tribute. ‘All My Friends Are Here’ rises from the same skeletal trappings: a dreamy, druggy delivery serpentining around a double-tracked guitar line that takes the high road (electric) while an acoustic partner stutters along. For fans of Dodson and Fogg and Anton Barbeau’s dreamy exuberance. The flip offers a few tracks from Cataldi’s back catalogue. They’re of a like mind to what’s preceded on side A – floating dreamscapes with sneaky, snakey guitar lines, cotton-mouthed vocals, and an organic sense of 60s’ psychedelia with a downhome, almost swampy character. ‘Ropes and Strings’ is a particularly tasty instrumental (acoustic) workout for Jansch and Renbourn fans. Good stuff from an artist who’s new to my ear, but from whom we’ll be looking to for great things to come.
Jeff Penczak, Soundblab
http://soundblab.com/reviews/singles/9272-claudio-cataldi-here-she-comes-now-ep-claudio-cataldi

Italian composer and musician Claudio CATALDI have released material as a solo artist since 2008, and and according to his self-description he records material diverse in style but with a similar mood capturing the end results “with a small microphone and a half-broken amp”. So far he has two full albums, a split release and three EP’s to his name. “Here She Comes Now” is the most recent of the latter, and is set for an April 2016 release through UK psychedelic rock specialist label Fruits de Mer Records. The common denominator throughout this EP is material that by and large can be filed under the singer/songwriter description: Songs that either has been initially created by one man and his acoustic guitar or that sounds like they have been made with that specific approach. The title track is a Velvet Underground cover, featuring layered wandering acoustic and electric guitars in support of the lead vocals, with a twisted, distorted electric guitar adding a darker psychedelic undercurrent. Second track All My Friends Are here is a less elaborate affair, with a mournful, textured hovering electric guitar presence post rock style coming and going as a supplement to the acoustic guitar and lead vocals that are the dominating aspects of the song, featuring a brief phase midways where drums and percussion adds a bit more intensity. Third track Final is the most sophisticated of the lot, with a careful fluctuating keyboards presence, drums and percussion providing momentum throughout, and clever slide guitar solo details adding a psychedelic presence on top of the lead vocals and acoustic guitar foundation. Concluding piece Ropes and Strings is more of a basic, lo-fi affair, instrumental at that, combining a firm plucked acoustic guitar with a sleepy accordion sounding texture in a nice and elegant manner. As far as psychedelic rock goes, this EP by Cataldi comes across as one that should interest those that enjoy this type of music best when approach from a folk music context in general and a singer/songwriter tradition in particular. A charming production of it’s kind, with a laid back mood and feel to it as a general tendency
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House Of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/03/21/claudio-cataldi-here-she-comes-2016/

The April 2016 batch of Fruits de Mer singles contains a release by a new FdM artist Claudio Cataladi from Palermo in Sicily. Claudio is a singer-songwriter who combines acoustic guitar and electronics in his recordings. On his first FdM release he includes a cover of Lou Reed’s “Here She Comes Now” and three original tunes. No FdM release is complete without at least one cover tune and Claudio does an excellent job with the Reed’s song from the second Velvet Underground album. The original was a simple song and arrangement. Claudio’s reinterpretation is a bit more trippy / dreamy with a slightly darker edge. And the meaning of the song is no clearer today than when it was first recorded. The second song is “All My Friends Are Here,” a brand new song with acoustic guitar and heavily reverbed electric guitar that creates a wistful dark folk atmosphere. The other two songs, “Final” and “Ropes and Strings,” are from Claudio’s back catalog. “Final” is similar in style to “All My Friends Are Here,” while “Ropes and Strings” is a bluesy acoustic folk instrumental that sounds like it has some harmonium thrown in towards the end of the track. Quite an enjoyable launch of FdM’s 2016 releases.
Henry Schneider, Expose magazine
http://www.expose.org/index.php/articles/display/claudio-cataldi-here-she-comes-ep-6.html

Think I’m right in saying that this is the first time Claudio Cataldi has featured on a Fruits de Mer stand-alone following several exceptional appearances on various compilation collections for the label. Again as with the previous outing, this comes adorned on 7 inches of coloured wax all limited to just 600 copies – all of which one imagines will fly the coup in blink of an eye fashion. Alas our prized CD promo version only gave up the first two tracks before hitting a defiant wall which means we’ll have to source ‘final’ and ‘ropes and strings’ by way of alternative avenues. Fear not though for the two cuts we did manage to rescue are bonafide nuggets the first of which is a drop dead smoking cool re-phrasing of the Velvets ‘here she comes now’, so good in fact that I’m almost of a mind to sack the Nirvana version which in truth I always maintained was the final word on the song, this honey comes psychotropically weaved in kaleidoscopic mosaics wearing its own trip-a-delic shades whilst succulently trimmed, haloed and hazed in fuzzing countrified glazes. ‘all my friends are here’ is a newly penned nugget from the Cataldi workbench, a bliss kissed lazy eyed smouldering gem tripped in arcing and genuflecting opining slides dissipates and reference wise sounding admittedly to us not unlike a slipstreaming fan note exchanging meeting point hit upon by a cool reflective Robyn Hitchcock and a ghostly Paul Roland apparition.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/claudio-cataldi/

This one has really cool artwork to represent different possibilities from the cover based on the title track by the Velvet Underground. Claudio is Italian and has his own label called Seashell Records that he releases music on. This is his 2nd musical attachment to the Fruits label. The 7” opens with the title track. Very stripped down and personal with just guitars and vocals on this first track. Multiple guitars though. Nice version. A my friends are Here (a new song) is a great song. I really like the delay guitar behind the main acoustic guitar that gives it a psychedelic edge. The vocal mix is quite cool at times as well. The next two tracks Final and Ropes and Strings have apparently been released on his label already but appear for the first time on vinyl. Final features some keyboards and a percussion track but is largely in the same acoustic spacey vibe. A nice guitar solo on this one that pans from side to side. Ropes and Strings is a nice instrumental acoustic guitar track with some keyboards. Great songs..
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/claudio-cataldi-here-she-comes-now-7.html

Claudio Cataldi is a singer/songwriter from Palermo, Cicily, Italy. He has released a couple of CD-R and tapes and taken part in a few Fruits de Mer compilations: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl, Strange Fruit And Veg and two of the free CD-R's for The 13th Dream Of Dr Sardonicus' Festival August 7-9, 2015. His version of Syd Barrett number "She Took A Long Cold Look" also made it to vinyl on the highly limited Momentary Two 7" EP. This is his first 7" EP on his own, and a pretty good one it is too. First we get the Velvet Underground cover "Here She Comes Now" that's rather similar to the vibe of the original but even more minimal with no drums. Nice! You might have heard this before on the Strange Fruit And Veg compilation. Claudio's original composition "All My Friends Are Here" is a brand-new song not heard anywhere before. It's a nice, mellow and dreamy piece with soft vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, and also some percussion. On the B side we have two older tracks, both also available on the The 13th Dream Of Dr Sardonicus' Festival August 7-9, 2015 compilations. "Final" is a moody, hypnotic psych pop gem also including some organ/keyboards. My favourite on the EP and it will also be included on my next Astral Visions psych mix! The instrumental "Ropes and Strings" is more acoustic in nature and rather folky but also very nice and atmospheric. All in all this is very pleasant little EP, check out this guy!
DJ Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.co.za/2016/03/claudio-cataldi-here-she-comes-now-7.html

It was a matter of time and we from Sound36 were sure about it. We’ve been following Claudio Cataldi’s music for a long time and we knew that, sooner or later, he would have reached an important label. Today, we are happy to write about Here She Comes Now, EP out on April on Fruits De Mer Records, record label that, over the years, has become a reference point not only for those passionate for psychedelia, prog rock, acid folk and krautrock, but also a benchmark for all those artists who have these sounds in their blood. A collaboration started with the tribute to Syd Barrett and that continues with the release of Here She Comes Now. It is a refined limited-edition EP that displays the label’s trademarks: a refined psychedelic sleeve artwork, one of the songs is usually a cover, coloured vinyl and limited edition. On the A -side, we find Here She Comes Now, a cover by the Velvet Underground, and All My Friends Are Here, an unreleased track. Final and Ropes and Strings, on the B Side, are taken from the artist’s latest releases and available on Bandcamp. If the artistic aim was reaching that dream-folk of which he extensively told us in June, I would say that this EP confirms not only the achievement of this aim, but also the right professional acknowledgment. If, instead, the aim was taking a break... we are happy that this break hasn’t last for too long. For the acid-folk lovers, an artist undoubtedly to discover also… in Italy.
Sound 36 (Italy)
http://www.sound36.com/claudio-cataldi-ep/

if it’s grinding drones that float your boat (of a million years), the title track of Claudio Cataldi’s EP takes us back to whichever basement Lou Reed was hanging in when he wrote the title track, and lets the walls close in even further they normally did. Three originals follow, two from past Cataldi releases on the synchronicitously (is that even a word? It should be)-named Seashell label, and one newie, the deliciously slurred “All My Friends Are Here,” and if your blood pressure was raised even a point by Cataldi’s last Fruity excursion, covering Syd Barrett on A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl, this is for you.
Dave Thompson, goldmine magazine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/reviews-fashions-sendelica-sons-of-the-void-dodson-fogg-bordellos-schizo-fun-addict-united-bible-studies-soft-hearted-scientists-proud-peasant-juju-in-the-cities-of-your-eyes-claudi#sthash.HAo0fLbk.dpuf

APRIL SINGLES

April 6th 2016 brings us three new 7"s from Fruits de Mer. All are pressed on coloured vinyl and limited to 600 copies or less. Claudio Cataldi contributed a Syd Barrett cover to Fruits de Mer's Pink Floyd tribute A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl a while ago, and now he has a 4-song EP on the label which features his version of The Velvet Underground's Here She Comes Now, along with three self-penned tracks. Claudio pulls together his musical interests of psychedelia, indiepop and shoegaze in the title track, featuring strummy acoustic guitar overlaid with atmospheric washes of sound. All My Friends are Here is a brand new track exclusive to this release, a minimalistic singer-songwriter piece augmented by ethereal dreampop effects. The other two tracks here are taken from previous releases: Final comes from the Homing Season album on Som Non-Label, a swirling, hazy shoegaze piece with additional influences from vintage psych-rock, and Ropes and Strings is from the self-released album Soundtracks, an instrumental track combining raw minimalistic folk-rock with atmospheric electronics. Whilst both of the previously released tracks are known to me, I imagine they are probably new to most people following Fruits de Mer, seeing as Soundtracks was an extremely limited handmade release, and because until now I believe most people aware of Claudio Cataldi came from the shoegaze/dreampop or hometaper scenes rather than those into the more overtly psychedelic music Fruits de Mer specialises in. It is a very good thing that FdM are exposing this artist to a new audience. Whilst Claudio's music, with its strong influences from shoegaze, indiepop, and DIY hometaper music, falls somewhat outside of FdM's tagline "it's as if the last 40 years never happened", it certainly has much about it that is sure to appeal to psych fans. Next up is Sendelica's cover of Ziggy Stardust. Fear not - this is no cynical tasteless exercise in cashing in on David Bowie's death: the tracks were recorded way back in 2015, and as FdM's press release informs us, "the single would have been released well before the Thin White Duke passed away if we had any sense of urgency around here". The label released a Bowie covers album on CD last year; I missed out on this as it was a FdM members' club-only release, but it featured amongst other tracks Sendelica's reinterpretation of Ziggy Stardust. The track gets another outing here as FdM felt it needed to be heard on vinyl. This single will be released more widely, giving the opportunity for non-club members to hear it. Eclecticism has always been a thing with Sendelica, and now they introduce even more new facets to their sound. Sprawling, shimmering post-rock instrumentation, soulful female vocals, and bursts of laid-back, meandering sax that bridges the gap between psychedelia and jazz come together to create something very, very different from the Bowie original, and which may also surprise Sendelica fans who are expecting something more spacerockish. The B-side is an atmospheric remix of Ziggy Stardust by Astralasia's Marc Swordfish, blending ambient and experimental electronic aspects with intense prog guitar work, as well as keyboard riffs that reference David Bowie's original version of the song. Thirdly, we have Texan prog band Proud Peasant, who are new to me and new to FdM, with the 2-track 7" Cosmic Sound, which comprises two cover versions of songs from 1973. Daybreak, originally by Eloy, sets a bombastic, dramatic, medieval-esque melody to a fast-moving, hard-rocking arrangement. Over on the B-side they cover Manfred Mann's Earth Band's Saturn, Lord of the Ring/Mercury, The Winged Messenger in an authentically 1970s prog fashion. Intricate and multifaceted, the piece takes in hard-hitting retro prog rock alongside a laid-back yet slightly eerie, atmospheric filmic section.
BLISS/AQUAMARINE
http://www.blissaquamarine.net/fruitsdemer29.html

Behold, now upon us, we have another batch of 7” singles from modern psych flag wavers Fruits de Mer Records. Three completely different bands, but all unique. So let us spin the circle and drop the needle on the groove shall we. First up within this trio of releases is the aptly titled “Cosmic Sound” by Proud Peasant. As the A-side “Daybreak” graces us with its galloping drive and flying violin, bolstering a metalized Celtic vibe, the music enunciates itself as a love child of Fairport Convention and Iron Maiden; yes you heard that. It’s an intense instrumental number. Flip the record over and you have the tune “Saturn, Lord of the Ring/Mercury, The Winged Messenger” that takes a multifaceted approach, smoothly executing a lush vibe of a more 70’s rock groove laden to heavier pastures with its fierce crescendo that lights a fire towards the end. Switching platters to Sendelica’s tribute to Bowie ala-“Ziggy Stardust”, the first side hearkens Fripp/Eno’s No Pussyfooting record. Ambient textures, backwards tapes, and other melodic nuances make this version one of the most diverse interpretations. It’s as if the vocals were recorded first, by themselves, then all the layers of music were added to further space out the ears with aural LSD to create an inventive journey to the center of the mind. Side two, a remix has more straightforward 4AD flare to it, still pleasantly noisy, but airy, the melodic scheme latches onto the song a with much more of a graceful & traditional approach. As for the final disc, an EP from Claudio Cataldi, the folky Nick Drake dreamscape shares space with The Beatles’ pre-Sgt. Pepper’s era vibe. Going electric with “Here She Comes Now,” with psych in tow on “Final,” Cataldi then makes his unplugged stance intact on “All My Friends Are Here” & “Ropes and Strings,” all the while never losing the humanistic soulfulness of musical expression. Get ‘em now, these things go quick, not only for the collectability, but for the music that counts as number one element of enjoyment.
Tommy Hash, Ytsejam
http://ytsejam.com/music-review/fruits-de-mur-records-april-2016-7-single-releases/

THE CHEMISTRY SET 'THE ENDLESS MORE AND MORE'

The Set have been raising eyebrows and collecting accolades for nearly 30 years and Fruits De Mer have been the recipients of their recent efforts (five singles and numerous compilation appearances in the past few years), some of which are included here, supplement by additional newbies to make a psychedelic dozen that’s as fresh as they day they were born back in 1987. Opener ‘The Splendour of The Universe’ is a perfect liftoff, full of floating riffs, swirling guitars and tight harmonies – toss in a few backwards guitars and several other psychedelic psixties fx and this trip is off to a great start. ‘The Fountains of Neptune’ sounds like vintage Kula Shaker at full tilt boogie, with strident vocals, serpentining keyboards, and more fx than a TV network (inside joke for Yanks). The band said they wanted to “capture our brand of Psychedelia, from the Syd Barrett / Soft Boys to Butterfly-era Hollies to Traffic” and this one is chock full of early Floydian pyrotechnics. ‘International Release’ lightens things up a bit with a stomping power pop sheen that crosses The Beat with Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello, right down to the Steve Nieve-styled cheesy keyboard flourishes. Shimmering guitars and yearning vocals lift ‘Time To Breathe’ to “higher” ground and Church territory, while ‘Winter Sun’ reminds of Paul Weller at his most revealing, heartfelt, and delicate; and ‘Albert Hoffman’ perfectly en-capsule-ates a trip on a white bicycle with a head full of wonder stuff. ‘A Cure For The Inflected Afflicted’ roughs things up quite a bit, with a Dylanesque scream-of-consciousness overload, a la ‘It’s All Right Ma’ with guitars firing vicious fireworks on all cylinders, although the album’s three-year gestation results in a few anachronistic tracks that are out-of-place, particularly the bar room swagger of the country-tinged ‘Crawling Back To You’. But then all is set right with the infectious singalong and powerful arm-waving, lighter burning rush of ‘Elapsed Memories’. Finally, crawl off to the nearest ‘Open Window’, assume the cross-legged position, and groove to the tabla, sitar, cotton-mouthed vocals, and dreamy atmospherics of ‘The Open Window’ and shout it to the world that you’ve just enjoyed the first great release of the new year and you ARE gonna take it lying down, thank you!
Jeff Pensczak, soundblab
http://soundblab.com/reviews/albums/8705-the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more-the-chemistry-set

In the late '80s The Chemistry Set bravely flew the flag for 60's influenced psychedelia. It may have been against the grain of the prevailing trends, out of step maybe with what record labels and the wider public wanted but in music you just gotta follow your heart ain't it! Fast forward to January 2016 and the reformed Chemistry Set have a brand new long-player for those who keep the faith. With the widened tastes and more open and accepting minds of the internet generation, the time is right for fans old and new to take this record to their hearts. A teasing taste of what you can expect was released last year on the 'Elapsed Moments EP', (also on Fruits De Mer Records). Time may have passed but talent lasts. Time may have passed but thankfully talent lasts. From the opening fanfare of 'The Splendour Of The Universe' there's a sense of vigour, a renewed sense of purpose. This track in particular is a great calling card, combining a psychedelic mindset with the bombast, swagger and melody of mod-rock. With all the sonic hallmarks of psych-pop intact (Mellotron strings, snatches of sampled dialogue, fairground organs, backward guitar solos etc.), fans of original '60s era psych can add The Chemistry Set to their approved list of contemporary bands. And Oasis fans will appreciate the cheeky nod to Shakermaker on 'Albert Hoffman' along with the way they house their brand of psych in such sugar-coated, whistle-able, sugar-coated pop tunes. Limited to 600 copies on gold vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with a special fold-out periodic table poster. Also look out for the very special boxed version in the spring which comes with test-tube filled candy and a selection of experiments. Intriguing eh! You may not have received a chemistry set for Christmas so treat yourself to one of January's best albums instead.
Harmonic Distortion
http://harmonicdistort.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-chemistry-set-endless-more-and-more.html

More warped sonic experiments from lysergic veterans
This psych-rock trio were scorching the retinas of London gig-goers with their liquid light show as long ago as 1988. Judging by Albert Hoffman, an ode to the Swiss scientist who first synthesised LSD, their horizons haven't expanded significantly since then. However, since re-forming in 2011, it's obvious that decades of research in the field have added a professorial grouchiness to their trippy experiments. A Cure For The Infected Afflicted is a gnarly Madchester groove about the evils of consumerism, while The Splendour Of The Universe is the sort of trumpet-assisted cosmic shuffle Ian Brown once specialized in. It may lack the magnesium flare explosiveness of the new wave of psychedelic pupics such as Pond, but there's enough phospherescent melodies here to brighten anyone's day
Paul Moody, Q magazine

If you enjoy drinking Tizer laced with Space Dust, if your beaker of Irn Bru isn’t complete without a sherbet lemon fizzing away at the bottom, then you’ll find the Chemistry Set’s latest confection of acid-pop pastilles nigh-on irresistible. The cult London psych merchants continue to display remarkable levels of creativity and inspiration – astonishing for a band whose roots go way back to 1987. To understand where the Set are coming from, look no further than the song Albert Hoffman, a joyous, swirling celebration of the Swiss scientist who discovered LSD (notwithstanding the grievous conclusion when ‘his world turns back to drizzle grey’). Elsewhere, International Rescue impresses with its warped Monkees riff, Winter Sun has the vibe of an elegiac medieval ballad, the wistful trippery of Elapsed Memories conjures an ambience of aching emptiness and The Open Window is a Harrison/Maharishi wig-out. Truth be told, each of the 12 tracks here provokes a fizzy and foamy reaction. Job done
Geoff Barton, Classic Rock magazine

Criminally overlooked and possessing enough hooks on which to hang a chapel full of hats, The Chemistry Set have been plying their intermittent trade since 1987, employing effortless '60s licks redolent of early Kinks, Barrett-era Floyd and XTC. Here their chops are fried to a crisp edge, from the triumphal opening bars of 'The Splendour Of The Universe' and scorching 'Fountains Of Neptune' to the raga-lite drone of 'The Open Window' via the luscious ballad 'Winter Song' and shimmering Soft Boys-meets-'Corporal Clegg' of 'Albert Hofmann'. We can forgive the occasional lapse (the barrel-house piano of 'Crawling Back To You') as long as there are such peerless gems as the single, 'Elapsed Memories'. The fact that the various protagonists live in different countries means that live appearances have been even more infrequent than their releases and helps explain why they remain a well-kept secret deserving of a wider audience
Ian Fraser, Shindig!

London psychedelic rockers and cult favorites The Chemistry Set are back with a full-length release, building upon their 2015 EP 'Elapsed Memories'. The new record 'The Endless More & More' is a twelve song set filled with a dizzying array of effortless melodies, memorable sing-along choruses and an amazing mix of psychedelic sonic treats for the ears. The first track, 'The Fountains of Neptune', sets the tone immediately with jangly electric phased guitars, and a driving tom tom beat. This song is four minutes of pure '60s garage rock bliss complete with an organ and a fuzzy blanket of guitars, easily destined to become your new favorite song to sing along with. The Chemistry Set don't let up on layering beautiful pop melodies as the horn hook of 'The Splendor of the Universe' arrives with up front punchy drums, tambourine and acoustic guitar. This band really layers their arrangements and instrumentation masterfully as the songs progress through this album. Each chorus contains soaring lead vocals and harmonies that are truly uplifting or wondrous. It was difficult not to imagine grabbing your friends to get out and go see this band in a live setting as you listen to these tracks. The energy is undeniable, even on a mid-tempo spacey track like 'Time to Breathe' that contains some really beautifully delayed slide guitar passages, breathless harmonies and a fantastic mix of psychedelic effects as the song approaches the outro fade-out. Fans of the Super Furry Animals, R.E.M. and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd should immediately rush out and grab a copy of this record. One of my favorite tracks, 'Albert Hoffman', starts with a great kaleidoscope of carnival sounds only to drip away into hazy tremolo guitars and a quirky pop melody filled with swirling effects that happily float you away. The open hit hats and guitar scrapes of 'A Cure For the Inflicted Afflicted' sound like the start of a band kicking off a great energetic live set. Attention-grabbing riffs fill this song with a bit more edge than some of the other tracks and I dare you to try not to jam along with the outro solo complete with a wailing harmonica. It is bordering on the impossible. Another highlight, 'Canyon of the Crescent Moon' showcases how well this band can write a gorgeous pop melody that sounds effortless but carries a lot of emotional weight. This is another track that is hard not to sing along with, and has a great unique mood at this point in the record. The almost ragtime-like walking bass piano riffs that fill 'Crawling Back to You' are perfectly matched with acoustic slide guitar twang. It shuffles along like a McCartney-penned Beatles tune from 'The White Album'. The last track, 'The Open Window' slows the pace down for an entrancing ethereal sonic journey filled with organs, sitars, tablas and heavily affected vocals to close the record. This is definitely a sunny record filled with 55 minutes of '60s pop hooks, modern recording magic and quality songwriting. Perfect motivation for starting out your day with some rocking positive vibes.
The Sound Of Confusion
http://thesoundofconfusionblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-chemistry-set-endless-more-more.html?m=1

The Chemistry Set are based in London and come from far away starting to play music in the transition between the 80s and 90s years, a crossing that connects important neo-psychedelic planetary motions occurred in the early years of the two decades. In that middle ground, their reworking can capture the colors and sounds from the gravitational waves of the big bang 60s intercepted by Creation Records and Paisley Underground after the 1977 of Soft Boys and Jam. An artistic vitality partly exposed on cassettes (via Acid Tapes), on various singles (via Imaginary Records), on a Syd Barrett tribute compilation and on a couple of albums of which the first (“Sounds Like Paintings”) unreleased. High expectations, music magazines and radios abuzz (also regularly transmitted by the legendary John Peel) for a dream interrupted in the early 90s despite the arrowy swirl The Set with two singles (Polydor). Then 15 years go by and the existential flow is renewed in 2009 with “Alchemy # 101”, a return full of overflowing energy where everything is transformed as in a chemical reaction even in joining to the underground current events and the creative process of The Chemistry Set may continue in a new popsike study on the pop properties of the psychedelic experience as a celebration in the making still directed by the two founders: Dave McLean and Paul Lake. The next steps of their discography follow a steady rhythm, from the album “This Day Will Never Happen Again” (Dead Bees, 2010), to the resumption of live activity to the series of singles and EPs (including the supersonic remixes of ‘Chemistry Is Just Numbers’ by their Barcelona partner dj Gato, Tsunami, 2011) until the most recent 7inches that have been issued for the increasingly surprising Fruits de Mer Records who rightly release also this new album. “The Endless More and More” starts very loud by exothermic drums on the majestic horn section of ‘The Splendour of the Universe’ between wah wah swarms and Dukes of Stratosphear resonances. Deep and scintillating the music of The Chemistry Set, lands to the high fidelity thanks to a impeccable production that strengthen some of the titles of the singles like Time to Breathe’, next to The Beatles in the ecstasy of echoes, glissando, celestial vocals and ‘Kiss Me Vibrate and Smile’ fuzz wonder on backwards effects in a keyboards garage groove. Instant formulas that configure memorable themes like ‘The Fountains of Neptune’ and ‘A Cure for the Afflicted Inflicted’ performed on psych-blues Yardbirds vastness already coupled with ‘Elapsed Memories’ and relaunched from the namesake 7″EP of 2014. A synthesis in the heart of the song form with unpredictable yields as ‘Crawling Back to You’, country weirdness that twirl in a slide funfair and prelude to ‘Albert Hofmann’, heartfelt homage to the chemical-scientist-philosopher on the sounds of a ultra-reverberating roundabout on which turns his ‘problem child’ in a playful recalling of Robyn Hitchcock narration. The senses are perfused by the guitars – keyboards comings and goings returned with accuracy by powerful rhythms, impossible to stand still on the mod-freakbeat frenzy ‘International Rescue’ and on the jingle jangle westcoast airiness of ‘The Canyon of the Crescent Moon’. When the electricity goes fading to acoustic arise ‘Winter Sun’ and ‘The Open Window’ mystical enchantment of intense beauty between crystalline arpeggios, eastern instruments and delighting orchestration reflecting Love’s “Forever Changes”. The physical of “The Endless More and More” offers various editions wrapped in the visionary artwork of Serse Rodriguez including a double vinyl – double CD ‘special edition’ with bonus dedicated to Jimi Hendrix featuring several remixes of the fabulous cover of ‘Love or Confusion ‘. In all the editions there is a poster designed by Mick Dillingham reproducing the periodic table of elements: The Chemistry Set and the fundamentals of chemistry. Further confirmation that the music of our harmonic scientists, is based increasingly on solid foundations.
pleniROCKium
http://plenirockium.altervista.org/the-chemistry-set-uk/

With a history that stretches back to 1987, The Chemistry Set have wide experience, and an even more expansive collection of influences. From The Move and The Beatles to Dream Syndicate and Thee Hypnotics, they dabble in areas of late 60s quirkiness plus the density of the two subsequent decades. The combination can be exotic (The Fountains Of Neptune), or eccentric (certainly the case on Crawling Back To You), or deftly melodic, as on The Splendour Of The Universe and Come Kiss Me Vibrate And Smile. But throughout there’s the joyous vibe of a band who really care about their art, but are also relaxed enough to have fun. At times, they seem to lose a little perspective. For instance, International Rescue comes over as too much of a combination of The Beatles’ I Feel Fine and Day Tripper, while Albert Hoffman tries overly hard to be a musical acid trip. But even there, they get away with such things because of a genuine exuberance and dedication. The Endless More And More represents what can be achieved when you take a genre such as psychedelia, which you’d think had been rinsed dry by now, yet approach it with an expertise and passion.
Malcolm Dome, PROG magazine

After releasing their Elapsed Memories EP on Fruits de Mer in Feb 2015, The Chemistry Set returned to the studio to complete the recording for their next album, The Endless More and More. The new album contains twelve original songs, including “Elapsed Memories” from the EP. The result is a playful collection of pop psych / acid pop / psych songs. The opening song “The Splendour of the Universe” sounds like it could be the theme song to a Brit sci-fi show like Red Dwarf. “The Fountains of Neptune” is another excursion into the cosmos with some wonderful organ riffs, Mellotron, and trippy psych guitar work. “International Rescue” sounds like a grafting of the Byrds, Love, and the Beatles, complete with jangling guitars. “Time to Breathe” takes a bit of time to develop, but it eventually grows on you. “Come Kiss Me Vibrate and Smile” is a superb garage psych song reminiscent of The Animals. “Winter Sun” is pure acid folk and “Albert Hoffman” is a lysergic trip to the fair. There is such a variety of song styles on this album. Perhaps my favorite is the closing “The Open Window.” This song is six minutes of raga rock with tabla and drones. The band continues to improve, and though they continue to experiment with what they have mined from the 60s, their music gives impression of that era without sounding derivative.
Henry Schneider, Exposé magazine
http://www.expose.org/index.php/articles/display/the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more-6.html

Back in the late ’80s I would occasionally send off for Bucketful of Brains magazine which would regularly come with a flexi-disc. Those were the days eh? I’d pour through the magazine looking for bands I might like whilst trying desperately to get the record player to play the flexi. On more than one occasion the Chemistry Set were the band on the disc and it seems really weird that I’m again listening to them in what we are told is 2016. They are a long running ambitious psychedelic band from London who have tootled away without letting a lack of international recognition stop them. Kind of like a the Dentists who kept going. Opener ’The Splendour of the Universe’ throws in everything including the kitchen sink including Teardrop Explodes horns, a pumping chorus and that most psychedelic of things a backwards guitar solo. It all makes me rather exhausted. ’The Fountains of Neptune’ too is a blasting pop song with lots of psychedelic effects but it leads to the conclusion that the Chemistry Set have everything in place apart from one thing - their songs are quite regular Joe. But just when I’m about to bemoan a lack of interesting structures comes ’Time to Breathe’ which finally injects some Syd Barrett’s weirdness into proceedings which I felt otherwise were just a little staid for my tastes. Throughout it’s the odder tracks that are catching my ear more but that’s probably because I am in fact odd. The Chemistry Set write old fashioned rollicking numbers that will appeal to fans of Traffic, the Coral, Kula Shaker, Robyn Hitchock.
Somebody send Noel Gallagher a copy and make 'em a bit more famous.
clinton, norman Records https://www.normanrecords.com/records/156140-the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more

If you can wait until the New Year a Wise Man will come bearing a gift of gold (gold coloured vinyl that is) as The Chemistry Set have their new LP released on Fruits de Mer Records. Many end of year polls are already being published with releases from amongst others Bjork and New Order featuring heavily in the Top 10. The new release from The Chemistry Set although not out until early January 2016 has been heard by these ears and is without doubt the best release Keith of Fruits de Mer Records has released so far and in my humble opinion should sit firmly at No. 1. Fans of Syd era Floyd, The Dukes of Stratosphere, Australia’s Tyrnaround will be frothing at the ears when they hear the delights of this release.
A Box Of Dreams
http://aboxofdreams.com/music/the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more/#more-700

Hot on the heels of five sell out 7" singles with the label, come 12 original songs of a distinctly psychedelic nature. Bursting out of the speakers with drums and trumpets to the fore, the opener " The Splendour Of The Universe" announces itself with style, a jangle pop confection with soaring chorus and a "forever changes" vibe ending with backwards waspish guitars. Great lysergic rushes of Keyboards and Mellotron colour the 2nd track "The Fountains Of Neptune" along with a huge driving rhythm and superb lead guitar too. "International Rescue" follows with ringing 12 string detailing the break up of a relationship and bringing to mind the "Super Furries" and a touch of "The Sir Douglas Quintet" on the farfisa, very catchy and concise."Time To Breath is taken at a more sedate pace with fine keyboards and a gentle psych flavour, its lovely and ends by spluttering out into static, up we go again now with the garagey "Come Kiss Me" a great poppy rock song with a fine retro feel, sublime."Winter Sun" an acoustic number that's perfectly placed, is very natural and has an unhurried timeless feel, something which this record has in spades."Albert Hoffman" has a carnivalesque opening, whilst some phased fuzz guitar creates a fine platform for some great 'sixties toytown' lyrics, but done in a very concise way, with not a wasted note, this song details a substance created in 1943 by Mr Hoffman and used by many armchair travellers along the way, peppered with wonky guitar and a 'Syd Barrett '/ 'Robyn Hitchcock' approach to the lyrics, but actually unsloppy and tight as a drum. Things ratchet up again for"A Cure For The Inflicted Afflicted"a punchy rock song but delivered with a lightness of touch, this one has a great lead guitar break in the middle and ends with some amplified harmonica. Following on, "The Canyon Of The Crescent Moon" is a perfect distillation of a bucolic, psychedelic, summer sun , with lyrics concerning sundials and Crystal Palace, "Crawling Back To You" has a countrified vibe with HonkyTonk Piano's and Dobro and "Elapsed Memories" is a super song about recalling memories that are always half remembered ,pages missing , statues without faces, of trying to find each other through the ether of foggy memories. The record ends with the Sitar and Tabla infused "The Opening window" , a fantastic tune, imagine a sort of indian 'Lewis carroll 'type thing with wonderful elastic bass a superb sitar motif repeating and then something I wasn't expecting, the keyboard player starts playing some very H P Lovecraftian (H P Lovecraft 2) pulses giving an otherworldy feel to this bloody brilliant final song. This will sell out pretty fast i'm sure, it's wonderful and timeless, best get your orders in, a stone cold classic.
Andy Young, Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_November_15.htm#ChemSet

The Chemistry Set from London, UK, were one of the pioneers of the neo-psychedelic scene in the late 80s/early 90s. They have been more active again during the recent years releasing three singles on Fruits de Mer / Regal Crabomophone and also playing live. Strange enough, The Endless More and More is in fact their first actual new studio album for decades. Most of their other releases have been singles, EP's, Mini Albums and compilations. This superb new album was carefully recorded and mixed during the recent years and includes some songs from their vinyl singles on Regal Crabomophone, but not all of them. There are 12 tracks on the album that lasts for 55 minutes which might have made it hard to fit it all on one vinyl. The album starts of with the marvellous unreleased new track "The Splendour of the Universe". This band really has great and catchy melodies! A perfect pop psych song with vibes from the 60s, 80s and 00s, if you ask me. "The Fountains of Neptune" is a bit more psychedelic and hypnotic and rocks a little harder which is great. Another winner! "Internal Rescue" has some The Beatles / The Byrds vibes and again excellent melodies. "Time to Breathe" was released as a single in 2012 and it's a more peaceful, dreamy and atmospheric track with cool psych effects and a hazy mood. The sort of garage rock / pop styled "Come Kiss Me Vibrate and Smile" (the B side of the aforementioned single) should have been a huge hit in some alternative universe, and probably was. Very catchy indeed. I must also say that I love the band's harmony vocals... On "Winter Sun" the band cools down for a beautiful, folky ballad mode with acoustic guitars. "Albert Hoffman" is one of the trippiest songs on the album and a great homage to one of the most important figures in the psychedelic circles... I think I can hear some early Pink Floyd in there. Mind-blowing! "A Cure for the Inflicted Afflicted" (from Elapsed Memories 7") is more energetic and brings to mind The Stones. "The Cranyon of the Crescent Moon" is a typical, melodic neo-psych pop candy, and "Crawling Back to You" a piano-driven thing in the vein of Lennon/McCarthy. "Elapsed Memories" is a melancholic, touching, gorgeous but also rocking song that makes the cold shivers go though your spine, it's just so good and one of the highlights for me. The last track "The Open Window" is more mysterious and mind-expanding stuff with some Eastern influences, and a great, mesmerizing way to end this stunning album. Please do yourself a favor and pre-order this beauty right away so you won't miss out. Essential stuff for all lovers of great melodic psych pop / rock!
DJ Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/11/the-chemistry-set-endless-more-and-more.html

The Chemistry Set are true veterans of the UK neo-psych scene; formed in 1987 they have been gaining plaudits from all corners since (the legend that is John Peel was a fan!). In recent years they have also become a mainstay on Fruits de Mer records, appearing on the label's club member exclusives, including a blinding cover of 'See Emily Play' on the 'A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl', and five 7". January 2016 sees Fruits de Mer releasing 'The Endless More and More', a full length album on gold vinyl and limited to 600 copies. 'The Endless More And More' channels both sixties psych and the Paisley Underground of the eighties to great effect. The songwriting is of the highest standard and the melodies infectious. 'The Splendour of the Universe' begins with a fanfare of brass before some lovely harmonised vocals and acoustic guitar intertwine to make a track that could have been lifted directly off the 'Children of Nuggets' boxset. 'The Fountains Of Neptune' lifts the tempo with some vibrato guitar and organ working together to produce a punchy, driving track. The organ gives it an sixties authenticity and some fab spacey synth effects towards the end rubber stamp the neo-psych credentials. 'International Rescue' has an introduction that reminded me of The Monkees (and in my book, that is a very good thing!) and the chiming guitar is straight from the eighties psych revival. 'Time To Breath' begins with the discordant sound of a radio being tuned, fleeting sounds of different stations glimpsed briefly before we are treated to a gorgeous pastoral ballad. Highly evocative of the sixties, the lyrical nature of the track highlights just how good this band are re: songwriting. 'Come Kiss Me Vibrate and Smile' is a garage rock stomper complete with, what sounds like, a farfisa organ and rousing chorus. 'Winter Sun' is acknowledged by the band themselves as being influenced by Traffic circa 'Mr Fantasy', not being au fait with that LP myself, all I know is that 'Winter Sun' is another slow, acoustic-driven track and is a beautiful piece of music and comes complete with some lovely sitar sounding guitar. 'Albert Hoffman' is probably the most out-and-out psychedelic track on the album and, if you didn't know better, you would think it was a Syd Barrett composition with the same humour and whimsical quality. 'A Cure For The Inflicted Afflicted' is a another uptempo number and has an eighties indie rock feel about it, it has a nice fuzzy guitar riff and a killer solo which sounds almost incongruous with the rest of the album. 'The Canyon Of The Crescent Moon' sees normal service resumed with another sixties inflected slice of neo-psych complete with organ and more wonderful lyrics...probably my favourite track. 'Crawling Back To You' is a very Beatlesque track; the song as the same structure and lyrical quality as the Fab Four circa Abbey Road / Revolver. This track really showcases the band's quality, both lyrically and as musicians..a tour de force. 'Elapsed Memories' starts as a folky number but quickly evolves into another psych number (think The Byrds if they were from London rather than West Coast US). Those who are au fait with the FdM catalogue will be aware that this track originally appeared as a FdM 7" earlier in the year, backed with a cover of Hendrix's 'Love Or Confusion'. 'The Open Window' closes the album in fine style; another lovely slice of sixties psych with sitar and tabla over a lovely drone. 'The Endless More And More' sees The Chemistry Set bring all their experience, craft and musicianship to the table and they have produced an album that is sublime. The lyrics shine forth throughout the album like poetic beacons in the dark, and the music itself shows variety and creativity, and never falls short of excellence. When this goes up for pre-order on the Fruits de Mer site, be sure to get in fast as this will fly! In the meantime, head over to the band's Facebook page on November 3rd as they will be premiering a song and video from the album.
Dayz of Purple and Orange
http://dayzofpurpleandorange.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/review-chemistry-set-endless-more-and.html

Twelve songs strong, and opening with a fanfare that would feel more at home on a Northern Soul dancehall than another night at the Fourteen Hour Technicolour Dream, the Chemistry Set’s latest lands in a nifty gold vinyl limited edition, gatefold sleeve and super-fold-out poster… and if you really want to continue calling them a psych band, then you need to redefine your parameters fast. This is glorious pop, plain and simple, a collection that does, of course, borrow sounds from sundry past fascinations (the Floydian organ, some Canterbury titles, a garage band energy), but it’s what they do with them that matters. An exquisitely melded mash of melody, hook and chorus, soaring and seeking out those little corners of your ear which make you grin the widest. It’s music for a non-stop teenaged dance party, heads-a-shaking and dandruff flying, while someone spikes the punch with a handful of old Jam singles (“International Rescue”) and “The Canyon of the Crescent Moon” looms like the Bangles on quaaludes. All of which adds up to an album that, like past (and presumably future Chemistry Set albums), knows exactly what people expect to hear, and which still wanders off on its own sweet course. “Crawling Back to You” might even be the best Kinks cover that Oasis never recorded, and if that’s not enough to make you run to pre-order it… well, that’s cos you’ve not heard “The Open Window.” The Beatles were right… tomorrow never knew.
Dave Thompson - Goldmine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/reviews-wreckless-eric-us-chemistry-set-al-stewart-michael-padilla-beautify-junkyards-frank-zappa#sthash.TnNqNF6n.dpuf

Criminally overlooked and possessing enough hooks on which to hang a chapel full of hats, The Chemistry Set have been plying their intermittent trade since 1987, employing effortless '60s licks redolent of early Kinks, Barrett-era Floyd and XTC. Here their chops are fried to a crisp edge, from the triumphal opening bars of 'The Splendour Of The Universe' and scorching 'Fountains Of Neptune' to the raga-lite drone of 'The Open Window' via the luscious ballad 'Winter Song' and shimmering Soft Boys-meets-'Corporal Clegg' of 'Albert Hofmann'. We can forgive the occasional lapse (the barrel-house piano of 'Crawling Back To You') as long as there are such peerless gems as the single, 'Elapsed Memories'. The fact that the various protagonists live in different countries means that live appearances have been even more infrequent than their releases and helps explain why they remain a well-kept secret deserving of a wider audience
Ian Fraser, Shindig!

UK veterans THE CHEMISTRY SET first appeared sometime around the mid 1980’s, releasing a couple of albums and then more or less disappearing for a couple of decades. A few years after the millennium they reappeared again, and have been an active unit ever since with a good handful of singles, plenty of project contributions and three studio albums to their name following their revival. “The Endless More and More” is their most recent studio effort, and was released by English label Fruits de Mer Records in early 2016, through their sublabel Regal Crabomophone. As Fruits de Mer is a label known, renowned and focused around psychedelic rock, no one should be surprised about The Chemistry Set being rather safely placed inside this stylistic context, nor that we’re dealing with a band that has a strong affection for yesterdays sounds and music, as well as the ones from before yesterday as well. As far as psychedelic rock goes, this is a band that it is just about impossible to describe without using a word like vintage. They have a bit more about them than merely being a 60’s or 70’s novelty act however, and their scope within the psychedelic realms is actually fairly broad too. The greater majority of the material does come with at least a few references to 1960’s psychedelic pop and a band like The Beatles, due to light toned, elegant and charming to uplifting arrangements, a generally positive vibe as well as the manner in which the crystal clear lead vocals and vocal harmonies are used. That many of these songs also features sections with a more distinct and untamed psychedelic spirit perhaps an indication that the true references to be used might reside elsewhere of course, and that this is a production that will have the dedicated aficionados scoff and laugh at the clueless critics, but for those that haven’t spent countless hours listening to music from that decade, The Beatles is a reference and association that will come rather automatically I’d suspect. It doesn’t take all that long before the references starts expanding though. Elements from garage rock and at least to some extent acid rock does appear here and there as this album moves onward, a song like Time to Breathe strikes me as a song that makes me think of Pink Floyd just as much as the aforementioned Fab Four, the curiously named a Cure for the Inflicted Afflicted is more of a 70’s hard rock tinged affair, and there’s even room for a ragtime flavored piano goes country ballad called Crawling Back to You. Towards the end Elapsed Memories adds the spirit and sound of early REM to the proceedings as well, and concluding piece The Open Window a brilliantly seductive psychedelic affair with drones, keyboards, plucked guitars and a more than subtle Raga feel to it, concluding this album on a very high note indeed. While there is a lot of variation at hand here, and even a couple of exceptions to the norm at times, this is first and foremost an album that should interest those with an affection for vintage psychedelic rock in general, and then perhaps the music made in the period from the mid 60’s to the early 70’s first and foremost. A certain taste for music like The Beatles and The Doors is recommended, but the most important aspect needed to enjoy this album is a firm interest in vintage psychedelic rock. If you regard yourself as being just that, this is an album that has your name on it. Just don’t wait too long, as this label release on limited edition vinyl albums only. When an album is sold out, it will remain so.
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/01/24/the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more-2016/

A little background for newcomers: UK psychsters The Chemistry Set got started back in 1987 during the Neo-Psych rage era, getting John Peel airplay and even appeared on Tony Wilson’s (Factory Records) TV show. They toured the UK, Europe and US before splitting in the 90s and then kick starting again in 2008. They’ve since released five 7″ singles on Fruits de Mer. And now we’ve got a killer set of 12 original songs, some of which appeared on the previous singles, that draw on a variety of Psychedelic and Rock ‘n’ Roll influences. I’ll hand it to The Chemistry Set… they have a compositional flair for melodic songs that hook you on the first spin. The musicianship, vocals, harmonies, production and arrangements are rock solid, creating a Psychedelic variety pack across these dozen tunes. I love the Pop-Psych grandeur of The Splendour Of The Universe, colored by Beatles/Revolver styled freak guitar and spaced out Floydian effects. Bouncy Sunshine Pop meets energetic Rock ‘n’ Roll on International Rescue. The Canyon Of The Crescent Moon has a similar spring in its step, but also a swirling Arabian vibe and the chorus reminds me of Soft Hearted Scientists. Time To Beathe is a slowly lulling Psychedelic crooner with wildly tripped out space guitar embellishment. Imagine turning Astronomy Domine into a lullaby and you’ve got something like this song. I like the Folk-Baroque sweetness of Winter Sun. Albert Hoffman is a Syd-like song that is, as you might expect from the title, laced with spaced out lysergic effects and a bonus grungy Psych guitar solo. Crawling Back To You sounds like a classic Paul McCartney fun time solo tune. Elapsed Memories alternates between haunting Psychedelic mysticism and Power-Pop. And speaking of mysticism, The Open Window goes full blown Indian raga for a cool grooving blend of mind-bending shamanic drone and Bluesy swagger in the vocals. The band get heavier rockin’ garage nasty on The Fountains Of Neptune. Dig that cool eerie organ and deep space swirl. Come Kiss Me Vibrate And Smile is similar but throws in some acoustic guitar jangle for a fun contrasting edge. And A Cure For The Inflected Afflicted is the heaviest rocker of the set, with 70s Hard Rock riffage and even a Blues harmonica fill. A solid set that grabbed me on the first listen and keeps on giving a half dozen spins later.
Jerry Kranitz, aural innovationss
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/11/the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more-fruits-de-mer-recordsregal-crabomophone-2015-lp/

The Chemistry Set has been a major player in England's psychedelic revival since forming in 1987, and has also forged a special partnership with the vinyl-only, indie label Fruits de Mer. The Endless More And More is the first effort from the Manchester-based band in a few years, and an unmistakable sense of accomplishment can be felt in the triumphant horn intro on the opening track "The Splendour Of The Universe." The limited edition (600 copies) LP will be released on gold vinyl by FdM in early January. A quick glance at the song titles might evoke thoughts of ponderous prog rock, but The Chemistry Set brings a sense of adventure, energy, and amusement to the proceedings. "International Rescue" opens with a guitar riff that could have come from a Revolver era Beatles song, and also includes "bop bop" backup vocals. The high-energy "Come Kiss Me Vibrate And Smile" runs with that intriguing offer and throws in some philosophical observations as well. "A Cure For The Inflicted Afflicted" has a hard rock edge, while on "The Fountains Of Neptune," The Chemistry Set aggressively mixes guitars and synthesizers for a prog rock gem. "Time To Breathe" and "Winter Sun" are less engaging prog rock songs, but "Albert Hoffman," a freewheeling tribute to the inventor of LSD, is an eccentric masterpiece reminiscent of Syd Barrett. The light romance of "The Canyon Of The Crescent Moon" has an irresistible melody, and "The Open Window" offers enlightenment via an exotic arrangement built on sitar, synthesizer, and tablas.
Terry Flamm, Broken Hearted Toy
http://brokenheartedtoy.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/the-chemistry-set-endless-more-and-more.html

It doesn’t take very long into “The Splendour Of The Universe” from “The Endless More and More” to realize that The Chemistry Set are a band from another time. They aren’t influenced by psychedelic rock from 1968, they sound like they are FROM 1968. Whether it’s the harmonies, the use of vintage keys, the pounding double-time snare, or even a well placed trumpet, The Chemistry Set are fully engulfed in the sound of the late ’60s, just before prog rock exploded. Back in the late ’60s, bands were changing rapidly. Remember Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett? The Chemistry Set often remind me of them. “Walking thru the fountains of Neptune, I don’t hear a sound.” Syd would be proud! And the key to why The Chemistry Set really do such justice to psychedelic rock is that it is AUTHENTIC. This isn’t a band that views it as some sort of fad and it doesn’t sound like an imitation. The songs, the melodies and the arrangements all work together to create music that sounds like you’ve just discovered a long lost slab of vinyl from back then. What’s also interesting to me is that I am not a huge fan of psych rock but if you have songs like the completely acoustic “Winter Sun,” you cannot deny how good this band is at what they do. It’s just a great song. “Albert Hoffman” sounds like a decendent of “Arnold Layne.” And the closer “The Open Window” has a middle eastern vibe which hints at the other directions that psych bands would explore as the 70s dawned. Another thing I should mention is that I am reviewing a vinyl release. The good folks at Fruits de Mer Records are releasing this album the way it really should be released, on vinyl. It’s the proper medium for these songs and this band. The Chemistry Set have created an album that’s as addictive as any drug from the late 60s. Once you’ve listened to it over and over, you’ll understand why it’s called “The Endless More and More.”
Progressive Music Planet
http://progressivemusicplanet.com/2015/11/05/the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more/

Wow! The first three tracks on the new Chemistry Set album really punch the breath out of me and then proceed to pull my imagination round distant horizons only hinted at in the lyrics. No surprise the fourth track is the familiar and still rather wonderful, 'Time To Breathe'. Phew. This is how to begin your new album - hold nothing back. I'm particularly impressed with the opener 'The Splendour Of The Universe', fanfare and all. It radiates a 'I-feel-so-good-that-there's-nothing-the world-can-throw-at-me-today-to-make-me-feel-down-at-all' vibe. The Byrdsian touches are welcome to these ears as well. Yes, a CDR promo of 'The Endless More And More' has arrived here courtesy of FdM (thank you Keith) and it's caused quite a stir. The beauty of this album is in the detail. I've said before that these guys know their way round the studio and here is further proof. Every time I listen I hear something new and interesting. I really appreciate that bit of thought in the arrangements for songs and ChemSet never disappoint. Shame it's not released until January next year, it'd be in my Top Ten for 2015 right now. Maybe I'll sneak it in anyway, on a technicality! This is some of the best British neo-pop-psych I've heard in some time. It's not all three chords and a cloud of space dust though (there is very much a theme of galactic about the album), as the mellower moments show the duo's ability to diversify. Besides the previously mentioned 'Time To Breathe', there's the aching beauty of the ballad 'Winter Sun' and 'Albert Hoffman' has that whimsy of Syd's Floyd about it, with extra spookiness. I can't help but be charmed by bar-room sing-a-long (though not quite a knees-up) of 'Crawling Back To You'. After some listens I think 'Crawling...' is my favourite song on the album. It's this kind of song that makes the album special. It's completely unexpected. This kind of approach never hurt The Beatles on their albums either. Elsewhere, the single 'Elapsed Memories' still has a chorus a lot of bands would kill for and of course, you can't have a psychedelic album without the whiff of incense...'The Open Window' takes care of the Eastern side of things. Nice!
Excellent effort guys, go to the top of the class!
Nick Leese, Heyday Mail Order
http://www.heyday-mo.com/catalog/blog.html

Mirth blows through your brains with the new album of the psychedelic band from London. Started in the late 80s during the revival of acid rock and psycheldelica, they continue to inspire a solid hurdle would-be hippies. Who after listening to the CD decides to gather their material, will go through pure misery on LSD. The band rarely release a full album, but dissolves sparingly with obscure 7 "and 12 inch EPs their creative mind blowers. Record label 'Fruits de Mer' rushes for years on the psychedelic genre with numerous releases on vinyl in limited edition collector's items immediately, of course, and therefore virtually impossible to find on the mainland. "The endless more and more 'will officially start in 2016 and contains 12 beautiful songs. Reference points can be found at Sun Dial, XTC and their alter egos The Dukes of Stratosphere, Space Labs Hawkwind and even a dash Beatles. Surprisingly, men are also able to write beautiful ballads. 'Winter Sun' is extremely hit potential. And with a song about the godfather of LSD, "Albert Hoffman, they bring some depth into the swirlers. (By the way, this scientist was 102!?). 'Crawling back to you', with a staccato piano accompaniment and a slide-guitar, brings beautiful memories. "Elapsed memories', early this year also appeared on the EP, is a typical psych rock song: up tempo, great chorus, wah-wah, chorus. "The Endless More and More 'is a nice sample of what psychedelics in 2015 has to offer: dreamy joy kicks you. No drugs needed! Where are the John Peel's from Belgium to this masterpiece to provide a platform ??
Keys and Chords magazine(sorry, google auto translation!)
http://www.keysandchords.com/album-review-blog/the-chemistry-set-the-endless-more-and-more

MICHAEL PADILLA 'ATMOSPHERES'

Front man for the US neo-psych band The Soft Bombs, Michael Padilla, stretches his musical muscles by recording a full album of ambient music. This music is so out of character for Fruits de Mer that Keith Jones elected to release it on their experimental sub-label Strange Fish. To add to the experimental aspect of the music, Keith also decided that it was time to issue their first picture disc. Fully recognizing the sonic limitations of a picture disc and the expected criticism from vinyl junkies, they are including a CD with the four tracks (one is an extended version of the vinyl track) plus a bonus track. Michael’s compositional approach on this solo album was to learn from the master Brian Eno and his ground breaking Discreet Music. Michael used only a sampler and a loop pedal to create constantly shifting and morphing soundscapes. Each track was spontaneously composed and performed in his studio on May 26, 2014, December 29, 2014, December 30, 2014, January 10, 2015, and January 12, 2105. The promo only contains the four tracks on the LP, so that is where I will focus my attention. Side A opens with “Northern Lights.” I have never seen the Northern Lights, but the constantly shifting and floating nature of the music is the sonic equivalent of the aurora. Though there is some uniformity of the music, the constant shifting maintains your interest throughout the track. The second track is “Crossing East.” This is a slow electronic piece that reminds me of Fred Becker’s Inner, Stellar and some of Roedelius’ ambient works. This is ambient electronic music, but nothing like Tangerine Dream. There are no pentatonic sequences or Hollywood soundtrack riffs. Side B opens with “Ecstagony,” and a dark drone intro similar to early Tangerine Dream. Think of Alpha Centauri, Zeit, or Atem. However, over its 15 minutes the drifting chords tend to brighten a bit and the music approaches Inner, Stellar again. The closing track is the three-minute “The Waiting.” This dark ambient track is in the bass register that eventually is overlaid by a bass melody line. The CD version contains an extended version of “Crossing East” and the bonus track “Dark Matter.” Quite a departure for FdM and an impressive album package. The uniqueness of this release is sure to make Atmospheres an instant collector’s item!
Henry Schneider, Expose magazine
http://www.expose.org/index.php/articles/display/michael-padilla-atmospheres-ambient-works-vol.-1-6.html

While Fruits de Mer Records is a label first and foremost known for their release of psychedelic rock, at times also progressive rock, they have set up their Strange Fish imprint to cater for music that on some level or other is out of bounds from their main ones. Padilla’s solo album fits quite nicely into this category, as the music here doesn’t have too many ties with either psychedelic rock nor progressive rock, but at the same time this is music of a kind that fans of both these genres often has an interest in. Ambient, electronic music is the name of the game here, instrumental, dream-laden and at times with at least half a foot inside what some might describe as new age oriented material at that. Not as soft, smooth and featureless as the kind of ambient music that has given that moniker a band name, not as intangible and unobtrusive as the bland new age music music lovers tend to loathe with a certain passion, but still material that is undeniable ambient, and at times with aspects and traits shared with music generally sorted under the new age description. Opening cut Northern Lights is a perfect example of those attachments, with it’s layered, soft, dark and light toned textures slowly moving in a fluctuating landscape ebbing and flowing in intensity, evoking the feeling of a cold night up in the northern hemispheres somewhere, with mainly the light toned textures used to create tension in this majestic, dream-laden and cold slow moving sound pattern. The following piece Crossing East features layers of fairly delicate textures that sound like they are based on flutes and recorders, delicate and slightly nervous, where multiple mid-toned and light toned textures again combines in fluctuating patterns ebbing and flowing in intensity and prominence. The next two compositions are of a somewhat different character. Third track Ecstagony is a rather more dramatic affair, using textures with a stronger similarity to cellos and violins of various kinds with both drone like, surging and fluctuating tendencies. A rather more brooding and vibrant creation this one, more dramatic and with something of an urgent spirit brought to the table. Concluding track The Waiting also has a darker mood and spirit to it, with an ominous, dark toned majestic surging texture the dominant aspect, surging in upwards and downwards trajectories, supplemented by a distanced, careful mid-toned sound that adds a mournful presence to the brooding darkness. The Waiting, presumably, not for something all that positive. As such productions go this is an intriguing one, and while the cold and tranquil landscapes of the opening cut comes across as the most accomplished one to my ears, the final two creations with their stronger emphasis on dark, nervous and haunting atmospheres will perhaps be those found most interesting by listeners with a stronger affection for challenging material in this particular context. All in all a quality production that merits a check by those fond of ambient music, especially those that treasure music of this kind that does have a bit more of an edge.
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/01/25/michael-padilla-atmospheres-ambient-works-vol-1-2016/

The latest installment in FdM’s Strange Fish series of drifting, floating, darkening monolithic moods sees Michael Padilla step out of his Soft Bombs dayjob with four gentle soundscapes that… well, it’s easy for him to say he’d been listening to a lot of Eno’s Discreet Music at the time, but there’s a lot more going on here than simply serving up a crash course in Very Little Happening. “Evolving soundscapes” is likewise an oft-abused term; Atmospheres, after all, does not so much evolve as proceed with glacial calm and finesse, building in corners that you don’t always notice, but – and this is the key – doing so from an angle that you would want to listen to in the first place, and while you do hang on to see what happens, you don’t really mind if nothing does. Of course it’s all an acquired taste; too much ambient music sounds like someone just left the filter on the fish tank running on empty, and then dubbed on some bubbles as an afterthought. But the opening “Northern Lights” feels like a night (or, at least, a quarter of an hour) in a cathedral, maybe waiting for the ghosts of Tangerine Dream to turn up; and the similarly epic “Ecstagony” belies its title by conjuring slow moving ships in never-shifting fog, that only gradually sense one another’s presence. Or whatever other analogy you care to devise. No matter. As with any of the albums that you’d term the best in the ambient field (a company that Atmospheres effortlessly enters), an hour in its company is an evening well spent. And, better yet, though the music is delivered via a startling picture disc, it also comes draped across a CD as well… because, as FdM admit, we all know how dodgy picture discs can sometimes sound. So, play one, gaze at the other, and just dream….
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/reviews-wreckless-eric-us-chemistry-set-al-stewart-michael-padilla-beautify-junkyards-frank-zappa

We all know that life can get a bit predictable, so to shake things up a bit I’ve given Robin an ’80s indie pop record to write about whilst I soothe my ears to this wonderful slab of ambience from Michael Padilla, a man who normally fronts psych bands such as the Soft Bombs. Turns out that he makes lovely churning, blissful ambients that could sweep the stress even out of Phil's aching head. The opening 14 minute swirl of 'Northern Lights' brings to mind Aphex Twin in ‘Selected Ambient Works’ mode or a slower, lower take on BVDub's more ambient passages. Absolutely gorgeous, beatless ambience. ‘Crossing East’ has a kind of flute sound giving the impression of those 'Panpipe Moods' compilations that were always for sale in petrol stations in the ’90s. ‘Ecstagony’ is gorgeous slow moving ambience - it’s not as organic as the kind of moods created by the likes of Stars of the Lid (it’s easy to tell that there are synths at play here) and thats probably its only downfall really - the fact that it’s nicely played logic instruments (or similar) but if you're not the Lids, who the hell has the money to fork out on a string quartet? The pieces work as nice demonstrations for what could be utterly gorgeous neo-classical compositions but ‘Northern Lights’, in the fact that it’s meant to be inorganic, is the pick of the bunch. That said, it would be a picky person who could find issue with the horn and strings beauty of ’The Waiting’. Comes on a remarkable picture disc and the package includes a CD containing a bonus track. Lovely.
Clinton, Norman Records https://www.normanrecords.com/records/156141-michael-padilla-atmospheres-ambient-works-vol-1

This will be the first picture disc vinyl with Fruits de Mer Records. Since the music is very ambient, peaceful and atmospheric in nature, it will be released on their sister label Strange Fish (remember the five instrumental albums released in 2013 and Craig Padilla's 2LP Sonar the following year?). Michael Padilla (no relation to Craig...) is best known as a member of psych rock/dream pop band The Soft Bombs, but here he uses just sampler and a looper pedal to create very soothing, minimal and meditative soundscapes. There are one longer and one shorter instrumental track on both sides, and the free CD will also have a fifth extra track that is not available on this promo CD-R I'm just listening to. Now, I must say that I don't listen to this kind of ambient music that often, but every now and then it's worthwhile to lay down, put your head phones on, relax and float away from all the troubles and stress of this world with some cosmic ambient sounds, and Atmospheres is great for just that. You can also use it as peaceful background music while reading for example, and it's not total drone or anything and also has some melody to keep you focused, so you can enjoy it in other ways too I guess. It could also be used as a soundtrack music for some film. If you are one of the more rock/pop/song oriented Fruits de Mer fans you might get a bit bored with this one, but if you enjoy ambient instrumental music like Eno this is definitely for you.
DL Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/11/michael-padilla-atmospheres-ambient.html

What I got here is a beautiful designed 40-minute ambient album (strictly limited to 400 copies) by one Michael Padilla, who seems to be known as front man of various psych rock and pop bands. Released on a vinyl picture disc (+ cd, which includes a bonus piece not on the vinyl edition), the listener is presented four moodscape pieces heavily inspired by Brian Eno’s "Discreet Music" featuring warm, floating and looped textures that stir quite a few emotive strings. The ethereal is already addressed very nicely on the 14-minute "Northern Lights", where the outcome comes in smooth, melodic waves. A string of quiet, melancholic-angled spheres made up of mellotron flutes and retro pads surface on the lovely "Crossing East". This could actually be an outro or a track rounding out a vintage TD album in the early ‘70’s. A beautiful mold of freeform retro-textures and emotive string sounds is found on the 15-minute "Ecstagony", featuring spherics extending on the intimate flavor of the previous track along some gentle orchestral hints. The final track, the 3-minute "The Waiting" is kept simple and monotone, featuring darker sounds of the brass instruments along a slice of the symphonic. I’d say the first three tracks of "Atmospheres (Ambient Works Vol. One)" make very fine and tender retro soundscapes for all who love the sound of mellotron and the secluded warmth found in vintage sound design in general. As the sound quality of the picture disc might cause issues, the release includes the full music on cd including a fifth track as a bonus.
Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion
http://www.sonicimmersion.org/review.php?letter=P&review=73238

On his new solo album, Michael Padilla explores territory very different from his Psych bands The Soft Bombs and Dora Flood. Atmospheres consists of four soundscapes influenced by Eno’s Discreet Music, created using a sampler and looper pedal. Side A opens with Northern Lights, which floats us along on a celestial sailboat, gliding over an endless succession of gently ebbing and flowing soundscape waves of classic meditative and spiritually uplifting ambience. Crossing East has a Mellotronic sound with its beautifully melodic keyboard/flute combo feel, as if it were one isolated layer from a classic 70s Prog album. Padilla travels down a more overtly orchestral path on the Side B dominating Ecstagony. An underlying tuba-like drone supports an astral string section that tugs at the heartstrings, creating the sensation of sitting in some kind of planetarium symphony hall. The Waiting is a short coda to Ecstagony, though it’s darker and heavier on the drones and the string section is replaced by an electronic horn section. Very nice set though I have to say I’m partial to the Side A tracks. And all this with just a sampler and looper pedal? I’d stupid about the details of the arsenals at musicians’ disposal and always marvel at what technology can do.
Jerry Kranitz, aural innovations
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/11/michael-padilla-atmospheres-ambient-works-volume-one-fruits-de-mer-recordsstrangefish-2015-lpcd/

January's other release on FdM is an ambient album by former dora flood and now Soft Bombs leader Michael Padilla. I'm no expert on this type of album. How do you describe an ambient release? I suppose it's how it makes you feel? This is the music of the sky. Clouds changing shape, drifting. As the album progresses more sounds fill in the 'sound picture', giving the feeling of some kind of journey. It's not quite all stillness. Closing with 'The Waiting' you do get a sense of the end of an adventure. So, how does it make me feel? Well, the album 'Atmospheres' leaves me in a good place.
Nick Leese, Heyday Mail Order
http://www.heyday-mo.com/catalog/blog.html

In 2010 started singer and lead guitarist Michael Padilla, which since 1991 is part of the band Dora Flood, (which originally started under the name Bella Donna) the band The Soft Bombs in Nevada City, California, USA. With a handful of its own written songs, which were intended for a solo album, he began to make recordings that would eventually result in the debut album of The Soft Bombs with the same title. In 2011, drummer-singer Ben Bodine (March) and keyboardist-vocalist Ryan Brodie (August) in the band and in 2012, after Padilla, Bodine and Brodie album "Embrace The Light" had been released and a top 40 hit scored with the song "Midnight", completed bassist-vocalist Ryan Sheridan, last paragraph, the band. After the promotion of the first two albums through tours and radio broadcasts, the band went to the first half of 2013 the studio to record their third album, "Altered Sierra", which appeared in January 2014. In May 2015 the song "Way appeared Beyond The Sun "(digital edition) solo debut of Michael Padilla under the name Michael And The Machine, where he received the help of his friends Kyle LaFave, Steven Melendez, Noa Oz, Brad and Risdal You ??? and it was in June that year, followed by the number "Blinking Lights" (digital edition), and in August 2015 the third song "Wait", also appeared as a digital edition. After Michael some soundscapes live had recorded in his studio, grew idea to bring out these numbers on a picture disc LP, which the American artist Tahiti Pehrson for the design of both the cover as the LP made. Because picture discs are not normally of high quality, Keith Jones decided on Fruits De Mer Records this through its sub-label Strange Fish in a limited edition of bringing out 500 pieces including a CD release, the CD contains a bonus track. The CD album, January 4, 2016 contains displays and four songs, starting with just over 14 minute "Northern Lights", which, at a leisurely pace, starting with looming melancholy sounds, and the music gradually a little more towards the lighter work seems to go, but equally obscure remains sound. Then I get "Crossing East" hear and also in this issue Michael let me be seen dark side and dishes out he gave me a splendid depressed sounding new age number (listen to it using the youtube link below the review), which is followed by "Ecstagony" in which he by going with making heavy dark music, with sounds that contain a glimmer of hope by some to sound romantic. The last song, which lasts only three minutes, is called "The Waiting" is even heavier than previous songs and also takes herein Michael me on a journey through his apocalyptic dark world. "Atmospheres" by Michael Padilla is a record that will not be accessible to everyone by the melancholy music, but nevertheless I can fans of this genre recommend the LP go and listen and enjoy this beautiful ambient music.
Carry Munter, New Underground Music (aplogies for the goohle translation)
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/11/review-michael-padilla-atmospheres.html

EX NORWEGIAN + PERMANENT CLEAR LIGHT - SPLIT 7"

Split 7", ludicrously limited to 50 copies of evil genius from FdM. Nice to see a limited edition that really is, I guess, though this is going to be insanely collectable. Ex Norwegian, a Florida band, do a song that was a huge upbeat US hit for Bay City Rollers, though some of us are old enough to have seen its originators, String Driven Thing, playing it on stage at the Sundown, Edmonton, Norff Lundun. Ex-N shift it slightly; after the blunt glam rock intro, it's played straight, but somehow a little twisted, like it's a little out of phase; I love it. Finnish act Permanent Clear Light go all Brit psych on the flip, if it is the flip, with mellotron recorders and a tempo that correctly suggests a loon-pant wearer loping gaily round to see the women he loves, both sisters, which is awkward but he doesn't care. Psych is not quite the word, it's more stoned pop. Want a copy? It's FdM members club only. sign up or scour ebay.
Ian McCann, Record Collector magazine

UK label Fruits de Mer Records started out as a provider of 7 inch vinyl singles featuring cover versions of more or less well known psychedelic classics, and for their last release in 2015 they had something of a return to this tradition with a split release single featuring contributions by US artist Ex Norwegian and Finnish band Permanent Clear Light. The A side is given to Ex Norwegian, that have chosen to cover a track by String Driven Thing called It’s a Game, a song that in this version blends ska and funk-tinged elements with passages that have more of a pop and indie rock sensibility, lightly flavored with psychedelic instrument details. At times this one sounds more like a song by Madness than anything else, and to m y ears this is more of a well made pop song with psychedelic details than the other way around. A good and engaging song though, and one perhaps some will remember as a hit song for Bay City Rollers back in the day. The B side is given to Permanent Clear Light, and their composition Corneville Skyline is again one that doesn’t feature all that many psychedelic details, at least initially. Acoustic guitars, flute, vocals and careful percussion combines to explore more of a pastoral landscape here, of the kind that evokes memories of golden summer days, but with a careful psychedelic guitar detail that grows somewhat more prominent in the end phase of the song. None of these songs comes across as staples for those with a purebred taste for strictly psychedelic music, but for those who do have an interest in quality material that feature psychedelic elements to expand the scope of a song both of these fit quite nicely in, despite of or because of the marked differences in style that is rather undeniable between them. I should probably add that this single was a very limited release, only 50 copies were made, and it sold out only a few minutes after the label posted that it could be pre-ordered. I guess both songs will make it to the next album by the artists in question however, so unless you do know one of the 50 owners of the single, or the chosen few who got the promo, this is a production that is a bit out of bonds. As such, I guess this release will function quite nicely as an example of why it might be a good idea to join Fruits de Mer members club, where productions such as this one are made exclusively for them, and other limited releases are made available to them before anyone else.
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/01/24/ex-norwegian-permanent-clear-light-friends-of-the-fish-2015/

With a slated release date poised for Christmas Day and pressed up on a strictly limited 50 only lathe cut 7 inch, the last official FdM release of the year looking like creating a collectors feeding frenzy when it goes on sale. A split single no less with familiar favourites Permanent Clear Light sharing groove space with Ex Norwegian for what is a very special outing. Ex Norwegian open the event, a cover of an old String Driven Thing tune made famous by a on the decline Bay City Rollers in the latter half of the 70’s, left in the hands of these Miami Beach based dudes ‘it’s a game’ assumes a sunny sided effervescence that shimmers with a Raspberries like pristine pop toning, add in the psych phasing trims and a shading of 60’s day-glo’ing replete with a smarting power popping pout and you have yourself an acutely infectious vintage stirred superbly in a Flamin Groovies meets the Velvet Crush fashioning. Over on the flip, Permanent Clear Light take time out from putting the finishing coat on their second album ‘the other side of life’ to adore this lathe grooved platter with the self penned ‘Corneville Skyline’. A deliciously dreamy slice of psych tinged woozy pastoral loveliness which upon first listens loiters blissfully on the steps of XTC’s ‘oranges and lemons’ yet on repeat listens radiantly reveals itself as a Pretty Things peculiar resulting from a studio love in with Arthur Lee’s Love with both gathering parties lazing beneath the softening shade glow of the A side of the Beatles ‘Magic Mystery Tour.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/ex-norwegian-permanent-clear-light/

Despite their name, Ex Norwegian are from Miami Beach and, though new to me, have been around for a while with several albums under their belt. (Check them out at http://www.exnorwegian.com and on Bandcamp at http://shop.exnorwegian.com) Their contribution to this split single is a cover of String Driven Thing’s It’s A Game, which was also a hit for the Bay City Rollers. The song is well produced and arranged, having a killer rocking 70s Pop sound, excellent vocals and instrumental fills. Very cool. I’ll have to check out more from these guys. The flip side features a new song by Finnish trio Permanent Clear Light, who have contributed to numerous Fruits de Mer compilations and whose 2013 debut album Beyond These Things made my Best Of list for that year. Corneville Skyline is a bouncy, joyous Pop-Psych tune with lusciously trippy orchestration and effects and a solidly catchy melodic hook. Kind of reminds me of XTC too. According to the promo sheet Permanent Clear Light expect to release their second album in spring 2016, which is GOOD news!
Jerry Kranitz, aural innovations
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/11/ex-norwegian-permanent-clear-light-split-single-fruits-de-mer-recordsfriends-of-the-fish-2015-7-vinyl/

a split lathe cut 7" featuring US band Ex Norwegian, and Permanent Clear Light from Finland, which is limited to just 50 copies! Ex Norwegian are new to Fruits de Mer and new to me also, though they have already released five albums with another on the way. Their track It's A Game (originally recorded by String Driven Thing and later covered by the Bay City Rollers) is a fine slice of powerpop that puts me in mind of a cross between Velvet Crush and The Pursuit of Happiness, and has made me curious to hear Ex Norwegian's self-penned material. Permanent Clear Light follow previous releases on Fruits de Mer and Havasupai Records with a new track entitled Corneville Skyline, a superb psych-pop song with alto recorder adding to the mellow and dreamlike atmosphere. Permanent Clear Light are currently working on a new album for release in Spring 2016, which will hopefully include Corneville Skyline, as this song is way too good to be heard by only 50 people.
Kim Harten, bliss/aquamarine
http://www.blissaquamarine.net/fruitsdemer29.html

Once you've become acquainted with Fruits de Mer, it's like Record Store Day all year 'round. The latest limited-run vinyl offering from the English indie label is a lathe-cut seven-inch single divided between an American band with a European-sounding name, and a trio from Finland. Released under the Friends of The Fish banner, the record goes on sale Christmas day. The Miami/New York-based Ex Norwegian has been around in various forms behind singer-guitarist Roger Houdaille since 2008. "It's A Game," originally done by String Driven Thing (but a bigger hit for The Bay City Rollers), offers a preview of the band's sixth release. This faithful cover utilizes a marching beat while while tapping into the band's power pop roots. When Houdaille and vocalist Michelle Grand harmonize on "It's a game, a game, a game that we're playing," it's reminiscent of Material Issue's "Renee Remains The Same." They adroitly sell writer Chris Adams' message of life being absurd, beyond our control, and fun. Houdaille and guitarist Lucas Queiroz power the song, and combine with bassist Guiseppe Rodriguez and drummer Fernando Perdomo for an energetic instrumental passage. Permanent Clear Light made a splash among European psyche rock fans in 2013 with the "Higher Than The Sun" single from its album Beyond These Things (Havasupai). The easy-going "Corneville Skyline" is taken from the group's second effort, The Other Side Of Life, which is due out next spring. Overflowing with hippie vibes and a hint of The Beatles' "Penny Lane," it sets imagery of small town life to enticing arrangement built on strings, guitarist Markku Helin, and Arto Kakko's percussion, keyboards, and alto recorder. Vocalist Matti Laitinen delivers the cryptic lyrics involving wedding vows; a simple and a clever sister; and a guy who envisions spending all summer with a smile on his face.
Terry Flamm, Broken hearted Toy
http://brokenheartedtoy.blogspot.com/2015/11/fdm-split-single-ex-norwegian-and.html

'FASHION' - SONGS OF DAVID BOWIE MEMBERS-ONLY CD

Okay, you can expect oodles of Fruits de Mer releases to feature here in the coming days with outings for Jack Ellister, Michael Padilla and a quite frankly colossal full length from the Chemistry Set. For now though it’s the turn of the now seasonal year end subscriber freebie release, though for reasons not quite explained, perhaps set to coincide with Mr Jones’ birthday, this particular release will arrive on welcoming doormats across the land sometime early January rather than before the silly season celebrations. A tribute no less to David Bowie, ‘Fashion’ is as you’d no doubt gather finds the Thin White Duke’s earlier catalogue rummaged and rifled through and given the typically freaked and flowery Fruits de Mer make over by a gathering assortment the of the labels A listers along with a few hazily dazed debutants. Seems a little fitting to have this serenading our listening space given we happened across and picked up a copy of the Deram set ‘David Bowie’ – a double disc set superbly packaged and featuring both mono and stereo versions of such gems as ‘love you till Tuesday’ and ‘maids of bond street’ both I regret to find amiss here as is ‘please mr.gravedigger’. Still be honest is it really possible to score the definitive Bowie compilation in 15 cuts without the cries but what about this, that and whatever. Of particular note here, ‘Heroes’ centres on Bowie’s most fertile and creative era, the most recent cover originally out in 1980 – that being ‘fashion’ – is as late as the Fruit de Mer sphere of influence strays which is just as well given the 80’s were unforgettable (which can I go on record here in saying not because of Tin Machine whose concept I quite admired) and well the 90’s, for all your attempts to convince me otherwise, be truthful, all the best moments, and I’ll agree there were a few eyebrow raisers, could in truth be fitted on one CD – single mind – while as to the 00’s Mr Bowie’s has seen fit to withdraw quietly from music only to occasionally brush past by way of a fleeting touching base appearance. ‘Heroes’ opens in fine style with a cover of a rare old flip cut from his ‘do anything you say’ sortie from the mid 60’s, left in the hands of the Past Tense ‘good morning girl’ shapes up to being a modd’d out nuggets shimmer toned and suited and booted in a hip wiggling garage soul beat all snazzily grooved in a key kissed funkiness. New recruits to the Fruits de Mer family, the Noman might, one would happily suspect, have something of a fondness for the Fall which certainly oozes through their cleverly deconstructed take on ‘the gospel according to Tony Day’ – a lost flip cut tucked away on the reverse of the gnome record and here re-imagined as a mooching worse for wear after hours face off between boy Smthy and Half Man Half Biscuit. Now I’ll be truthful in owning up to the fact that we’ve nearly worn the part of the CD clean through where Sidewalk Society’s superbly up to mark and spanking take on ‘can’t help thinking about me’ sits, a dandified slab of swaggering Who-fied sneering aloofness. Much like her last appearance on one of these FdM compilations, was it that excellent Pink Floyd gathering, Ilona V ghosts in with a beautifully spectral retelling, this time of asking it’s of Bowie’s distant and thoughtful Drake-esque ‘tired of my life’, this dreamy porcelain psych portrayal falling somewhere between the cracks separating Broadcast and Dean and Britta. And apologies are overdue to Cary Grace whose recent album is burning holes in our psyche, words are coming I assure you, for now though this quite pickled progressive psyched slice of mind expanding freak beat eccentricity on their cover of ‘black country rock which admittedly retains the originals Zep adored nods and rephrases them through the head tripping cosmic viewfinders of Van der Graaf Generator and the mighty Crimson. Can’t recall whether this is the debuting, or at the very least, second appearance of Mooch on the esteemed FdM catalogue, but ‘Andy Warhol’ is faithfully framed and given the kind of woozy and ethereal ghost like acid folk treatment that one might expect to be applied by Crystal Jacqueline – I’m suspecting the result of which we need to hear more – and soon. Seems only fitting that one of Bowie’s more off centred and surreally hip trippy moments should find its crookedly kooky path admirably navigated by chief alchemist of the fried Moredecai Smyth whose fanciful fuzz trimmed fairytale pastoral pruning of ‘kooks’ chirps distractively dizzily as though the result of an off guard studio soiree between Marc Bolan and the Syd. On a personal level I’ve a soft spot for ‘life on mars’ which counting aside various record buying purchases as a junior that included Pinky and Perky, various TV21 EP’s particular attention paid to anything Captain Scarlet related and the ‘paint your wagon’ OST has always held a secret spot in our hearts due to the fact it was the first ‘proper’ record we ever bought, the covering of which is a mammoth task to even first consider let alone have the brass balls to actually commit to. Happily Sheepshanks do it admirable service, okay they may lack the svelte pop gravitas of the original, but ethereal chorals and the fact that they impishly apply a redux quality that’s akin to a kind of like musical version of the reduced Shakespeare company means not only do they manage to avoid going all Queen and ELO but that, with some aplomb, they manage to lasso it from the celestials and tie it to a more earthbound mooring. Again another ‘well I’ll think I’ll give that a miss’ fraught with hazardous dangers is any attempt to manoeuvre around ‘drive-in Saturday’ which call him foolhardy Jack Ellister commits himself the task of scaling the result of which he hooks the blighter up to a passing star and takes it on a astral dream voyage of pure cosmic cool. There’s something decidedly decadent and vaguely damaged about ZX+’s all too brief though unravelling visiting upon ‘breaking glass’, that as it flashes from moments of fuzzing funkiness to unhinged isolationism in the blink of an eye, a previously unseen dark side to their persona is revealed. One of those forgotten tracks over on the better side of ‘heroes’ which I always felt got smothered in the vapour trail of ‘V-2 schneider’, ‘sense of doubt’ is here realised of its amorphous ambient beauty by Rob Gould who affords it a stately almost reverential glacial majesty that literally catches you frozen and adoring in its tractor beam like vision. Almost forgot about ‘african night flight’ one of many sore thumbs to be found loitering in the backwaters of ‘lodger’ here removed of its ad hoc time signature crookedness and angular tribal patterning and stripped bare, rebuilt and superbly fashioned into a kind of warping Elephant 6 Collective stew as though an alt pop studio happening drawn from a mind meeting experience of they might be giants and Of Montreal types, seriously even the most die-hard Bowie enthusiast will take a side glance or three trying to spot its original template, oh incidentally before we forget its by the Seventh Ring of Saturn and features some nifty arabesque mosaics. Another ensemble much admired around these here parts and playing a spot of name that tune are blue giant zeta puppies whose totally wigged out retooling of ‘Fashion’ is frankly off the radar and here sent out of orbit on what can only be described as a sun spotting slab of twang toned Trashmen-esque cosmic garage grooviness which ought to cover matters in which case if it doesn’t you can add at will Meek, Man or Astro Man, freakish and fuzzy into your own review rewrite. Best moment of the set – and in truth this was a struggle trying to choose between such a formidable showing was in the end thrown over to Consterdine’s twinklesome refashioning of ‘sound and vision’, initially starts with what sounds like the click and turn of a pinball game before the emerging of a celestial carousel veers into view, all promenade pirouettes and lunar music hall murmurs all playfully dressed in sepia twists and sounding to these ears not unlike a snow tipped ISAN culturing sleepy headed snoozing recitals for the Clangers – a cosy toed dainty lullaby then. Sendelica Acoustica round up matters with a track we’ve mentioned previously in these pages, the acoustica variant of the bands hive operation finds them somewhat removed of their mind frying tendencies and one suspects affirming our belief that these are Wales’ hydra headed answer to the Acid Mothers, here in sedate mood serving up a slice of wood crafted folk wooziness whilst applying sumptuously a mellow candle like woven tapestry to ‘ziggy stardust’.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/fashion/

Of all the tributes offered up to the recently fallen David Bowie, the most affecting, and effective was, in fact, released before he fell. Fruits de Mer’s Fashions was released shortly before Christmas as the label’s annual gift to subscribers, and as you’d expect, rounded up a clutch of Fruity friends and family delivering their personal interpretation of a Bowie favorite. Probably no surprise that a fair proportion of the bands chose to aim at Bowie’s early years – his pre-fame sixties get a better work out here than you’ll find any place. The Past Tense serve up a crunchily Mod inflected “Good Morning Girl,” with a rhythm that reminds us that you can’t hurry love; Sidewalk Society deliver a rambunctious “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”; the Nomen go all freaky psych on “The Gospel According to Tony Day” and already, memories of Bowie’s unreleased Toy album are ricochetting around the room – his own look back at his formative days, recorded in 2000, still awaits an official release in its entirety, and the first quarter of Fashions only exacerbates our impatience. Ilona V haunts a truly glacial take on the 1970-ish bootleg favorite “Tired of my Life,” allegedly written when Bowie was just sixteen, and famous as the blueprint for Scary Monsters’ “It’s No Game”; Mooch transform “Andy Warhol” into palace filled with echoes and space effects; and leaping forward in the chronology, ZX+, Consterdine, Rob Gould and the Seventh Ring of Saturn go banging on Bowie’s Berlin front door to offer up their visions of other directions he might have taken his period psychosis – before the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies’ grasp “Fashion” and spin it all the way back to the sixties, a frail garage punker that makes you want to dance even more than the original. Elsewhere, Cary Grace (“Black Country Rock”), Mordecai Smyth (“Kooks,” if Bowie had cut it with Feathers), Sheepshanks (“Life on Mars”) and Jack Ellister (“Drive in Saturday”) all come out on top, and word that Fruits are planning a second volume probably shouldn’t encourage us to start dreaming about what it might include. But Crystal Jacqueline has to cover “Rebel Rebel,” and Schizo Fun Addict really ought to have their sights set on“Hallo Spaceboy.” In the meantime, though, if you do need more, the album ends – and the future begins – with Sendelica reappraising “Ziggy Stardust” for acoustic guitar, a noise that sounds like a middle eastern pipe, and a totally unexpected female vocal.
Dave Thompson, goldmine magazine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/reviews-fashions-sendelica-sons-of-the-void-dodson-fogg-bordellos-schizo-fun-addict-united-bible-studies-soft-hearted-scientists-proud-peasant-juju-in-the-cities-of-your-eyes-claudi#sthash.HAo0fLbk.dpuf

Fashion - Songs Written by David Bowie is the next annual Fruits de Mer club-only freebie CD that you can only get by having bought pretty much what the label has put out this year. So this won't be on sale anywhere and is really a CD and not on vinyl like normal FdM releases. For some reason Bowie hasn't been covered before on FdM, so I guess it was about time for something like this to happen. The 15 songs on the disc performed by 15 acts cover most of Bowie's career from the the early days through big hits all the way to his 1977 Low album. Most of the featured bands and artists are FdM regulars like Sendelica, The Past Tense, Sidewalk Society, Jack Ellister, The Seventh Ring of Saturn etc., but there are also a few newbies (The NoMen, Consterdine). I must say that I'm not the biggest Bowie fan but you just have to give credit to the man and his music, so this actually is a pretty exciting album. I won't go through all the tracks here, but some of my favourites include the pretty psychedelic "Can't Help Thinking About Me" by Sidewalk Society, the energetic "The Gospel According to Tony Day" (The Nomen), the tranquil "Tired of My Life" (Ilona V), the groovy "Black Country Rock (Cary Grace), the spacey and folky "Andy Warhol" with great female vocals (Mooch), the rather authentic sounding "Life on Mars" (Sheepshanks), the quite out-there "Drive-In Saturday" (Jack Ellister), the very cosmic "African Night Flight" (The Seventh Ring of Saturn) and the warped, fuzzed-out version of "Fashion" (Blue Giant Zeta Puppies). Okay, that's most of the tracks in my highlights list then, but I can't help it! The rest of the cover versions are not bad either. Sendelica ends the disc with their peaceful, acoustic live version of the classic "Ziggy Stardust", which is great too. To make things more confusing this free album is released in six different covers that will be sent to regular customers randomly. This sounds so fishy that only Fruits de Mer can come up with something like this!
DJ Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/11/various-artists-fashion-songs-written.html

JACK ELLISTER 'TUNE UP YOUR MINISTERS...'

The quality and stylistic diversity on Jack Ellister’s "Tune Up Your Ministers And Start Transmission From Pool Holes To Class O Hypergiants" is what makes it a truly spectacular debut album. Its most prominently rooted in rock, space pop, and folk, with a strong sense of vintage psychedelia. Ellister’s sound brings to mind many comparable bands, such as Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Tea Company, while at the same time continuing to keep it new and fresh. The first track, “The Man With The Biochopper”, opens with high-energy spaced-out guitars accompanied by vocals rather similar to David Bowie’s on "Aladdin Sane". The song has a strong sense of 1960s psych and also includes organs, as well as a classic lysergic guitar solo in the middle. Aspects of krautrock are apparent too. It ends with increased fervor and screaming vocals while the follow-up, “The Sun Sends Me Hails, Vic”, takes an acoustic turn with lightly strummed guitar and simple vocal harmonies. This is coupled with trumpet and ends in droning bagpipes. At many points this track reminds me strongly of a jig. A happy-go-lucky sing-song, “Saddle Up The Horse” swirls together acoustic guitar, piano, and squiggling saxophone with whimsical electronica. Tempo and intensity pick up and a very steady rhythm sets the pace. “Saddle Up The Horse” is also a tad bit folksy. The next track, “Calm Adapter” is true to its title, calm. Slow and foggy, it features drowsy oscillating background synths. “Wishmachine” begins by reciting the album title, “tune up your ministers and start transmission from pool holes to class o hypergiants,” in highly reverbed vocals. For the rest of this short track, which also features jazzy Eastern-inspired guitar funk, extraterrestrial voices chant “love the wishmachine”. It’s both fun and slightly eerie. “Old South” is an acoustic piece about returning to a place that’s calling one back. Nostalgic and bittersweet, it brings to mind images of pastoral beauty. Though the vocals are mellower and Ellister sings of returning instead of escaping, this track reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s "Going to California". “Curator” is more ominous. Chilling reverb and bass vocals all contribute to a darker sound than previous tracks. Muted and highly melodic, over steady percussion, the spacing of the reverb gives it a pulled apart sort of feel. It fades out after a frolicking of what sounds like musical saws. The finale, “A Hunter Needs A Gun”, is ethereal and chillingly beautiful. This is one of the most compelling tracks on the album in my opinion. With its spaced-out vibe and melancholic air it sounds similar to a mixture of Syd Barrett and early Soft Machine. Sparkly sci-fi feeling guitars skitter above the percussion and organ in the break and a trailing lingering of sounds gives the song a sense of great depth throughout. While this is Jack Ellister’s first album, he has previously released covers of classics including Pink Floyd’s “Flaming”, The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence”, and The Rolling Stones’ “Citadel”, all of which are excellent, and will give you some idea of the sort of ballpark he'd like to find himself in. He’s highly creative but remains accessible through the extreme catchiness of his melodies.
Maggie Danna, The Active Listener
http://active-listener.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/jack-ellister-tune-up-your-ministers.html

I was first introduced to the very nice and talented psych rock/folk musician and singer Jack Ellister when he sent me a CD by his psych rock band Yordan Orchestra for a review about five years ago. Jack (real name Jacek Janiszewski) is originally from Poland, but was living in Holland for a long time. He's been going solo for some time now releasing a few 7" singles and contributing on many compilations on Fruits de Mer Records and also playing quite a lot of solo gigs including one at Crabstock on Ice festival in Helsinki. Jack has now relocated in London and seems to be doing great. Tune Up Your Ministers and Start Transmission from Pool Holes to Class O Hypergiants is his first full-length solo album and features nine songs in 32 minutes. Jack plays guitars, synthesizers, percussion, violin, mouth harp and sings lead vocals being helped by some friends on drums, bass, backing vocals, horns, piano etc. The album starts off with the rather hard rocking, 60s styled psych rock number "The Man with the Biochopper" that brings to mind early Pink Floyd among others. We have already hear this song on his first solo single, but this sounds like a new, fresh version, and I love it. "The Sun Sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter" has a more folky vibe but grows on its way. "Saddle Up the Horse" sounds a bit like early David Bowie or Tyrannosaurus Rex and also has lots of acoustic guitar as well as sax and piano. A rather nice song! "Calm Adapter" is minimal, atmospheric, experimental and very peaceful piece to end the A side. "Great Esmeralda" is one of Jack's best and most effective songs with a superb chorus and a definitive highlight on the album. "Curator" is a short, weird, trippy and experimental piece a bit in The Beatles style, and then comes the beautiful, melancholic acoustic psych folk masterpiece "Wishmachine" that I really like a lot. "Old South" is one of the most experimental pieces on the album, and sounds like an old steam train going very slow on a hazy, mysterious landscape. The album is finished with the pretty and psychedelic, organ driven "A Hunter Needs a Gun" that again remains me of early Pink Floyd and has an epic ending. What a great song and a perfect way to end the album, I'm in awe. I'm afraid it might be impossible to get a copy of the first LP pressing that is due out soon since there will be only 111 copies made, but I get the album will be available in other formats as well.
DJ Astro, The Astral Zaone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/12/jack-ellister-tune-up-your-ministers.html

Dutch composer and musician Jack ELLISTER have been around for some time now as a solo artist. Following his tenure in the Yordan Orchestra he has a handful of single and EP releases to his name, released from 2009 and onward. The curiously named “Tune up Your Ministers and Start Transmission From Pool Holes to Class O Hypergiants” is his first full length solo album, and was released by UK label Fruits de Mer Records in the late fall of 2015, through their Friends of the Fish imprint. One interesting details about this debut album is that it is sold out, and was in fact sold out prior to it’s official release. That the album is a limited edition vinyl LP, produced in 111 copies only, is perhaps a selling point in itself these days, but it is still impressive that an album is sold out on pre-orders these days. If this indicates anything about Ellister’s fan base, he should have a rather dedicated core set of fans at least. Those who think they can be able to enjoy the music in a non-physical format can do so however, as the digital version remains available on the artist’s bandcamp site. Musically we’re dealing with psychedelic rock, as one would expect from anything released by Fruits de Mer Records. In this case it is a rather difficult to place variety of it though, at least for someone without a deep knowledge about psychedelic rock, so specific pointers towards artists and eras isn’t something I’ll be able to produce with great amount of detail on this occasion. I do suspect that the material here, by and large, revolves around subsets of this type of music as it was explored around 1970, and the compositions generally come across as somewhat rough and lo-fi in terms of sound, production and arrangements. An aspect of this album that does add something of an urgent feeling to many of the tracks, especially when the pace is up tempo, the vocals emotional laden and intense, and the liberal amounts of shrill, psychedelic dripping guitar solo runs and effects throughout rather emphasize that perception for me. The songs as such follows several rather different tracks. You have creations alternating between gentler acoustic guitar and vocals driven passages and harder edged. loose and vibrant passages with keyboards, organ and electric guitars combining with firm and decisive bass-lines and drum patterns to form dramatic and at times wildly psychedelic sequences, but also a creation honing in on drones and dramatic instrument and vocals surges, a more careful intermediate affair with gliding, floating instrument details as a key feature, an Americana flavored psychedelic pop ballad and, for me at least, a highly compelling ghostly organ and sounds creation that adds some jazzy drum details into the mix as well. Concluding composition A Hunter Needs a Gun comes across as the song that assembles quite a few of the previous details into a more complete whole, opening in a sleepy, relaxed and subtly ghostly manner, growing firmer and more intense as it unfolds, with shrill, dramatic psychedelic guitar solo runs and effects steadily taking over more and more, the vocals getting more intense alongside the increased urgency of the instrumental backing. As previously mentioned I can’t really pinpoint Jack Ellister’s specific place inside a psychedelic rock context. His music tends to be a bit rough and unpolished, often vibrant and untamed at that, and the general impression I get is that those fond of some of the more energetic psychedelic rock bands that operated sometime around 1970 should feel fairly comfortable in the environments explored by Ellister. Especially those among them that did record their material without too much studio polish applied.
Olav Martin Bjornsen, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/01/24/jack-ellister-tune-up-your-ministers-and-start-transmission-from-pool-holes-to-class-o-hypergiants-2015/

Psych master Jack Ellister’s long awaited new album, ‘Tune Up Your Ministers and Start Transmission From Pool Holes To Class O Hypergiants’, finally gets a release on 20 November. It’s been over three years since his excellent single “The Man With Biochopper”. On Jack’s new LP this startling track opens the nine tracks, its demented Spector-esque production, Flaming Lips atmosphere and brilliant guitar noise still burning as brightly as it did in 2012. Since then Jack’s Fruits De Mer releases have caught the attention of Shindig!, NME, BBC purveyors of taste Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe. On ‘Tune Up’ we see more sides of Jack, all with a psychedelic element, from Pete Townshend circa 1967 with ‘The Sun Sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter’ to the anthemic ‘Saddle Up The Horse’ heard here last year. ‘Old South’ then shows Jack’s reflective side with its pretty acoustic style demonstrating a talent that deserves a much bigger audience. After a chance to take a breath, ‘A Hunter Needs A Gun’ finishes on a Floyd high.
Jason Barnard, The Strange Brew
http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/http:/thestrangebrew.co.uk/jack-ellister-tune-up-your-ministers

The debut album by one of Fruits de Mer’s most mysterious regulars… blessed with one of its most mysterious titles… Tune Up catches the former Yordan Orchestra mainstay marching firmly forward through what feels, on first listen, like a sprawl of a dozen different songs playing at once, while guitars lock into howling frenzy, percussion replays side four of the Mothers’s Freak Out, and Ellister’s vocals wander in and out, dropping a lyric here, a phrase there, a lovely slice of imagery some place else. And then, suddenly it all makes sense. Drama amidst the discordance, beauty within the barrage… raising its head above the clatter of “Wishmachine,” “Old South” is an evocative ballad of seafaring imagery; droning on sinister whispers and chimes, “Calm Adapter” is the ideal corollary to the mutli-layered psychodrama of “Saddle Up The Horse”; and moving into the closing stretch, “Curator” is the soundtrack to a haunted house, if the ghosts were replaced by the sounds of industry, floating into the defiant near-monotone of “A Hunter Needs A Gun”. It’s an album that you daren’t turn your back on for a moment, because who knows what it’ll be planning when you do. Brutally brittle, howling, cajoling… if Chrome had ever set about remaking A Saucerful of Secrets, without actually listening to the Floyd’s prototype, it would probably have sounded a lot like this. A unique vision, an eccentric squalling, Tune Up Your Ministers and Start Transmission from Pool Holes to Class O Hypergiants might well be the most ferociously individualistic album you’ll hear all year.
Dave Thompson, goldine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/reviews-brinsley-schwarz-danny-adler-prana-crafter-victories-sea-jack-ellister-left-outsides-dead-sea-apes#sthash.FxfPb4Iv.dpuf

living in England Jack Ellister - solo guitar and vocals, who lived a long time in Arnhem, is of Polish origin and actually called Jacek Koba. Along with Anne von Freyburg - keys, glockenspiel and percussion, he was under the name Jack Aleister, the founder of Yordan Orchestra, a progressive psychedelic band from the Netherlands, whose concerts were a real event and showed a strong resemblance to that of a bygone era, or the late 60s on the podium this duo was joined by several musicians such as Carl Marcks - bass guitar, Nico Stalaman - drums and vocals, Femke Tijenk - trumpet, Mareike Voss - trombone and vocals, Ben Tai - double bass and vocals, Charlotte Waardenburg - vocals, Joel Sezom and Esther Klever - saxophone, Jan Wuertl - keyboards, Philip Mancarella - keyboards and vocals, Michael Krol - tubular bells and keyboards, Marit Berends and Daniel Brandl - cello and Dianne Phoeniks and Lotte van Drunen - vocals, while Jen Harkness - VJ, Judith Kisner, Julius Van Der Vaart, Kim Lokers and Tijmen Brozius at The project involved. In 2009, the acoustic EP released "Hyacinth Express" on CD and was followed by the EP "Psych Introduxeon / Bringing Ingredients Together", which was released in 2010 on CD from the Mega Tier Production label. After the last EP disbanded Jack the band and started working on his solo career, and in 2012 its 7 "single" The Man With The Biochopper "appeared through the Fruits De Mer Records label on colored vinyl and it was that same year, followed by the double 7" EP " The White EP "(Fruits De Mer Records, white vinyl), which also The Bevis Frond, The Pretty Things, Anton Barbeau and Cranium Pie can be heard and also appeared the double promo CD" The Crabs Sell Out "on Fruits De Mer. Then appeared "Dawn Dream Club" (2013, 7 "single, colored vinyl)," Live In London "(7" split with Sendelica, Stay and Luck Of Eden Hall), plus songs on the compilation LP's "A Momentary Lapse Of Vinyl "and" 13th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus ", all on the Fruits De Mer Records label were released. Also, new edition" Tune Up Your Ministers And Start Transmission From Pool Holes To Class O Hyper Giants "will be November 20 in collaboration with the Fruits De Mer Records label through its own Friends Of The Fish label on LP appear in a limited edition of 111 pieces on blue / turquoise 180 gram vinyl, including a poster. The Lp is Jack, solo guitar, keyboards, percussion, violin, harp playing and singing, assisted by: Mischa Marcks - bass guitar, percussion and vocals, Nico Stallman - drums, percussion and vocals, Edita Karkoschka - piano and vocals, Joel Moses Van De Pol - tenor saxophone, Femke Tijenk - trumpet, French Vermeerssen - baritone saxophone, Wieke De Keyzer - vocals (soprano) and Mister Y -. trombone His debut LP "Tune Up Your Ministers And Start Transmission From Pool Holes To Class O Hyper Giants" contains nine songs, the first being "The Man With The Biochopper" hot and I hear herein Jack swinging catchy sounding psychedelic rock play song containing experimental progressive rock elements (listen to a portion of it using the youtube link below the review) and is followed by "The Sun sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter "and in it he puts me a delicious light psychedelic pop song, in which a climax been working is, the pace slowly increasing. This is followed by" Saddle Up The Horse ", an excellent swinging uptempo pop song, with a catchy rhythm, which includes experimental jazz influences, and this number continues to "Calmadapter" in which Jack me, after a great monotonous hypnotic beginning, emits a beautiful quiet song. Side 2 of the LP begins with "Great Esmeralda", a fantastic psychedelic pop song which brings back me longing for the late 60th and associations with the music that was made ​​in that period, after which I "Wish Machine" dished get and it is still one and a half minute long psychedelic pop song. In "Old South" late Jack me enjoy a beautiful quiet psychedelic pop song, which is followed by "Curator" and in it he puts me again a delicious mix of psychedelic pop and experimental pop for and also "A Hunter Needs A Gun" is another delightful psychedelic pop song, in which I will be taken back in time with it. Jack Ellister has "Tune Up Your Ministers And Start Transmission From Pool Holes To Class O Hyper Giants" made ​​a great psychedelic LP, which should have every fan of this genre.
Carry Munter - New Underground Music (sorry, it's a google translation from Dutch)
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/10/review-jack-ellister-tune-up-your.html

I first heard of Jack Ellister as a member of Yordan Orchestra, whose Psych Introduxeon - Bringing Ingredients Together CD came out back in 2010. Since then, he has released a number of solo recordings on Fruits de Mer, including The Man with the Biochopper and Dawn Dream Club 7"s and various compilation appearances. Now he releases his first solo album on 20th November 2015, the bizarre album title giving clues as to the nature of the music. The Man with the Biochopper straddles all corners of psychedelia, being in turn hypnotic, whimsical, experimental, anthemic and fierce. The Sun Sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter combines gentle psych-folk with psych-pop whimsy and expansive experimental soundscaping. Saddle Up the Horse is punchy psych-rock with a healthy dose of quirk factor, throwing in elements of spacey electronica and improvisational jazz. Calm Adapter is a lullaby-like psych-folk song set to relaxing washes of undulating sound. Great Esmeralda is a highly inventive mix of forceful rock and experimental psychedelic soundscaping, combined in a way that you're unlikely to hear anywhere else. Old South bypasses the experimentalism that characterises the rest of the album in favour of a more conventionally structured folky approach, though for 'conventional', do not read 'boring'; Jack Ellister is far too talented to make dull music! Whilst the album isn't out for nearly a month, it is very limited (just 111 copies on 180 gram turquoise vinyl) and like everything else on this label is guaranteed to sell out fast, so get your orders in quickly!
Kim Harten, bliss/aquamarine
http://www.blissaquamarine.net/fruitsdemer29.html

Jack Ellister isn't well known in America, but he's been steadily building a following among European prog/psyche rock fans over the past few years. After leaving Yordan Orchestra, the band he formed in Holland, the vocalist/multi-instrumentalist released two solo EPs and is a regular participant on compilations from the UK vinyl-only label Fruits de Mer. Tune Up Your Ministers And Start Transmission From Pool Holes To Class O Hypergiants, his very oddly titled full-length debut, comes out on FdM in a few weeks. Ellister whips up his own universe on "The Man With The Biochopper" (previously released as a single) using synthesizers, guitars, and an ethereal female backing vocalist. A small army of musicians and singers helps him craft multi-layered arrangements throughout Tune Up. His British-sounding vocal style evokes David Bowie on the eccentric "Saddle Up The Horse" and the sci-fi epic "Great Esmeralda," but he comes across as more sinister on shuffling and eerie "Curator." "The Sun Sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace, and Shelter" is one of the more inspiring morning songs you're likely to hear, and the way Ellister cuts loose on acoustic guitar recalls The Who and The Moody Blues back in the 1970s. "Wishmachine" is a short, psychedelic treat, and Ellister is also very effective with the simple but alluring "Old South."
Terry Flamm, Broken Hearted Toy
http://brokenheartedtoy.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/jack-ellister-tune-up.html

After albums by Yordan Orchestra and MYTRON plus several singles of his own, Dutch Psych maestro Jack Ellister is back with his first full length LP. The set opens with The Man With The Biochopper, which first appeared on Ellister’s 2013 released Fruits de Mer single. I was smitten with this song on the first spin two years ago and dig it even more on this fresh revisit. It’s a monstrously mind-bending slab of spaced out Psychedelia that’s like a combination of Syd-era Floyd and the more contemporary Vibravoid, to give newcomers to Ellister’s music a reference point. And I love how the song ends on a screaming high intensity note, leaving the listener white knuckled and pop-eyed, only to segue into the acoustic based The Sun Sends Me Hail, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter (as much a mouthful as the album title). Its starts off gentle but then starts to rock out with Bowie flavored vocals, bringing to mind the acoustic songs from Hunky Dory. But things change quickly as the music gets more freaky and effects-laden and closes with a plane engine noisy finale. Saddle Up The Horse is a catchy, bouncy, Folk infused Psychedelic Power-Pop tune with some crazy wailing sax. Calm Adapter is a lysergically meditative, ambient and Shoegaze driven lullaby. Great Esmeralda playfully teases the listener by alternating between freaky spaced out buildups and power rocking segments, before finally letting the full song loose. This bleeds seamlessly into the brief but totally freaked out Wishmachine, which combines free-wheeling tripped out instrumental bits and song snippets. Old South is the most instrumentally stripped down song of the set, being a tasty singer-songwriter acoustic guitar and vocals song. Curator goes back into space, being a freakily haunting soundscape and effects driven song with ghostly vocals that are part drone-chant and part singing. Finally, A Hunter Needs A Gun closes the set as monstrously exciting as it opened, with a song that along with The Man With The Biochopper may be, in my opinion, the two best Psych songs of the year. It’s totally trippy and totally catchy, Psychedelically uplifting and intense. I like how the guitar licks scream, the vocals are angst ridden, but both are tempered by heavenly drifting keys, melodic guitar solo and dreamy atmospherics. Lots happening here and it’s all very cool. In summary, this a kick ass set of spaced out Psychedelic songs with beautifully crafted production and arrangements. Highest recommendation! This is a vinyl only release pressed on blue/turquoise 180gr vinyl with poster in a frighteningly small quantity of only 111 copies. In fact, according to the Fruits de Mer web site it’s already sold out. No surprises there. But this is too damn good to not make more widely available. The cover art was done by artist Anne von Freyburg, who was Ellister’s partner on the 2011 released Palast CDEP recorded as MYTRON.
Jerry Kranitz, aural innovations
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/11/jack-ellister-tune-up-your-ministers-and-start-transmission-from-pool-holes-to-class-o-hypergiants-fruits-de-mer-records-2015-lp/

A fried phantasmagoric psychedelic freak mugicalia might be the best way to going some way to describing Jack Ellister’s frankly weirded out tapestry ‘tune up your ministers and start transmission from pool holes to class o hypergiants’ though how you’d get your mits on one of these rarefied platters is alas a thing of dreaming obsession. Just 111 fulsome vinyl artefacts have been pressed – all alas sold out on pre sale alone and coming stamped up blue / turquoise wax featuring some truly eye catching artwork and poster designing by Anne von Freyburg. ‘tune up….’ might well lay claim to being not only the last great psych release of the year, discounting the Chemistry Set’s forthcoming which strictly speaking isn’t officially due until next January and perhaps all said prove itself a late contender for the finest lysergic happening of the year. A truly expansive and creatively intricate set spread across nine zapped out suites – okay eight in reality, because ‘calm adaptor’ serves as a side bridging interlude, that opens to former fruits de mer single ‘the man with the biochopper’ – a zonked out slab of stratospheric astral-asian tweaked freak beat that’s found veering ever so closely into Paul Roland territories. Dropping down a gear or three the dream-weaving pastoral demur of ‘the sun sends me hails, victory, power, peace and shelter’ – admittedly a title as long as the track itself – finds itself wandering the leafy village green secret lands of a ‘mummer’ era XTC who here are found offering safe haven and a welcoming handshake for a passing visitation by a youthful Bevis Frond. Unless ears do deceive ‘Saddle up the horse’ had me much minded of a lost recording featuring prime era Bowie shimmying to the metal guru grooves of Marc Bolan backed by the Spiders from Mars on this occasion undergoing something of a slow roving studio invasion by Mott the Hoople. One of the sets highlights – and believe you me there are plenty to choose from – the kaleidoscopic opera that is ‘Great Esmeralda’ cheekily manages to blend and blur moments of lazy eyed cloud watching dreaminess with strains of west coast sunshine pop and primitive delta blues codas in a freaky goo which when observed through the viewfinder of a fractured English psychedelic spy glass takes on a hue that might leave one suspecting that it’s cue has been the result of an accidental shrink washed redux of the Pretty Things frankly immortal ‘SF Sorrow’ with heavy emphasis placed on ‘defecting grey’ for its guiding marker whereupon the said mini master-worked mosaic was then led from the fore by psychedelic pied piper Syd Barrett. Elsewhere the homely and intimate rustic hush ‘old south’ is a moment of off guarded beauty draped in thoughtful seafaring hues and kissed with a tenderised tapestry traced with the subtle handiwork of Robyn Hitchcock and Nick Nicely is found. All said best moments of the set come with the arrival of the albums parting brace ‘curator’ and ‘a hunter needs a gun’ – the former a fog bound dub dosed shanty ghosted in sepia whispers and the kind of shadow lined weariness that wouldn’t too out of place on an early career release by the Clinic albeit as though cultured in the spirit of Toshack Highway’s debut outing, while the latter provides for an oddly absorbing yet haunting slice of hymnal psychotropia whose spectral ghost lights and hollowed sense of achingly graceful majesty sumptuously plays tag with mirror mirror. Essential.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/jack-ellister/

SEPTEMBER SINGLES

The Fruits de Mer label continue to amaze and surprise with four 7” singles nicely priced at £20 if you buy them all (or £5.50 each!) and some freebies thrown in. Magic Bus will be of great interest to readers who like the Caravan and Soft Machine sound (the keyboard tone is very similar to Mike Ratledge) with flute and wonderful song writing on the 5:33 of ‘Seven Wonders’ from their eagerly anticipated album ‘Transmission from Sogmore’s Garden’. The b-side is an interesting jazzy reading of the old Byrds’ classic ‘Eight Miles High’. Don’t miss this one! Vibravoid ‘s ‘Stepping Stone’ is indeed a cover of the Monkees classic (Don’t be put off- it is a great song!) followed by a version of ‘Hole In My Shoe’ to rival the original with Italian jazz singer Viola Road. They also cover H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The White Ship’ (darkly). Vibravoid is a German psych group well worth getting acquainted with. Fruits de Mer is nothing if not esoteric and Tir Na Nog is an old Chrysalis Irish duo who used to tour with the likes of Jethro Tull in the early seventies. I have never heard them sounding so good as on this new song called ‘Ricochet’ from a new album ‘The Dark Dance’ (It’s taken 40 years but it sounds well worth the wait for this bluesy, folksy toe tapper) backed with a live version of the eponymous song ‘Tir Na Nog’, a traditional folk song in the vein of Fairport Convention- splendid stuff! Finally, we have Nick Nicely on a four track EP with studio and live versions of ’49 Cigars’ and two other songs from his latest album. NME described ‘Hilly Fields/ 49 Cigars’ as ‘the best psych single since the 60s’ in 1982 and who am I to disagree? A real ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ moment for the eighties and a song that equally ‘lysergic’ people like Syd Barrett would have proud to call his own. The eerie little psych nugget ‘Lobster Dodds’ is also included.
Philip Jackson, Acid Dragon magazine

nick nicely – 49 Cigars
Once described as “the greatest pop star that never was” few would demur at the suggestion that Nicely’s “Hilly Fields (1892)” was one of the great psych singles of the last, er, 40 years and one which Fruits de Mer were good enough to dust off a few years back. “49 Cigars” was the flipside and receives a release in its own right. A masterful slice of Revolver-era Fabs it hits the bull’s (magic) eye although the jokey vocals in the chorus sounds uncomfortably like one of those self-style whackoid Radio 2 jocks (Evans, Wright, see me in my office). Packaged with a live rendition of the main track plus a remixed “Belinda” as well as the ozone rich “Lobster Dodds” from last year’s “Space Of A Second”, it’s nigh on impossible to find anything not to like, so why bother trying?
Vibravoid – Stepping Stone
Masters of the retro freakout, Dusseldorf’s finest show they can play it short and tight by taking on “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” (think Monkees, Pistols and a host of garage psych/punk tyros). They make a pretty good stab of it while keeping fairly true to the original. Traffic’s “Hole In My Shoe” is perhaps a less obvious and more ambitious choice of cover and is something of a treat again without straying too far from the original template, wind and sitars included but with additional vocals courtesy of one Viola Road). Finally the Vibes get a chance to stretch out a bit with a remix of their lysergic-sounding take on HP Lovecraft’s “The White Ship” at which they throw if not the kitchen sink then surely the mixing desk to magnificent and mesmerising effect.
Tir Na Nog – Ricochet
Heady new offering from Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly from a forthcoming album (their first in over 40 years – yes that number again) and just under 5 minutes of all that’s best in whatever prefix you want to stick in front of folk. Actually it would work just as well as an acoustic workout for a stoner rock combo. Backing this fine, fine effort is a previously unreleased live version of the eponymous track from their self-titled first album from way back in 1971. Yes, let’s do the timewarp and let’s effing well rejoice while we do so. Five star material without the slightest doubt.
Magic Bus – Seven Wonders/Eight Miles High
Let’s hear it for “Severn Wonders”, a prime example of the beautiful, melodic and – cliché alert - “quintessentially English” sounds of Canterbury (via Devon), by which we mean Caravan and their ilk as opposed to Operation Stack, supplemented by CSN vocal harmonies in the bridge. The organ sound is an absolute ringer for David Sinclair’s work from “The Land of Grey and Pink” and while there probably isn’t much of a market on the over-burgeoning and best avoided tribute act circuit for a Caravanette, few here will complain about this affectionate and authentic sounding homage. “Eight Miles High” – yes, the very same – is also Anglicised for home consumption and while it seems a little understated by comparison with the original a more faithful copy would more than likely have proved less rewarding. To think I missed them at the recent 13th Dream and I can’t think why (Food fair? Beer? Stupidity? All of the above? Delete as appropriate).
Ian Traser, Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Rumbles_September_15.htm

Tir na nOg - RICOCHET

"I thought I was more a Noggin the Nog than a Tir na nOg fan, but I'm switching sides. With FdM's track record(s), I thought this might be the jonesy Mellotron groover remade, but i coun't have been more wrong. Insert name of "dark-voiced" singer here (mine is Ian Curtis) fronting a "folk" (inadequate description) outfit that's part prog and semi-shoegaze ('cos it's not just the voice that's dark) and you are swirling in the deadly maelstrom of Ricochet. Rocks, but gently, to quote Mr Doonican, an earlier Irish psych-folk legend (oh yes he was, with that weird hallucination about clog-clad mice on the stair). TNN's new album must be quite an experience, if it's like this."
Ian McCann, Record Collector magazine

'Ricochet’ is lifted from the legendary Irish acid folkies’ first album in over 40 years (The Dark Dance) and it’s a right corker. Driven forward by trippy percussion, darkly ominous vocals (not unlike a mellower Andrew Eldritch) and a whirling melody from dueling acoustic guitars, there’s even a rather Beatlesque break straight out of the left field bleachers that’s as unexpected as a fart at a funeral and twice as tasty.
Flip her over for a live take of their eponymous “theme song”, full of treated, wah wahing guitars, tubthumping percussives, and eerie vocals, all performed before a reverent, obviously stunned-into-silence crowd who surely must realise they’re experiencing the seminal acid folk proggers at the top of their game. Gothic folk, anyone?
Jeff Penczak, Soundblab
http://soundblab.com/reviews/singles/7989-tir-na-nog-ricochet-c-w-tir-na-nog

Tír na nÓg is a legendary Irish prog folk duo who released their first album in 1971.They have made a few reunions since disbanding in the seventies and also released some new singles and a live album but The Dark Dance is their first new studio album in over 40 years! Keith from Fruits de Mer is obviously a big fan of theirs and released their 7" EP I Have Known Love in 2014. The EP already featured four tracks from the CD album The Dark Dance and the fans were very happy. Now Keith has put out "Ricochet", one of the best songs from the album backed with a very nice, crystal clear sounding live version of "Tír na nÓg". Considering that there is also a very rare (50 copies) lathe-cut promo 7" of "Sympathic Love" with yet another live track on its B-side, you can say that most of the ten-track album is now out on vinyl as well! What's great about this band is that they seem to have lost none of the magic and feel they had in the early days. The songs are as beautiful, fragile and great as ever, and if you are a fan of original prog folk like Pentagle or Nick Drake you will love this album. Tír na nÓg has a strong Celtic vibe in their music, especially on some tracks like the instrumental title track that ends the album. The music is usually rather melancholic, like the opener "You In Yellow", but there are also some more positive moments like on the wonderful "I Have Known Love" and the bit jazzy "Andria". The instrumentation is pretty sparse including mainly just acoustic guitar and violin spiced with some percussion, bass, autoharp etc. I really enjoy both the vocals and the instrumentation, and the album is very well produced. The Dark Dance and Ricochet 7" are both essential for all lovers of progressive folk so go and get them! The band is also in the middle of their U.K. tour so check them out live too if you can.
DJ Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/09/tir-na-nog-ricochet-7-dark-dance.html

Tir na nOg are an acid folk duo from Ireland that I'd previously known by reputation but not really heard much of their material. 'Ricochet' (Crustacean 65) came as a real revelation to me...sounding very much like a Gaelic Nick Cave with some fine acoustic guitar work, backed with a thudding bodhran and a bagpipe sounding drone, it is acid folk at its best. The b-side 'Tir na nOg' (Gaelic for 'land of eternal youth') is a live version of the track that first appeared on vinyl in 1971! It has more of a traditional folk feel about it but with some very psych sounding electric guitar. For a band that have been playing together since 1970, it sounds fresh and alive. 'Ricochet' is taken from their first LP in 40 years 'The Dark Dance'...I will be investigating further.
Dayz of Purple and Orange
http://dayzofpurpleandorange.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/review-september-goodies-from-fruits-de.html

...Later this year the LP "The Dark Dance", on May 24, 2015 at The Half Moon in Putney, England, during the "Games For May" festival Mega Dodo Records and Fruits De Mer Records was launched by the band, the Fruits De Mer Records label on vinyl to be released. One of the songs, which is on the album, the A-side of the single, titled "Ricochet" where Tir Na Nog me a fantastic light hypnotic psychedelic folk rock song sounds, and I was on the B-side to the live version of the song "Tir na nOg" hear and herein the duo plays a great monotonous quiet folk song, which is the end slowly something is accelerated. The single "Ricochet" contains two beautiful songs, which the trouble of listening more than worth it and certainly will find demand among fans of the better folk, a must!
Carry Munter, new underground music
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/07/review-tir-na-nog-ricochet-fruits-de.html

Second bite from the quartered Fruits de Mer September pie comes courtesy of the legendary Tir Na nOg – again available on limited seven inch pressings of coloured wax and guaranteed to fly off the racks on pre sales faster than you can say ‘feck, this is good’ – this two track gem features a quite entrancing live rendition of ‘tir na nog’ – a track that first appeared on their debuting (Peel endorsed) full length for Chrysalis way back in ’71 – a truly hypnotic slice of ghostly acid folk crystal cut in a long lost sonic tongue and shimmered in a deeply mesmerising glazing that borders upon the mystical and which should find approving nods from the Hare and the Moon brethren. As though seeking to complete the circle, from their latest (and we should say – quietly acclaimed) album ‘the dark dance’ comes the equally mind weaving ‘ricochet’ which all said finds itself edging matters in the best thing here stakes given its graced by a deliciously woozy snake charming middle eastern hypno groove that’s flashed through with psychotropic dissipates and which should by rights draw close affection from those much admiring of the psych nu groove espoused by artists as disparate and at opposing ends of kaleidoscopic spectrum as Goat and the Cult of Dom Keller.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/tir-na-nog-3/

Irish band TIR NA NOG is a unit lead by the duo Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly who had their heyday back in the early 1970’s. Following a lengthy hiatus they started making occasional returns to release live material or perform live from the mid 1980’s. Fast forward a few decades and Tir Na Nog also started to release new material. Initially a single was released through UK niche label Fruits de Mer Records in 2014, and in 2015 a second single appeared on that label as well. In addition they self-released a new album, “The Dark Dance”. The main track of this single, Ricochet, is one of the songs from that production, backed by a live version of their old classic song Tir Na Nog. Ricochet comes across as quite the compelling composition, and not at all one you would expect from the minds of two guys that are looking retirement age in the eye. This is a menacing, brooding affair, passionate and fiery as well, revolving around a dual set of acoustic guitars, with plucked solo sequences, energetic percussion backing and a haunting, almost drone-like violin as backing instrument, and fairly intense vocals giving the song and the lyrics an ominous sheen. Clearly folk and folk-based music, most certainly with an Irish tinge, but about as far removed from anything you’d normally associate with Ireland and Irish folk music in terms of mood and atmosphere. The live rendition of Tir Na Nog on the B side of this 7 inch vinyl production isn’t quite as haunting, but also this one has a mystical, almost otherworldly mood by way of a dark instrument presence of some kind, with occasional percussion details supplementing the plucked, echoing and more distinctly psychedelic tinged folk inspired music. More relaxed in nature though, without the ominous intensity that makes the title track of this single such a convincing affair. A strong track, but lacking those passionate details of the haunting, ominous mood of the A side track. If you need an introduction to the charms of Tir Na Nog, this single comes across as an excellent choice. One truly strong track from their new album, backed by a live version of one of their classics. Otherwise this is a production that in general should be of interest to those with an affection for a band that blend psychedelic and progressive rock details into a folk music context, arguably with a stronger emphasis on the psychedelic than the progressive aspects, although to what extent is very much a subject open to debate.
Olav Marten Bjornson, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2015/10/13/tir-na-nog-ricochet-2015/

nick nicely - 49 CIGARS

"EP from the Hilly Fields weirdo. What I like about his stuff is that he's an urban psychedelician; I find it hard to identify with pixies gamboling in the woods. nicely is like those white van men you occasionally meet who are totally off the gourds: a city tripper. you may just notice a faint Photofit resemblance to a 1966 Beatles tune, but this is more eerie, perhaps because it was so out of time in '82: nicely was nigh-on alone out there; folk would have feared him as he shambled up to them, innocent grin on his face. He's still making gems: this also holds a couple of messed-up-in-a-good-way remixes from his new album too. worth a cigar or 49."
Ian McCann, Record Collector magazine

If your first single in an eternity was a reissue of a classic, thirty-year old a-side, what better choice for your follow-up could there be than its b-side? nick nicely’s “Hilly Fields” was originally released in 1982, when his vision of twisted UK psych scarcely had a peer in the land.
Reissued by Fruits de Mer a few years back, of course it landed on far fruitier pastures, and so here comes its other side. “49 Cigars” is a genuinely bat crazy mash of backward bits, sideways slants, oddball echoes and more… much more. The NME review back in the eighties called the coupling “the best psych single since the 60s,” and it’s probably still up there today.
Moving on through this new four track EP, we catch a live take on “49 Cigar”; twice the length of the original and making up in raw energy and guitar noise for what it lacks in studio frippery; “Belinda,” a remixed cut from nicely’s new album, which sounds like five different songs all playing at once, while a manitou works the fader; and “Lobster Dobbs,” which is precisely the kind of title you’d expect to find on Fruits de Mer.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/new-releases-striped-bananas-nick-nicely-tir-na-nog-blue-giant-zeta-puppies-stone-breath-vibravoid

Nick Nicely is another artist who has been plying his trade for a good few years, in fact '49 Cigars' was a B-side of a single 'Hilly Fields' released in 1982 (later re-released by FdM). The track is a cracking slice of sixties psych, reminiscent of The Beatles circa 'Strawberry Fields', except far more left-field and with enough effects to bring it smack up to date. 'Belinda' adds a dash of West Coast US to the mix as well as some more effects resulting in a track that sounds like The Byrds on a bad trip (that's not a bad thing). A live version of '49 Cigars' is far heavier and urgent than the studio version with the guitar given more room to roam a bit. The wonderfully titled 'Lobster Dodds' is a short, spacey number with an almost trip-hop beat and, as ever with Mr Nicely, made all the more interesting with some effects and treatments. Life is never dull when Nick Nicely is about!
Dayz of Purple and Orange
http://dayzofpurpleandorange.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/review-september-goodies-from-fruits-de.html

Okay so we are agreed that ‘Hilly Fields (1892)’ is deserving of the tags ‘legendary’ and ‘classic’ – eccentric, peculiar and strange not to mention operating in a sound time / space that was so out of step and out of fashion – for the time at least – it bred the classic hallmarks and ingredients of a release destined to be lost to obscurity. Hard to imagine it was released in 1982 harder still to believe that even when played today it’s one of only a very select few tracks that still manages to instil that feeling that I’m hearing it for the first time. But what of its flip side ’49 cigars’ – irrefutably indebted to Syd Barrett though that’ll be Syd embarking on a chemically enhanced stroll through the warping landscapes of the Beatles’ ‘strawberry fields forever’ – it offered a more wiring and freakishly psychedelicised pathway that revealed, much is / as was the case with Messrs Hitchcock / Roland (to lazily name just two), a song writing talent born in the wrong decade. The author to whom we refer incidentally for those not quite up to speed is Nick Nicely. Revisiting the single following the limited outing of ‘hilly fields (1892)’ some years back, FdM have now gone back to square the circle so to speak giving the flip side a moment in the spotlight as it heads up a limited release 4 track coloured vinyl soiree that boasts a frankly zonked and wigged out live take of ’49 cigars’ along with a few choice cuts from his ‘lysergia’ full length – of those two selections ‘belinda’ – a remixed version exclusive to this release that is literally oozing in all manner of backward loops and head frying dissolving psych operatics – in short a truly kooky cornucopia of mind expanding mirages. As to the excellently and dare I say barkingly named ‘lobster dobbs’ (hello Anthony Newley) – a fracturing fog bound sortie hazily drizzled in a ghostly shadow lining all spooked by spectral apparitions – indeed you do need it.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/nick-nicely/
Jerry Kranitz, aural innovations
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/08/nick-nicely-49-cigars-fruits-de-mer-records-2015-7-vinyl/

Nick Nicely was born Nickolas Laurien in 1959 in Greenland, during a transition from a transatlantic flight from his parents, but he grew up in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England. Later the family moved to Brockley, a conservative district in south London, which is a mark on his musical career would fall. He grew up listening to classical music by his parents and the pop of the 60's, he heard on the radio, but after, in 1969, the song "Tracy" by The Cuff Links heard, he began to recede further and further from pop music, to go more and more experimental and psychedelic music listening. Nick was started in 1969 playing harmonica, and he later guitar learned to play and created in in 1973 his musical alias Nick Nicely. In the mid 70s he formed with some friends The Nick Nicely Band, but after his friends had given chuck it, he went on alone, took his own songs and went with demos them several record companies on which he signed a contract with the Heath Levy Publishing Group, which wanted to use some of his songs for other artists. As part of the contract, Nick was given free studio time and that he used, along with his friend Jeff Leach, a classically trained pianist, his first single "DCT Dreams" / "Treeline" record, which was released via his own Voxette label and was the Hansa label end 1980 re-released, after it was played regularly and got great reviews. In December 1980 he started making his next demo single "Hilly Fields (1892)", which he six months did and in order to pay for the studio time, he sold his personal belongings. Hansa did not want to release the single, but an A & R man EMI was more than enthusiastic and Nick gave a contract. The song, which appeared in 1982 and "49 Cigars" as a B-side received was in Heath Levy's little studio and recorded in the Alvic Studios in west London, with Jeff Leach - buttons, Ian Pearce - drums, Rickman Godlee - cello and "Kate" - singing collaborated (many years there were rumors that "Kate" Kate Bush, which is just around the corner from the Alvic studio lived and also with EMI under contract stood). New Musical Express was "Hilly Fields (1892)" single of the week and described it as the best psychedelic record made ​​since the 60s, but despite many great reviews in music magazines, the single was not the right way promoted by EMI, with the result that the song almost did not get airplay and flopped. EMI but also decided the next single to express Nicely, those "On The Coast" titled was, but because of musical differences Nick pulled the single and became not released. Then, EMI lost interest in Nick, who without equipment and money to finance his further recordings fed up and disillusioned decided themselves from the music industry to withdraw and the next 20 years remained out of the spotlight. In the 80 he was involved in the emerging acid house and rave scene in England and with his friend Gavin Mills, also known as DJ Face, he produced early 90s some house numbers under the names Psychotropic, Freefall and Airtight. The duo partnered with Jack Smooth to under the group Citizen Kaned and achieved great commercial success in the top of the dance charts. Nicely's work inspired a number of contemporary artists, particularly XTC's psychedelic offshoot, the band The Dukes of Stratosphear, like The Bevis Frond, Robyn Hitchcock and Robert Wyatt. After years of negotiation, was released a compilation album in 2004 with two of his singles and unreleased songs, recorded between 1978 and 2004 and it appeared through the Tenth Planet label on the vinyl LP " psychotropia. "In 2005," psychotropia "was released again, but now in a CD version with six additional songs through Sanctuary and in 2010 fresh chen the CD again with an extra track, entitled" Marlon "in the Grapefruit label. Also appeared several songs through various collection plates and on October 11, 2008 Nick was playing his first live performance ever, assisted by friends and The Bevis Frond at The Luminaire in London. Since then, Nick has a handful of concerts, usually under the band name Nick Nicely's Unlived Lives, including the Green Man Festival in 2009, he played two shows with Kasper and Herlinde Raeman (Mr. Malash in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Wasteland Festival in Ghent, Belgium) and in November 2012 he played with Ariel Pink Hamburg, Germany. In 2010, Nick helped the rumors to tell the world by Kate Jackson did the vocals on "DCT Dreams" and he used the same tape for "Hilly Fields" and there is simply Kate had put on, because he did not know her last name and announced, also in 2010, on which he was working and it was published in June 2011 on cassette via Burger Records, under the name "Lysergia" after first under the working title "Space Of Second" known to have stood on new songs for a new album. In 2011, the American label Captured Tracks is a compilation vinyl LP released with between 1979 and 1986 recorded songs entitled "Elegant Daze" and in 2012 released the Fruits De Mer Records label a limited edition 7 "vinyl single with a new version of" Hillyfields "subtitle" The Mourning "with the original version of the song on the B-side to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the song, while Emotional Response Records the" Wrottersley Road EP "in 2013 released showing three remixes and" Space of a Second "was published in 2014 by Lo Records. The Fruits de Mer Records label releases September 7 a new 7" EP by Nick in a limited edition, pressed on colored vinyl, which will appear no CDs or downloads, a few promos after . The EP containing four songs, starting with "49 Cigars", which I hear a fantastic psychedelic song get that associations with the music of the Beatles song "Strawberry Fields Forever" evokes in me and also a light hypnotic electronic rhythm contains. (listen to it using the youtube link below the review) Then Nick let me enjoy a song from his latest album entitled "Belinda" and here he plays a rather experimental psychedelic song with several tempo changes, which sounds a bit messy and followed by a spectacular live performance of "49 Cigars", which in terms of impact although less possible than in the studio, but nevertheless played great. The last number of the EP is called "Lobster Dobbs" and in this song is serving Nick me a delicious psychedelic piece of music that is played at a leisurely pace. The EP "49 Cigars" Nick Nicely, contains four wonderful songs in any collection of psychedelic music lover may be missing, or: A must!
Carry Munter, New Underground Music
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/08/review-nick-nicely-49-cigars-fruits-de.html

Fruits de Mer really are great binding with many of my biggest underground psych heros of the last few decades... nick nicely started his career by releasing a couple of great psych pop singles in the early 80s before disappearing into obscurity for years. "49 Cigars" was originally released as the B-side to "Hilly Fields (1892)" in 1982. This strange and mesmerizing single was called "the best psych single since the 60s" by NME and I think they were pretty much right. This four-track EP, second for Fruits de Mer by nick, compiles together the original version with a very different, freaky and jammy, extended live version of the same song, a recent, trippy remix of "Belinda" from nick's latest album Space of a Second and, from the same album, the weird and wonderful "Lobster Dobbs" that of course was destined to be released on Fruits de Mer due to its marine title... Well, I love everything this guy has ever done, so it's obvious I also really enjoy this limited edition 7"! Somehow nick's music has a highly hallucinogenic, otherwordly and warped-out nature of its own still maintaining some elements of melodic psych pop, rock and even experimental electronica. This little EP is enough to transport you into another dimension, so let's see what his next album will do... Highly recommended!
DJ Astro, DJ Astro's Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/09/nick-nicely-49-cigars-7.html

Cult musician Nick Nicely may not be known to many outside of the psych-scene cognoscenti, but he sure as hell knows how to make great music. The lead track of this 4 track EP is actually a B-side from his 1982 single Hilly Fields. Hilly Fields was actually reissued by FDM several years ago but now it's 49 Cigars that's getting some well deserved attention. All the hallmarks of classic British Psychedelia are present, incorrect and there to disorientate your senses. Chug and drone, lyrics that engage but don't always make sense, sampled sonics that swoop in unexpectedly, along with backwards guitar breaks and a trumpet blast that's part fox-hunt bugle, part Proms pomp but mostly a reveille directed at the straight world. Also included on this EP is a revelatory live version of 49 Cigars that brims over with brio and energy, an exclusive remix of Belinda (taken from Nick's latest solo LP) and Lobster Dobbs, a track taken from his Space Of A Second LP for LO Recordings. Fans of all things lysergic will find this as good an entry point as any into Nick's work.
Harmonic Distortion
http://harmonicdistort.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/nick-nicely-49-cigars-ltd-7.html
Fruits de Mer Records, the label whose slogan is, “it’s as if the last 40 years never happened”, serve up another round of superbly curated singles from a smattering of contemporary psychedelic bands. Nick Nicely starts us off with 49 Cigars, which is about the coolest thing I’ve heard all summer, is an ultra-retro jam-packed slab of pop akin to something The Dukes of Stratosphere might’ve put out. It has the drones, the throbbing bass line, the flanged vocals, and the low-fi blips and bleeps, as well as plenty of reverse guitar lines that sent me to seventh heaven. There is a live version of this track on this 7” EP that is also killer, but here the sound is less pop and blossoms into an almost Helios Creed Master Blaster type vibe. I can only imagine what this band is like to see live as it’s pretty heavy, heady stuff. The other track worth mentioning is a song entitled ‘Belinda’, which is an amazing jam-packed tune that feels as if you were launched back in time and were able to listen to someone slowly turning the AM radio dial from station to station.
Jonathan Levitt, (sic) magazine
http://www.sicmagazine.net/9466/nick-nicely-49-cigars-7-ep/

UK based artist Nick Nicely, originally hailing from Greenland if my sources are correct, is a veteran player in the UK psychedelic field, albeit perhaps not among the best known, at least not these days. He released a couple of heralded singles back in the early 1980’s, and some 20 years would go by before he started releasing material again. The single “49 Cigars”, released by UK label Fruits de Mer Records, is a reissue of one of his early tracks, and is here also supplemented with a live version and one track from each of Nick’s two latest studio albums. The studio version of 49 Cigars is my select cut from this single. It is rather lo-fi and edgy sounding, true enough, not in a dramatic manner I’ll add, but for a composition that is so remarkably similar to The Beatles classic Tomorrow Never Knows in general sound, approach and execution, comparisons are bound to occur and Nick’s song lacks that smooth edge The Beatles had when they explored similar territories. I’ll add that 49 Cigars is a song that is similar but not a replica, it stands firmly on it’s own two feet, also when entrenched in psychedelic effects large and small alike. Belinda, taken from Nicks’ 2001 album Lysergia, is a rather different kettle of fish entirely. It is a mesmerizing, hypnotic affair, albeit one that to my ears comes across as more of an atmospheric creation exploring the use of liberal and very liberal psychedelic sounds and effects first and foremost, with the composition part and the song aspect of this creation is more of an incidental feature. A richly woven tapestry of multiple, layered psychedelic effects, textures, instrument details and vocals, with a strong emphasis on the word psychedelic and not quite as much emphasis on the other details mentioned. The live version of 49 Cigars is a much different one. It’s twice as long for starters, it’s also a more uptempo affair, with liberal amounts of eerie, strange sounds and effects complementing the core song, a stronger emphasis on a clean, ongoing guitar solo, some operatic vocals thrown in for good measure and occasional lapses into almost punk-tinged guitar driven details here and there. Still as compelling as the studio version, but filtered through an additional layer of weirdness one might say, and then in a good way. Concluding track Lobster Dobbs is pulled from Nick’s 2014 album “Space of a Second”, and opens as a delicate plucked guitar and soft keyboards affair that develops into another psychedelic landscape, albeit one with a tighter correlation to a song based composition. It’s still an affair heavy on the psychedelic effects, with what sounds like dub style electronic rhythms accompanying the mainly dark textures and effects used in the second half of the song. Compelling, alluring and distinctly unusual. Nick Nicely presents us with a peculiar breed of psychedelic rock on this single, three different tracks and, basically, four different styles explored, of which at least two at least for me are difficult to define within a musical context, not to mention a psychedelic one, apart from being undeniably psychedelic that is. As such I’d say that this is a single that merits an inspection by those who enjoy artists that seek to explore the more unexplored and, arguably, challenging sides of the psychedelic rock universe. Except for the title track that is, which is a compelling creation of the kind that would make it a perfect companion piece to The Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows.
Olav Marten Bjornson, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2015/10/14/nick-nicely-49-cigars-2015/

VIBRAVOID - STEPPING STONE

Now this is… something.
We all know by now the tale of how the Monkees’ “Stepping Stone” became the blueprint from which the Sex Pistols cast their charms. But imagine if Question Mark and the Mysterians had got their hands on it first; had layered it with that all-devouring organ sound, washed it in a sonic soup that sent your ears sailing through the third wormhole on the left, and then, just when you thought it was all over and done with, twisted “Hole in my Shoe” through a crack in the universe.
Welcome to the world of Vibravoid, who have more or less rewritten everything you ever thought you wanted to know about either song… when the spoken word section in the Traffic classic is replayed like the jingle from a sliced bread commercial, then even the back of a giant albatross isn’t safe any longer.
HP Lovecraft’s “The White Ship” closes the EP, a six minute leviathan that shudders, shivers, fuzzes and generally froths around the boundaries that the last two tracks shattered so resolutely, and it has no intention of clearing up the mess.
Twelve minutes of brain damage start here.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/new-releases-striped-bananas-nick-nicely-tir-na-nog-blue-giant-zeta-puppies-stone-breath-vibravoid#sthash.FJumtS21.dpuf

It's no secret that Vibravoid, one of Germany's leading psychedelic rock bands, is one of my favourites, so naturally I'm very excited every time they have a new release out. These guys have never let me down, so I just KNOW they will deliver the mind-bending goods. This new 7" just out on the marvelous Fruits de Mer Records is of course no exception, this is pure aural ear candy. This 7" EP includes three covers of classic psych tracks from the 60s. First, they do "a bit more" psychedelized version of "Stepping Stone" by The Monkees, what a clever move! I'm sure this will go down well in live situations as well, very groovy stuff! The next track is something new for Vibravoid: "Hole in My Shoe" (originally by Traffic) has amazing quest female vocals by Italian mod jazz singer Viola Road! This really makes a difference (although I love Christian's vocals too, of course). This version is heavenly beautiful with sitar, mellotron, organ and other psych tricks. Just wow! Vibravoid has released a couple of earlier versions of "The White Ship" (H. P. Lovecraft) before, but the version here is even more spacey and hazy, if possible... Also a bit longer than on their Gravity Zero album released in 2012. This will transport you to an another zone for sure... Very
DJ Astro, DJ Astro's Astral zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/09/vibravoid-stepping-stone-7.html

Vibravoid are mainstays of the psychedelic rock scene and have produced some wonderful 'out there' spacey albums and their live shows are psychedelic in every sense of the word. For 'Stepping Stone' (Crustacean 67) they have reined in their cosmic wandering and produced 3 straightforward, by their standards, cover versions. '(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone' is a storming version of the Monkees track....a fuzzy, urgent garage punk anthem..brilliant stuff. 'Hole In My Shoe', originally by Traffic remains fairly faithful to said original (and, as a real bonus, has finally expunged the memory of that god awful version by Neil from 'The Young Ones'). Additional vocals are provided by Viola Road, an Italian jazz singer, and provide an extra dimension to the track. H.P Lovecraft's 'The White Ship' rounds off the single....a hazy, trip back to the sixties, heavy on the sitar and synth effects, that leaves you feeling slightly disorientated but also fairly blissed out. An all round fantastic single. Vibravoid are one of the most popular of FdM acts, and this 7" is only going to add to that popularity. My order's in! Dayz of Purple and Orange
http://dayzofpurpleandorange.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/review-september-goodies-from-fruits-de.html

Just as the title enunciates, the single opens up with the classic Monkees’ track; drenched with fuzz, immersed in fiery intensity, pushing the needle to the red. Then listen to their take of Traffic’s “Summer of Love” tune “Hole in My Shoe” (feat. vocals from Viola Road), which follows the original with the snazzy sitars and mosaic of Mellotrons and organs, but giving it that loud & blistering White Light, White Heat scorch. As for the final track, it’s a visit from the past with a remix of the HP Lovecraft Tune “The White Ship;” sizzling with the spacey buzzsaw vibrato soaking the song parallel to the blurred vocals, rearing it’s head a mosaic of mystery.
Tommy Hash, Ytsejam.com
http://ytsejam.com/music-review/fruits-de-mer-records-7-roundup-part-1-magic-bus-vibravoid/

Vibravoid was in 2000 in Dusseldorf, Germany, and composed of: Christian Koch - vocals and lead guitar, Robert Braune - drums and M. Lammert - bass guitar and the band has drawn musical inspiration from, among others (an early) Pink Floyd, Electric Prunes , Strawberry Alarm Clock and Spacemen 3 and countless psychedelic progressive rock band. Since 2000, the band released numerous LPs and CDs released by different labels, such as:. triggerfish, Nasoni, Anzitisi Records Krauted Mind Records, Herzberg Verlag and Sulatron After beginning 2013 their own label, Stoned Karma, have set upon visiting their records, but also the band with a song ("Nearby Shiras", a cover of Kalacakra) on the LP Head Music of the Fruits De Mer Records label, and a 7 "vinyl single released by the same label from England, which includes three covers. The single, which is September 7, 2015 will appear in a limited edition on colored vinyl, will not CDs and downloads are made ​​on some promos after. The single starts with the song "(I'm Not Your) Steppin 'Stone", with The Monkees in the 60s had a hit and here I hear a great tasty psychedelic version, which is followed by a fata extremist version of "Hole In My Shoe "(Traffic) and the psychedelic song the band is assisted by jazz singer Viola Road from Italy. (Listen to it using the youtube link below the review) The latest edition of the single is called "The White Ship" (HPLovecraft) and in it the band let me enjoy a very psychedelic song that played in a not too fast pace and shall contain a ghostly sound. Vibravoid has with the single "Steppin 'Stone" again delivered a great job that in any collection of psychedelic enthusiasts may be missing, or: A must!
Carry Munter, New Music Underground
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/08/review-vibravoid-stepping-stone-fruits.html

Final mention for the Fruits de Mer September release soiree sees the uber cool psych dudes Vibravoid turning their collective kaleidoscopic sights upon three nuggets from yesteryear. In truth our favourite release of the four (but don’t tell the other three) and even then just for the appearance of a frankly must hear re-telling of HP Lovecraft’s ‘the white ship’ (a new mix no less of a cover that first appeared via the excellent timemazine publication) which while I’m here I may as well mention is just so out there that you might want to consider laying a trail of cosmic bread crumbs so that you can find yourself safely back from its astral gliding odyssey which in truth should you need descriptors is best served by trying to imagine some meteor fragment being dropped into the vast celestial pools and then settling back at safe distance to observe the airless shimmering symphonia resulting from the ensuing ripple formations here replicated by the woozy coalesce of tripping sitars and buzzsawing pulsars. Immense in short. Elsewhere a stomping garage gouged take of the Monkees ‘(I’m not your) stepping stone’ sees it reclaimed from the spitting dismiss of the Sex Pistols and comfortably ensconced back into a mid 60’s fold to be kissed with the kind of cool cut swagger of an at the height of their powers Wimple Winch. Tucked in between you’ll find a seriously trippy re-trim of Traffic’s classic Alice moment ‘hole in my shoe’ here hallucinogenically haloed and flowered up amid a lazy eyed cortege of sozzled sitars and middle eastern floral fancies – be honest resistance is useless. Again as with the rest of the September pack this release comes pressed up on limited quantities of coloured 7 inch wax which judging by previous Vibravoid outings will sell out in nanoseconds and be the refuge of auction site feeding frenzy.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/vibravoid-3/

It was with some trepidation that I approached this new FdM single given my negative reaction to Nick Nicely’s 2014 album Space of a Second. Always wanting to give the benefit of the doubt and keep an open mind, I was pleasantly surprised with 49 Cigars. Actually, the title cut is the b side of nick nicely’s “Hilly Fields” single released in 1982. “49 Cigars,” which by the way has nothing at all to do with cigars, is a psychedelic masterpiece and reminds me a bit of George Harrison’s Indian-influenced songs. Since FdM wanted to make this new single a little different, Nick dug into his archives and provided an exclusive live recording of “49 Cigars.” But there is no information provided for when this song was performed. The live cut is an extended version with a lot of distortion. Given Nick’s penchant for processing his tracks, he could have purposefully modified the recording to achieve this sound. The live version shows a different side to the music and there is some odd falsetto singing at the end. Not satisfied with two versions of “49 Cigars,” Keith Jones asked if FdM could include “Belinda” from Nick's next album and “Lobster Dobbs” from 2014 to round things out. Nick remixed this version of “Belinda." There are distorted vocals and crazy shifts in rhythm and music. I also detect some Mellotron buried down in the mix. I cannot tell for sure, but I think that Nick left the mix of “Lobster Dobbs” alone. So the resulting EP is kind of like the bride’s gifts: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Henry Schneider, Exposé
http://expose.org/index.php/articles/display/nick-nicely-49-cigars-6.html

Fruits de Mer Records, the label whose slogan is “it’s as if the last 40 years never happened”, serve up another round of superbly curated singles from a smattering of contemporary psychedelic bands. Nick Nicely started us off with 49 Cigars. Vibravoid from Germany turn in a killer version of Stepping Stone that is blissed out, with its fuzzed up bass, Hammond B3 and effect drenched vocals. Here they succeed because they’ve soaked the Monkees classic in LSD and made it more akin to a powerful bong hit of your best mate Nobby’s Thai stick. Hole In My Shoe by Traffic keeps things going as a sparkling sitar and tabla infused number that is the dreamy moment where everything is beautiful, but you know it won’t last. It’s a really beautiful number that is sung by Viola Road from Italy. She like a siren leads us out of the land of nod towards an as yet unrevealed future. The 7” is rounded out by The White Ship, which has an exploratory interplanetary vibe similar to Sterling Roswell‘s latest album Call of the Cosmos. What Vibravoid have shown with these mere three songs is that they can do tight psych-pop numbers all the way to blissed-out transcendental ones and run circles around bands that call themselves psych outfits. Jonathan Levitt, (sic) magazine
http://www.sicmagazine.net/9469/vibravoid-stepping-stone-7/

German band VIBRAVOID celebrate their 25th anniversary this year I understand, at least they have a banner on their Facebook page proclaiming that these days, and while they didn’t make their debut as recording artists until 2001 they have been a popular entity in the psychedelic rock scene ever since that year. They have been regular contributors to UK niche label Fruits de Mer Records for a number of years now, as providers of newly recorded versions of classic psychedelic rock tracks released as a part of specific projects as well as ordinary releases issued without a defining context of one sort or the other. The single “Stepping Stone” belongs to the latter category, and was released in the fall of 2015. On this 7 inch vinyl Vibravoid has a go at three classics from way back when, giving each of them the Vibravoid treatment: Creating material that has a contemporary nature to it in arrangements, performance and production, crafted by using distinct and dominating layers of psychedelic instrument details of various kinds. The Monkees Stepping Stone is thus transformed into a fuzz and echoing guitar driven enterprise, with a gentler fuzz guitar and organ driven employed for the verse sequences and a noisier, edgy arrangement for the interludes, and with a gentler echoing guitar detail and voice effect combination for the solo section midways. Traffic’s Hole In My Shoe is given a more diverse treatment, with raga-tinged plucked strings and flute details alternating with gentler plucked guitars and organ interludes, with some cosmic sounding effects thrown in here and there and atmospheric laden lead vocals alternating with a darker, effects treated lead vocal presence. Both of these are well made and strong performances, and as usual they come across as sounding very much like Vibravoid and not quite as much as material originally written and performed by another band. The B side of this single features Vibravoid’s take on HP Lovecraft’s The White Ship, a slower paced affair where the song comes across as a slow journey over psych-filled landscapes, with fuzzy and echoing guitar details, some raga-tinged plucked string details and more or less subtle cosmic effects arranged as the sea for this ship to sail upon, with a chaotic crescendo midways as a possibly allegorical storm. Extremely well made, but at least for my ears and my brain this one becomes just a bit too overpowering, a constant array of sounds and effects in a psychedelic wild sea that is just a bit too rough for my tastes, although I suspect those with a taste for the more edgy and challenging aspects of psychedelic rock should find this one a most welcome excursion indeed. At the end of the day I do regard this single is a strong one though, but it’s qualities depends very much on how much you enjoy Vibravoid’s take on psychedelic rock. Their contemporary take on the style is somewhat overpowering, with a loud and in your face attitude that is a bit removed from the warmer, organic and often more delicate touch generally applied by the artists of yesteryear. If you don’t enjoy the band or their general approach chances are that this single won’t convince you otherwise, but if you do you’ll most likely find this single to be an enticing one.
Olav Marten Bjornson, House Of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2015/10/14/vibravoid-stepping-stone-2015/

MAGIC BUS - SEVEN WONDERS

Magic Bus is a new band to the list of FdM artists. They fill the void left by Caravan in the mid 70s. They have two albums and another single under their belt already. This new single includes “Seven Wonders” from their recent album Transmission from Sogmore’s Garden and a brand new take on The Byrds’ classic “Eight Miles High.” “Seven Wonders” begins as a symphonic progressive track sounding musically like Genesis and with vocals similar to Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins. At the mid-point the song picks up momentum with the addition of flute, pseudo-harpsichord, and organ imparting a Canterbury sound that ends far too soon. “Eight Miles High” begins as a drone mantra that slowly builds to a bluesy/Canterbury sound, think of Soft Machine covering The Byrds. This is quite a remarkable single that is enough to make me want to hear their other releases.
Henry Schneider, Exposé
http://expose.org/index.php/articles/display/magic-bus-seven-wonders-6.html

Magic Bus are new to me, though they have two full length albums out to date. Don’t confuse them with the Psych band of the same name from Michigan. These guys are UK based. We’ve got two songs, one original and one cover. Seven Wonders starts off with a tasty blend of gentle Folk infused Prog-Psych, with nice vocals and beautiful harmonies, acoustic and electric guitars, flute and organ. Then just past the halfway mark the band take off on a Prog instrumental that sounds like a lost gem from the 70s. The flip side consists of Magic Bus putting their own spin on The Byrds classic Eight Miles High. The song opens in droney drifty Psychedelic mode for an intro and then takes off into a cool grooving Prog-Jazz flavored take on the song that includes lots of instrumental segments and a fuzzed out Mike Ratledge styled organ melody. Great stuff. I’ll have to check out their previous albums.
Jerry Kranitz, aural innovations
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/08/magic-bus-seven-wonderseight-miles-high-fruits-de-mer-records-2015-7-vinyl/

Magic Bus make music that lives up to their name; it delights, dazzles, and takes you places you want to go. Their first single for the Fruits de Mer label contains an original A-side, Seven Wonders, backed with their take on The Byrds' Eight Miles High. It may just be the pick of the crop of FDM's early Autumn releases. If you want comparisons think Caravan and the Canterbury sound. Think gentle, pastoral home counties psychedelia. Think Englishness as encapsulated by Robert Wyatt-esque vocals. Think hops fields, sunny days and games of cricket. But really don't think at all, just listen. You won't be disappointed. The initiated may have already heard Seven Wonders as it's taken from their Transmission From Sogmore's Garden album, their 2nd for Static Caravan Records. For the rest of us this first meeting is as warm and welcome as a ray of late summer sun. Along with its strong melody and harmonies worthy of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the band prove equally adept at wigging out as evidenced in the song's proggy coda. Eight Miles High is a slowed down take on The Byrds classic with an almost Gregorian vocal intro. Any folk-rock urgency is replaced by a more measured jazz swing. Similarly it's flute and synthesizer that take flight on the solos instead of McGuin's garbled guitar. Very nice indeed!
Harmonic Distorion
http://harmonicdistort.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/magic-bus-seven-wonders-bw-eight-miles.html

Due up in the first week of September the Mer machine will be cranking into its extended year end season with four killer seven inches leading the way, as ever all strictly limited and pressed up variously on coloured wax some with posters and all featuring cuts from some of the labels top table talent – Vibravoid, Nick Nicely, Tir Na Nog and magic bus….. First up for a spot of turntable testing and tasting, Devon’s finest Magic Bus serve up two kaleidoscopic corkers in the guise of ‘seven wonders’ (culled from a hugely enjoyable odyssey entitled ‘transmission from Sogmore’s garden’) and an utterly divine and rather smoked out version of the Byrds evergreen ‘eight miles high’. The former of course was mentioned in these very pages earlier this year to what I can only describe as much breathless adoration, in fact such was the level of breathlessness that we very near fainted upon the quilt like bedding of bunting that we decorated nay danced nay festooned the listening space in honour of as we listened in awe. Anyhow still as cute as a button and still very much veering upon the type of warping weird ear gear that emanates from the grooves of passing Cranium Pie releases not to mention shimmered in the delicate dream weaving of the Chemistry Set themselves found as though venturing into sacred sonic spaces crafted by the psych folk fried mindset of a tag team of Circulus and Zombies types. That aforementioned review incidentally can, should you so wish be viewed upon here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/magic-bus/ – as to their version of the Byrds classic ‘eight miles high’ – well let us just say that if the uber trippy 2 minute dream intro doesn’t get your wig flipping and your third eye blinking wildly then surely there’s no hope in waking your inner free spirit. Once emerged from its unfamiliar trip-a-delic tinkering the Magic ones adorn upon the original template a truly zonked out and psychoactive pastoral posy of out there kookified kaleidoscopia.
Mark Barton, The sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/magic-bus-2/

Magic Bus is a progressive psych rock band from Devon, U.K. I have not heard from them before and this cool little 7" is their first release on Regal Crabomophone / Fruits de Mer. Since it has an original on the A-side it's on the sister label as FdM is (usually...) reserved for covers only. Magic Bus has two albums and one single out before this release, and I think I just might have to find copies since this sounds very nice. They clearly are highly influenced by the Canterbury scene of the late 60s/70s, especially Caravan comes to mind while listening to their lovely sounds. Their own song "Seven Wonders" is taken from their latest album "Transmission from Sogmore's Garden" and starts off in a peaceful, slow mode with great, soft vocals, gentle guitars, organ and flute. Later on things get more progressive and a bit heavier, and there's a groovy organ solo at the very end. I like this a lot! The Byrds are of course one of the original innovators of the whole psych rock genre, so it's a little miracle that their mind-altering hit song "Eight Miles High" hasn't been previously covered by any band on Fruits de Mer. This excellent rendition starts with just vocals and organ, and after a bubbling psych sound effect the song starts moving and we're in blissful aural heaven. They really make this track sound like Canterbury scene still also being respectful for the original harmony vocals etc. and I love it. What a great debut release for Fruits de Mer / Regal Crabomophone and I have a feeling there will be more...
DJ Astro, Astral Zone
http://astralzoneblog.blogspot.fi/2015/09/magic-bus-seven-wonders-eight-miles-high.html

Across a couple of albums, Magic Bus have earned deserved comparisons with the classic Canterbury/Caravan sound. Their Fruits de Mer debut single, however, puts one more in mind of Pink Floyd, circa that period of delightful indecision that separated More from Ummagumma and, in the process, unleashed some of their loveliest melodies. “Seven Wonders” certainly merits inclusion in the same breath, even as it bleeds into a second half that is more in keeping with the band’s reputation (must be that flute), while flipping the disc unleashes their version of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High,” that might well have been recorded even further up than that. Stripped of the original’s familiar wildness, draped instead with, again, that pastoral sheen for which “very English” is now the best shorthand, it’s a lovely revision, and one which should certainly send you chasing their Transmissions from Sogmore’s Garden CD. On which you will find “Seven Wonders,” but not the eighth wonder that is its b-side.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/new-releases-beautify-junkyards-linda-hoyle-united-bible-studies-magic-bus-evening-fires#sthash.foRDhw2O.dpuf

Magic Bus are newcomers to the FdM stable but their 'Seven Wonders / Eight Miles High' single (cat.no. Regal Crabomophone Winkle 20 for you completists) will pretty much guarantee a return visit or several. 'Seven Wonders' is a self-penned pastoral prog number with some lush strings, angelic harmonies and acoustic guitar that evokes the spirit of the Canterbury scene.....if english prog is your thing then you will love this. 'Seven Wonders' is taken from their latest album 'Transmission From Sogmore's Garden'. The b-side is a cover of The Byrds 'Eight Miles High'...a brave choice....but they pull it off with some aplomb, giving the West Coast classic a English spin without losing the originals feel and atmosphere...a really lovely version!
Dayz of Purple and Orange
http://dayzofpurpleandorange.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/review-september-goodies-from-fruits-de.html

Magic Bus are determined to behold their take on the classic, authentic Canterbury sound; folky and layered with a deeper rock edge. Their original tune that appears on the single, “Seven Wonders” has that Fairport Convention-meets-a tame version of “In the Court of the Crimson King” vibe with strumming acoustic guitars, floating flute and powerful, but mid tempo drumming – the recipe works. Their cover of “The Byrd’s “Eight Miles High” morphs the American folk-rock sound with their own stance, departing completely from the original; the depth here, plays out as a enigmatic layered track sounding at first, as if it were recorded in a cathedral, eventually carrying on to a more jangle pop tune, but no 12-string. They stay away from Roger McGuinn’s John Coltarne simulation.
Tommy Hash, Ystejam.com
http://ytsejam.com/music-review/fruits-de-mer-records-7-roundup-part-1-magic-bus-vibravoid/

Magic Bus is a band from Totnes, Devon, England, which consists of: Paul Evans - vocals and rhythm guitar, Jay Darlington - organ, synthesizer, mellotron, Terence Waldstradt - lead guitar and vocals, Benny Brooke - bass guitar and vocals, Viv Goodwin-Darke - flute and vocals and Matt Butlin - drums. The band was inspired by the music of bands from the late 60s and early 70s, including The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jefferson Airplane, Caravan, Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and Steve Hillage. The first album of the band appeared in 2011 and was simply "Magic Bus" titled and includes the debut single "Magic Bus" / "Milky Way", which through the Static Caravan label was released, followed in 2014 The album "Transmission From Sogmore's Garden" appeared. Furthermore came the song "Ballad Of Lord Sogmore" ("Transmission From Sogmore's Garden") on the album Various Artists "P32: Lords Of The Backstage" from 2015 rightly and brings Fruits De Mer Records label on September 7, the 7 "vinyl single" Seven Wonders "/" Eight Miles High ", including a foldout poster, a limited edition of which is noteworthy that there are no CD's and / or downloads of this single will be released just a few promos after. The A-side of the single "Seven Wonders" is on the album "Transmission From Sogmore's Garden" and here I hear a beautiful melodic psychedelic progressive rock song, which is played at a leisurely pace and contains influences from the 60s and 70s bands. (listen to it using the youtube link below the review) on the B side is the previously unreleased "Eight Miles High" and in it the band let me hear a delightful cover of the Byrds song, which sounds psychedelic and progressive, with the band its own twist to the song has managed to give, through there to handle an organ game, played in the style of the music of the 70s band Caravan. delivered Magic Bus has this single a fantastic piece of psychedelic progressive music, that could have been created in the early 70's and I can make any fan of this genre Recommend this single therefore warmly.
Carry Munter, New Underground Music
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/08/review-magic-bus-seven-wonders-fruits.html

UK band MAGIC BUS first came to some prominence when they released their debut album back in 2010. This album was followed by a single release the following year, and then a second album followed in 2014. “Seven Wonders” is their second single release, and was released through UK label Fruits de Mer Records‘ sublabel Regal Crabomophone in 2015 on an old fashioned 7 inch vinyl single, with a cover of The Byrds classic Eight Miles High as the B side track. The original composition Seven Wonders is the kind of composition that most likely will have a fairly broad appeal among those with a taste and affection for progressive rock first and foremost. It’s a creation that mainly operates within what one might describe as a pastoral context, a slow paced creation with relaxed lead vocals, some nifty vocal harmonies here and there, with an acoustic guitar and organ combination that ebbs and flows in intensity and some flute details added in on occasion. A touch of Caravan with a slight side dish of Jethro Tull if you like, with a more energetic midsection sporting a stronger organ emphasis and a sound reminding more of mid to late 70’s Eloy. The cover of Eight Miles High opens with a drone and vocals sequence that smoothly segues into a vocals and organ combination, slow paced and deliberate, with a smooth transition by way of cosmic sounds into a more familiar acoustic guitars and vocals driven take on this classic song, alternating with subtly more intense instrumental interludes with dampened, funky guitar riffs and the flute given more room. Again with some associations in terms of the Canterbury scene as a distinct but subtle rather than dominant presence. While the Fruits de Mer label is best known for their release of music within a psychedelic rock context, this particular single is one that, at least to my ears, would be more of interest to a progressive rock oriented audience. This goes especially towards the A side track obviously, as the B side cover of The Byrds is a piece that most likely will attract a stronger interest from a psychedelic rock interested audience. But whether you belong in one camp or the other – or both, this is yet another solid release from this label, by what comes across as a solid and refined band.
Olav Marten Bjornen, House of Prog
http://houseofprog.com/blog/2015/10/14/magic-bus-seven-wonders-eight-miles-high-2015/

SIDE EFFECTS

Eight sides, eeight glorious freak-outs
Sideways, Sidesteps, Sidetracks, Sideshows. Nope, not a "things beginning with the word "side" round on Pointless, but the individual titles for each disc in this vinyl box set from our friends at FdM, wherein some of the label's lovely regular bands, and a few newcomers to their psychedelic boutique, grab hold of tracks - some already elongated, others ripe for expansion - and cover them as spaced-out side-long grooves. Three cheers for the three additions in FdM's roster: Wreaths taken Gordon Lightfoot's Sundown out across the distant horizon in a laconic fuzz haze; fellow Americans The Soft Bombs drift in an honest, heartfelt (and very Floydian) Echoes; and, from our side of the pond, Arcade Messiah stakes his claim to a berth in the FdM stable with a sprightly yet fragile starting point to Aphrodite's Child's Four Horseman, which build into a pounding gallop. Of the label's mainstays and semi-regulars, Bevis Frond is gloriously out-to-lunch with a 24-minute version of Electric Sandwich's China, while the Julie's Haircut coolly blowing through Miles Davis' Shhh/Peaceful , and Sendelica's slow burn into I Feel Love, twisting and turning into a hot, sticky night, is arguably the winning pairing that's first amongst equals.
Ian Abrahams, Record Collector magazine

Well, the happy little elves at Fruits de Mer have done it again, and vinyl enthusiasts worldwide are salivating in anticipation. Do you remember those juicy LPs from the 70s with side-long tracks? You are in luck. On August 21 a 4-LP boxed set of eight incredible space rock, Krautrock, psychedelic freakouts will hit the streets. This project, as most with Fruits de Mer, started out as a single track slated for their standard 7 inch vinyl release: The Soft Bombs’ faithful cover of Pink Floyd’s mammoth “Echoes.” Keith Jones tried to persuade the band to split it so he could release it as a double-sided 7 inch, but that did not fly. Then over the next 18 months Keith encountered more bands, both familiar and unknown to the FdM family, who also could not contain their enthusiasm when playing extended versions and jams. The result is this boxed set of four single albums rivaling Yes’ Tales from Topographic Oceans. To enhance the sonic experience, The Luck of Eden Hall’s Gregory Curvey designed the sleeves and labels uniting the four albums, which are individually titled Sidetracks, Sideways, Sideshows, and Sidesteps. Sidetracks kicks off the journey with the aforementioned “Echoes” by The Soft Bombs, which is about five minutes shorter (!) than Pink Floyd’s original. The Soft Bombs remain pretty faithful, but there is ample room for the band to stretch and jam. If you remember Pink Floyd’s version where it gets weird and cosmic towards the end, The Soft Bombs provides their unique interpretation to create something much more than a mere cover. The flip side is by another new FdM artist, Arcade Messiah AKA John Bassett from the UK. Aracade Messiah’s contribution is an extended version the infamous Aphrodite’s Child song “Four Horsemen,” taking it from its original 5:53 minutes to a whopping 18:54! The song begins with twin guitars in a trippy cosmic jam for about seven minutes and then things quiet down resolving into a vocoded version of the song. After five minutes, the music evolves into a metal jam on the same riff, looping back to the vocoded vocals near the end. This first LP just takes your breath away. Sideways continues the journey with two other bands: the legendary Bevis Frond and another new band from the US, Wreaths. The Bevis Frond cover is a Krautrock track I am unfamiliar with, Electric Sandwich’s “China” recorded in 1972. The original song was already hefty, clocking in at eight minutes, however Nick Salomon has tripled its length! Nick’s guitars weave in and out, stitching together the driving bass line, fuzzed guitar, wah-wah guitar, etc. actively engaging your interest, and surprising you when it is finally over. A severely edited version of this track appeared on the FdM Head Music double LP. Now the flip side is the Wreaths’ cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s pop hit “Sundown.” Who would have ever thought to create a psychedelic opus from a pop song? The music has a slow gothic western pace, not as energetic as Gordon’s original. The Wreaths’ approach was to start with the song and then after about six minutes to venture off into trance-jam territory, eventually fading off into the night after 16 minutes. Sideshows features Superfjord who contributed to FdM’s Coltrane released last fall and one of FdM’s most popular bands The Luck of Eden Hall. For this release Superfjord chose to take The Byrds’ quirky 2:32 “C.T.A.-102” and extend it to a full 17 minutes! Unlike the other tracks on this set where the bands either covered a song or used it as a springboard, Supefjord literally stretched the song. The track begins with pseudo radio signals sending out an SOS along with other weird sounds and electronics for about a minute. Then they sing the first verse and launch the song into Krautrock/Harmonia territory with a Motorik beat. After five minutes they sing the second verse, travelling out into the universe for more extended jamming. At the 12 minute mark the third verse appears and the first line “On a radio telescope” is processed and repeated until it fades into obscurity. My only gripe, albeit very small, is that Superfjord avoided the reversed and sped up alien voices I found so intriguing on The Byrd’s original. The flip side is The Luck of Eden Hall’s cover of Yes’ “Starship Trooper.” I have to say that I was never a Yes fan, there was something about them that grated on me. Once upon a time I did own the Fragile, Close to the Edge, and Relayer LPs, but sold them. There was something about their music that struck me as being too sterile. Now, listening to The Luck of Eden Hall’s cover, I think that the version seen through their lens is better than the original. Their version has a warmth, even though trying to recapture Steve Howe and Jon Anderson is a bit elusive. The Luck of Eden Hall’s version covers the different song movements and launches into uncharted territory, seeking out new worlds, new civilizations, bolding going where no band beyond Yes has gone before. Towards the end sped up/slowed down voices and Mellotron join the mix, which slowly fades into obscurity. The final disc, Sidesteps, features Julie’s Haircut and the familiar Welsh band Sendelica. If you thought last year’s cover of Coltrane by Superfjord was bold, wait until you listen to Julie’s Haircut cover Miles Davis’ groundbreaking “Shhh/Peaceful” from his electric period! Miles and crew (Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Tony Williams) created the original jazz-fusion sound. Now Julie’s Haircut has taken it one step further by creating psychedelic-jazz fusion. Julie’s Haircut’s cover is brilliant, though their trumpeter does not quite have the Miles Davis edge to his playing. If “Sundown” was not a weird enough psychedelic departure, then experience Sendelica’s Krautrock treatment of Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer’s disco hit “I Feel Love.” The original disco hit lasted a mere six minutes (though many longer versions appeared). Now prepare your self for an epic 21-minute instrumental! The song opens with heavily reverbed electronics, other sounds, and chimes creating an amorphous swooping and swirling texture that is nothing like disco. Suddenly at 5:30 there is a synth chord wash and a disco beat kicks in. I guess you could call this new genre psycho-disco. Sendelica slip in sax along with the electronics, guitars, melody, and chord changes. The music is excellent and there is an ostinato sequence recalling Tangerine Dream. What more can I say? Just see if you can grab a copy of this set that I am sure will not stay long on the virtual record store shelves.
Henry Schneider, Expose online
http://expose.org/index.php/articles/display/various-artists-side-effects-6.html

Fruits de Mer Records hailing from the UK have put together a genuinely brilliant collection of bands doing psychedelic heavy covers that run the gamut from the obligatory Pink Floyd to some way out there Miles Davis and the just plain unexpected Donna Summer track. Bevis Frond’s reworking of the Electric Sandwich track “China” is a killer rendition of the track. Nick Saloman on this cut has a virtuosic presence and manages to coax all of the subtle intricacies the song demands of players that enter its headspace. I’ve forgotten how much I miss Nick and band wrapping themselves into longer numbers like this that create a vortex of shape shifting sounds that bend and morph while transporting us into interstellar space. Sendelica’s version of the Donna Summer/ Giorgio Moroder classic “I Feel Love”, is not as odd as you might think. Here the band have blissed the track even further out with some stellar sax, and some Hawkwind like swooshes floating in the background. Could this be the new trend given Tame Impala’s latest record also being disco tinged? If so I’m on board. When you think about it is it really that odd? Both psychedelic music and disco have a drugged out connection and somewhere out in the universe of music they connect with their propulsive elements that fuse with your cells to take you outside your body to get lost in something greater. Side Effects LPs Julie’s Haircut’s reworking of the Miles Davis track “Shhh/Peaceful” is a killer rendition of the track. The band slay hard on this late ‘60s number. Many lesser bands might shy away from covering a Miles Davis song from this period, given the intricate mix of jazz and psychedelia. That said, Julie’s Haircut shows they have the chops to make it their own. The Wreath’s turn in a narcotic doused version of Gordon Lightfoot’s track “Sundown”. The band here brings this song to a much darker conclusion than the original track ever hinted at. The lyric “When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain” takes on new meaning as the band jump off into some hallucinatory soul searching in the second half of the track. Each track on this set varies in length from 16 minutes to nearly 25, and is sure to satisfy anyone who misses the exploratory/transitory psych symphonies that used to fill whole slab of wax. Fruits de Mer has managed with this compilation to cast a net into the psychedelic sea, pulling up some really amazing treats for us to enjoy. This limited, heavy vinyl, LP set will keep you submerged even as the tide subsides.
Jonathan Levitt, Blurt magazine
http://blurtonline.com/review/various-artists-side-effects-4lp-box/

"The prog label and friends take a sidelong look at some classic epics. The accountants at any sensible record label would recoil in horror at Fruits De Mer’s latest: eight of their favourite acts each covers a single track on either side of four LPs, all in one lovingly boxed set. Thankfully, Fruits De Mer have more passion than sense. That’s why the world has been graced here, among other delights, by Finland’s Superfjord turning The Byrds’ CTA-102 into a bleeptastic, Hawkwind- style Space Rock apocalypse, and FdM stalwarts The Luck Of Eden Hall taking a scruffier, trippier look at Yes’ Starship Trooper. Psychedelic evergreens The Bevis Frond further wig-out their 2010 version of Electric Sandwich’s China, and The Soft Bombs’ take on Pink Floyd’s Echoes lends a harder edge to the original stoned groove. Just as enjoyable are the less obviously prog-inspired affairs: Wreaths’ shoegazy, somnambulant vision of Gordon Lightfoot’s folk classic Sundown, Julie’s Haircut’s beefed-up take on Miles Davis’ Shhh... Peaceful and, best of all, Sendelica’s lysergic overhaul of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, the pseudo- orgasmic vocal melody replaced by woozy clarinet. None of this will trouble the charts, but it’ll thrill heads with £40 spare for the whole barking shebang"
PROG magazine

A vinyl label that, according to its guiding light Keith Jones, is a “hobby” that specialises in “new versions of old tracks”, is an intriguing prospect, and one that has so far proven successful for Fruits de Mer records. When it places psychedelia at the centre of its interests, the musical opportunities thus created become very interesting. The latest release from the label is a four-LP box set entitled ‘Side Effects’, each album comprising two tracks taking up one side of vinyl each. Some tracks are relatively faithful reproductions of classic psych tracks, such as the Soft Bomb’s take on ‘Echoes’. Others use the initial track as a hook on which to hang a piece of music almost wholly unrelated to the original, including the version of ‘Sundown’ by Wreaths. Either way this unique collection is worth investigating further. The strongest track is perhaps that offered by Finnish band, Superfjord (pictured). They tackle ‘CTA-102’, a relatively obscure Byrds track, first encountered on ‘Younger than Yesterday’, which REM must surely have heard in perfecting their own early sound. Originally less than two and a half minutes, here it’s transformed into a seventeen-minute opus, with a guitar sound from the first summer of love and a rhythm much closer to vintage Neu! than anything else. Had the drums been mixed further forward then the rhythm would have resembled the motorik sounds of Krautrock even further. Mid-way through it turns into a different instrumental track which bears no discernible connection to the founding song at all, and the guitar takes a back seat to an electronic sound which fits the alien-world theme of the song. The track revisits the vocals once more, along with some crazed Beach Boys-style harmonies, before zipping off over the rooftops to its next destination. ‘CTA-102’ is followed by a version of ‘Starship Trooper’, here attempted by Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall. This version stays closer, at least initially, to the original track. Guitar is dominant in the mix, opening out as time goes on to become something distinct from the original as the band get into their stride. It’s hard to believe that the vintage Yes sound could lend itself to a good loud guitar thrash but this track demonstrates otherwise, pleasingly enough. Welsh band Sendelica have a go at Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’, a rather implausible choice for a twenty-one minute and wholly instrumental makeover. It begins with a few minutes of electronic and other sounds, bells and noises, before hitting a beat that is recognisably consistent with the original track. Guitars kick in later, and it’s a powerful track, closing with ethereal electronic sounds reminiscent of Tangerine Dream or Pink Floyd. Talking of which, this excellent set also includes a fascinating take on ‘Echoes’ by California’s The Soft Bombs. Here it’s a note-perfect rendition of a psych classic, with clear and strong production. The other tracks in the Side Effects box are a diverse bunch: Arcade Messiah’s high-power version of Aphrodite’s Child’s ‘Four Horsemen’, The Bevis Frond tackling Electric Sandwich’s ‘China’, Julie’s Haircut revisiting Miles Davis’ ‘Shhh/Peaceful’ and US band Wreaths interpreting Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Sundown’ in a rather unexpected manner. The last of these uses the original melody as a way-in to extended guitar instrumentation which really does hit the sound and feel of the psychedelic period exactly. Overall this release very much gives the impression of something that has happened by accident, although the originality and planning that underlies the success of the label so far suggests otherwise. These tracks are all respectful, giving the impression that the bands enjoyed themselves in this audacious endeavour. It’s hard to tell how seriously they intended the results to be taken, and there is no real reason why each track should be the full length of one side of a vinyl LP, simply mirroring the technology of the time in which most of these tracks were first heard. In a sense it’s a novelty record, and maybe something equally off-the-wall, such as a two-minute version of ‘Court of the Crimson King’, would work next time. Meanwhile, the intriguing albums in this box set are here to be enjoyed.
Going Weird
http://www.goingweird.co.uk/side-effects-fruits-de-mer-records/

A point we’ve wrestled with on several occasions when running the critical rule over releases heading out of the Fruits de Mar sound lab has been their seeming carefree indifference to any notion of commercial suicide. Assured of collector status, achieving a rare feat in modern pop culture of the last few years in being recognised as a branded imprint offering and maintaining a quality release roster, the unwitting founding principle of a strict back to vinyl policy – often coloured at that – which all said might be the rage and fashion these days but way back in the labels formative years was still considered a peculiar two fingered salute to the rising tide of digital by the record buying old guard and into the bargain cultivating a label that whilst still operating uniquely as a mini cottage industry has managed along the way to emerge into something approaching what can only be best described as a familiar friendly family. These days the label is beyond cult status – freed of the trappings of being a mere label – it has become a collective / a fixed point gathering spot, blessed with an array of house bands easily called upon at the drop of a hat to step into the breach with ensembles and like-minded folk remixing each other and bands forming mini spin offs within their ranks jettisoning into other sonic dimensions, hells teeth there are even regular festival soirees while a newly forged sub imprint friends of the fish has been set up as a brand name / flag for bands and friends to release their own stuff which though not financed by FdM does at least have its blessing – obviously the next generic / evolutionary step would be to have bands working together to create new species. As to the releases themselves, both FdM and its sister off spring Regal Crabomophone have steadfastly stuck to the founding principle that – save for special editions / promos and the occasional mailing list freebie – all releases have come out on vinyl, there’s even a subscribers / mailing list where members have upon occasion received various freebies most notably at Christmas / year end, quirky limited editions added to mail out parcels which include ridiculously scarce aborted coloured wax offerings occasioned by a cock up at the pressing plant – there have even been cassettes, quite recently flexis and of late lathe cuts. ‘Side Effects’ like its older sibling ‘Strange Fish’ might be the flexing of over indulgence to which the label every so often subscribes to, a testament to how far the label has come whereby upon a whim its owner can muse over releases enjoyed as his younger self and then seek to replicate and somewhat reconnect to those moments by way of a few well made calls and a handful of requests – a bit like having your own Bank and printing money. For any other label, the marketing concept promoting a four disc set featuring on each of its sides a twenty minute track might flounder before it even got out of the ideas stage, even in these enlightened times whereupon progressive rock has been welcomed in through the back door and all injustices, evils and accusations of muso indulgence oft levelled at its feet have somewhat been forgotten and ignored, there’s still that unerring concern that they weren’t quite forgiven.
So what do you get for your hard earned dosh, well 8 sides of head tripping progian psychoramic groove spread across four vinyl albums all sold individually or collectively together wherein they arrive housed in a humungous box which inside comes tucked a massive poster the artwork provided by the Luck of Eden Hall’s Greg Curvey. The set collectively entitled ‘side effects’ comes subdivided into four more titles – ‘sideshows’, ’sidesteps’, ‘sideways’ and ‘sidetracks’ each containing one side long track pressed onto coloured wax to boot. Each of the eight featured cuts, all covers incidentally, serve as a homage to the epic oft over elaborate golden era of prog before its sudden extinction at the hand of punk / new wave / disco in the mid 70’s and its somewhat sidelining out of history for over 20 years amid critical derision and laughter before salvation from unlikely sources by way of the multi generic dance / trance / ambient crossover scene began to bite at the fall of the 80’s to take hold in the 90’s. the project began, as most great things do, as an accident. Receiving tapes from the Soft Bombs upon which a monumental 18 minute cover of Floyd’s ‘echoes’ sat, it was mooted that the track be split across two sides for a 7 inch, the idea was temporarily shelved when both parties failed to come to a compromise. Within weeks a brace of extended covers arrived from ensembles previously unknown to the FdM staffers and when Sendelica – a band widely known and admired for taking listeners and audiences alike on full on 20 minute marathon odysseys and whose idea of the classic sub 3 minute pop dichotomy is oft mistook as an impish chance to submerge and slowly relocate attending patrons to a point of adjusting their head spaces to their sound world before bringing out the big guns. From that point the seeds were laid. In fact it’s the Soft Bombs who lead us out on this choice spoiling terra-forming two and a half hour head trip with the aforementioned ‘echoes’ for what is an expansive sonic super nova experience both spacey and er – well – frankly funky which I guess is a descriptor that many aren’t used to seeing in the same sentence as Floyd. Add to that the fact that once in your smothered by a full on surround sound experience which at points shifts between light /dark, dreamy / volcanic and cruising / warp factor in such a way you can literally feel your headspace dissolving without the aid of chemical enhancement, however the plus point here is the way the Bombs superbly get to the very core of the Floydian hive mind to not so much cheaply replicate but pic n’ mix the best moments and weave them into a colossal 18 minute terraforming tapestry of delights. New to the Fruits de Mer fold, I suspect not the first or last we’ll be hearing from them either based on the evidence of their take on Aphrodite’s Child’s immortal ‘four horsemen’, Arcade Messiah carve from the original mainframe a hulking post rock-ian epic flexed in the harnessing of natures very own storm moods all curbed in the glorious flicker of magisterial swoons, the intricate sky siren needlework at moments lilting and lulling with the delicate precision of a bruised Quickspace whilst the rage tethered and tamed as though the result of some studio face off enacted between Mountain and Supersister. Those among you with long memories might well recall the mighty Bevis Frond committing to tape an edited version of electric sandwich’s ‘china’ for the labels celebrated ‘Head’ collection many moons ago when we were all so much younger, fresher faced and spotty for the experience. Those wondering where the hell the rumoured full on 23 minute head massage ever got to then wonder no more for stamped on one side of disc 2 sits this mind frying freak head stoned out on its own trip-a-delic vibe as it peaks behind the mystical curtain for a magical third eyeful, out there pristinely turned beatnik-ed psych blues – frazzled, freakish and just a tad fried – most patrons aboard its trip will – I can tell you – not return all in one piece, an absolute perfect lesson in exquisite conscious fracturing wasted groove which is among other things is liable to give you a big beard just for being in close earshot. Sorry to break hearts so early in the review but hands down best moment of the set comes courtesy of the Wreaths rephrasing of Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘sundown’ – frankly the dogs danders which in truth we mentioned way back last November when the band sneaked out early call MP3’s for us to wow over. And wow over you should not with-standing the fact that after about 6 minutes you get the sneaking feeling that the band have switched on the loop effect tapes and buggered off to the local drinking hole. That said some sterling narcotic pop whose snaking slo mo bliss cooled seduction ought to appeal first instance to those much admiring of Cheval Sombre though scratch a little and while there’s an intoxicating wooziness that calls to mind a youthful Mercury Rev sparring with Black Angels, it’s the chemical high hypno-groove haloes of the Spacemen 3 that you ought to be digging for close comparison.
Admired around these here parts following their ‘Coltrane’ split with Earthling Society, Superfjord steady their gaze on the Byrds ‘CTA-102’ and render it anew giving it something of a kraut crusted solar surfing tint a la la dusseldorf before sending it on its way to mooch around the milky way as though the work of eco bots huey and duey from silent running had whiled away the endless days giving their lunar garden a quick makeover sprucing it up to resemble some west coast paradise and into the bargain renaming themselves Jan and Dean and in their down time concocting tripping melodic montages nodding to slipstream and alphastone. One of the sets highlights – and there are many to choose from and on this occasion best experienced heard through headphones with the dials cranked passed 10 that way you get the full submersive experience as you feel your synapses beginning to melt and fade away. As fitting a tribute to Chris Squire as you can get, The Luck of Eden Hall summon up all their collective powers for a damn near faithful visit to Yes’ ‘starship trooper’ and proceed to lose themselves in the moment for a spot of – and pardon the reverting to vernacular here – some seriously head freaked kick ass groove which in truth had I not eyed the listings beforehand would have sworn it had been the handiwork of those Sendelica dudes and something which emerges shrouded in the celestial and somewhere in the last quadrant of its journey goes all mellow and trippy as though phrased through the collective mindset of an out of it and stoned ‘bad orb’ era Walking Seeds. Can’t get any better eh – guess that’s what you are thinking, you’d be wrong for stashed at the back is what for us are the cuts that steal the show (that is if you discount the previously mentioned Wreaths cut). Best kick back and roll yourself a fat one for this for Julie’s Haircut turn in, tune out and turn on matters with a snaking and swarthy drop dead cover of Miles Davis’ ‘shhh peaceful’, looser and more airy than the original, always felt Miles’ take was scribed in a lounge tongue, mind you that might have been the inclusion of some seriously smoked key playing by Joe Zawinul, here though re-trimmed as a bliss kissed noir scratched cutie under a by night lonesome and empty drizzled downtime setting that really does sound like an over mellowed and out of it Bablicon at the height of their powers. Sendelica bring matters to a close though not before taking the Summer / Moroder classic ‘I feel love’ on a cosmic carpet ride, a mind dissolving spectacle that finds Wales’ coolest sonic trippers relocating this game changing disco / electronic face off into a mind expanding and spacey kraut gouged jazz tropicalia event that still retains all the sensual purr of the original mix only here imparted upon a deceptively seductive woozy plane wherein the fleeting visitations of Gong, Embryo and Ariel Kalma swirl amid the groove lines. All said ‘Side effects’ makes for a quite stunning old school listening experience and something which in the passage of time will be looked upon as a critical cornerstone / turning point in both the re-emergence of vinyl and cosmic / prog rock.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/side-effects/

(apologies for the automated translation from German....)Eight artists, four LPs, eight songs, of which no less than 16 minutes, but each one vinyl side in availing. The goal was from the beginning: length for the sake of length. Something like that can also quickly backfire. Artificially An elongate never used music actually. Despite the crazy starting point circumnavigated "Side Effects" this obstacle to happiness. Instead, the box bubble over with enthusiasm. However Fruits de Mer label boss Keith Jones took Also due time to select the right artist for his project. 18 months it took, was to everything. It began with a Pink Floyd -Cover. The Americans The Soft Bombs ventured to "Echoes". But for that it needs already properly eggs. But the band around bandleader Michael Padilla arranged the part also to more. A few minutes shorter, new solos, altered Parts ... at the end you come to ponder whether the original is actually better in this case. This happens by the way not only in the opener. "Side Effects" is composed exclusively of cover songs. From Donna Summer to Yes, every single one of the original artist is confronted with bears strong competition. However, the result falls sometimes so different that a genuine comparison is no longer possible. John Bassett aka Arcade Messiah, for example, transformed Aphrodite's Childs "The Four Horsemen" of a brisk Sechsminüter a nineteen minute epic. In the song of the British whistles largely and instead plays his instrumental skills to the full. Elements of the original plats Bassett although with one, but this "The Four Horsemen" is clearly his composition. Significantly more of the default located The Luck Of Edenhall orient -. Must mention that their "Starship Trooper" twice as long through space cruist as the Yes-soldier and some nasty traps overcome Miles Davis' "Shhh / Peaceful" is anyway an improv Monster. Julie's Haircut let accordingly the gross basis made, naturally you have in that thing anyway give free rein to his imagination. Armed with trumpet, saxophone, jazz drums and tranquility they provide a nice contrast to the other, rather the rock prescribed tracks. Ever the last of the four panels stands out stylistically. Julie's Haircut share their vinyl using Sendelica, an experimental band from Cardigan in Wales. This granted Donna Summers "I Feel Love" the full FX-treatment. Wherever you hear: it chirps, bubbling, beeps and Universet, used to synth-assisted after nearly six minutes drums and gimmicks provides a new foundation. Later also here a brass instrument steals through the mix, but it has this noticeably more difficult to assert themselves as still in Julie's Haircut. Sendelica retain their considerable noise wall namely the full for 21 minutes. Who his psychedelic dose rather collect in guitar shape, however, is when The Bevis Frond right and her Electric Sandwich cover "China". Do you know someone who does not know what is a jam session? Show him this song. The guitar solos just 24 minutes to himself (often in pairs), and it is cool. Nick Saloman and his men reach beyond even a continuous increase, so that boredom remains outside before. A little unfortunate appear while bassist Adrian Shaw, who has largely satisfied with its 3-tone Line. But what you do not do anything for his band? Instead of the LP-colleagues of The Bevis Frond flaring fireworks, make yourself Wreaths subsequent candlelight cozy. In a relaxed atmosphere they expropriate Gordon Lightfoot "Sundown". By 16:37 the shortest number of the collection, but perhaps the best. The soundtrack to enhance meaning. This also fits the following LSD trip of Super Fjord, the Byrds' Zweiminüter "CTA-102" roll out and exhaust the already present in the original effect shenanigans continue. With 40 pounds or 65 euros costs "Side Effects" Although a bit more than normal albums. As a normal album is "Side Effects" but in any case not. The offered content justifies the price anyway. If you like long songs, experiments, Jams and exuberant musicality, for which the investment is likely to pay real dividends. With "Side Effects" Fruits de Mer have created a cover album of a special kind. "Cover Album" it is true anyway only pro forma.
laut.de

The always ambitious Fruits de Mer label have tweaked their formula slightly for their latest release with fantastic results. Classic tunes from a bygone era, given a good psychedelic going over is still the order of the day, but "Side Effects" is a tribute to the 12" single, with eight different artists given a full side each to dissect and explore a favourite track. Some have chosen tracks which are already lengthy in their original forms, while others have been more adventurous in their selections.
This handsome box set (with artwork by The Luck of Eden Hall's Gregory Curvey), contains four LPs, "Sidetracks", "Sideways", "Sideshows" and "Sidesteps". Let's take a look at them one by one.
The Soft Bombs open "Sidetracks" with a faithful rendition of Pink Floyd's "Echoes", which sticks reasonably closely to the original, but accentuates all that was great about the Floyd version. On the flip Arcade Messiah flesh out Aphrodite's Child's "Four Horsemen" encompassing everything from psychedelia to space-rock to prog-metal (which makes it a bit of an anomaly in the FDM catalogue).
"Sideways" welcomes the Bevis Frond, who tackle a krauty gem in Electric Sandwich's "China". Originally released in a highly truncated form on FDM's "Head Music" collection, this version is almost triple the length, with Nick Saloman shredding relentlessly over a pleasing motorik pulse. J Mascis eat your heart out. U.S band Wreaths are next, with one of the more clever reinventions here. Their take on Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" is cosmic american music of the highest order. Spacey waves of psychedelic ambience that never get too busy, gently cushion a strong vocal performance. If My Morning Jacket had started listening to Agitation Free instead of Prince, they might sound like this now!
"Sideshows" turns the space-rock dial all the way up to eleven. Superfjord turn in what I reckon is the highlight of the set, turning the Byrds "CTA 102" into the stratospheric envelope pusher that it's always yearned to be. The explorative instrumental passages here are pretty great, and there's an amazing vocal sequence that sounds like someone introduced Brian Wilson to a sampler. Pretty special. The Luck of Eden Hall are on the other side, de-programming some of the more progressive elements out of Yes's "Starship Trooper" and reprogramming it as a prime piece of cosmic psychedelia. Lastly we have "Sidesteps", a pretty amazing prog jazz / space-rock hybrid. Julie's Haircut do an ambitious, but fabulous job of Miles Davis' "Shhh/Peaceful", fusing the original's sense of zen-like wonder, with some of the more furious playing from "A Tribute to Jack Johnson". Most would fall flat on their face attempting this, but Julie's Haircut own it. And what to say about the final track here? The wilfully perverse Sendelica take a crack at Donna Summer's "I Feel Love". Stripping it of all vocals, they reshape it into an extraordinary suite of ambient / space-rock with a few progressive jazz elements. Amazing.
What's particularly impressive about "Side Effects" (apart from the inventive arrangements, and stellar playing), is that over the course of these four long records, the artists never lose their focus, contributing 17 to 24 minutes apiece that are entirely filler free. I'm almost certain that this is my favourite Fruits de Mer release so far, and as FDM are one of my very favourite labels, you can take that as a particularly enthusiastic recommendation.
Nathan Ford, The Active Listener
http://active-listener.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/side-effects-fruits-de-mer-records.htmlcheersKeith

FdM unleash a four album box set featuring eight sidelong interpretations of the usual (Pink Floyd’s ‘Echoes’), the unusual (Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Sundown’), and the downright lunatic (Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’). Purists will disassociate themselves from all of this, but the adventurous will marvel at Soft Bombs’ eerie, sci-fi-flavoured ‘Echoes’, the complete 24-minute version of Bevis Frond’s ‘China’ (a hypnotic Hendrixmeets-Makoto groovefest minus the Santanaesque percussives), and Arcade Messiah’s trebling the length of Aphrodite’s Child’s ‘Four Horsemen’ to deliver an expansive, jazz-rock fusion of epic, prog-nostic proportions. Wreaths traverse the depths of despair in Lightfoot’s ‘Sundown’ (think Mark Kozelek fronting Brian Jonestown Massacre), Superfjord turn 2½ minutes of The Byrds’ ‘CTA-102’ into 17 minutes of outer-space cruising, Welsh space cadets Sendelica give ‘I Feel Love’ the Uncle Acid in the forest of their mind Ozrics treatment, and Julie’s Haircut’s otherworldly ‘Shhh/Peaceful’ is actually shorter than Miles’ original! It’s completely over the top, yet nothing feels forced, redundant, or tedious.
An intriguingly creative collection.
Jeff Penczak, Shindig! magazine

Fruits de Mer never shy away from ambitious and large projects and this box set featuring one song per side by 8 bands over 4 LPs in an elegant box…. There are some really cool covers here starting off with The Soft Bomb’s take on Echoes by Pink Floyd. They are pretty true to the original but take a step further to make it more psychedelic and faster tempo! Arcade Messiah take on the Aphrodite’s Child track, Four Horsemen. Very spacey and nice. For most people it will be the first time to hear the full 22min version of China, an old Electric Sandwich track covered by the Bevis Frond. This was released in a shorter 9min version previously by the label and features a lot of guitar with Nick and Bari! Wreaths do Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot. I don’t know the original but I am sure this is a quite far out take.. I love the Finnish band Superfjord and they really space out with CTA-102 by the Byrds! The Luck of Eden Hall go for Starship Trooper by YES…. now dedicated to Chris Squire, whom we recently lost.. Very true to the original but some really cool dual guitar soloing going on in the jam section. Julie’s Haircut surprise us with a take on a couple of Mile Davis tracks (Shhh/Peaceful). Peaceful and floating. Sendelica freak us all out with I feel Love by Donna Summer that you would never recognise. Totally spaced out to start and then…. well you will find out.. I love the Kingston Wall version but am not sure about this one. Every track is a really long jammed out version with the shortest side being 16 mins! Amazing collection of songs.. I love this release..
Scott Heller, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/side-effects-four-lp-box-set-fruit-de.html

Retaining their ability to mix whimsy and weirdness with some damn fine music, the latest release from Fruit De Mer gives eight artist the chance to stretch their musical wings over one side of an LP, each band contributing one long cover version, some of which are close to the original, some of which use the original as a starting point and one of which is just plain unlikely.
To kick things off, The Soft Bombs update “Echoes” (Pink Floyd) retaining the original feel and structure whilst making the heavy bits heavier and the psychedelic bits more psychedelic, more of the bands character coming through as the song progresses, the musicians affection for the tune shining through creating a vibrant and delightful version of this much loved tune.
Rightly recognised as a Greek Psych classic, the original version of “The Four Horsemen” (Aphrodite's Child) last a mere five minutes, however Arcade Messiah obviously felt this wasn't long enough and have extended the song to almost nineteen minutes. Of course this means many changes have been made and the only reason you know what the song is during the opening passages is that the press release tells you, the music sounding like a lysergic version of Wishbone Ash, stretched out and instrumental, the guitars getting heavier until you suddenly hear the opening riff from the original track beginning to appear. After six minutes of very enjoyable jamming, everything suddenly mellows out and the vocals appear, heavily processed and sounding so much like the original that I can't help but wonder whether they have been sampled, at least in part. Once the vocals are over, the music turns back to some excellent Space Rock explorations including a heavy passage that really works, the dynamics of the piece giving it life and energy.
Picking a fairly obscure track, “China” (Electric Sandwich), possibly gives Bevis Frond an edge as listeners may not be that au fait with original making comparison more difficult. Of course, it is easily found on You Tube and turns out to be a stoned electric guitar heavy piece that runs for eight minutes and seems perfectly suited for Nick Saloman and indeed it is, his playing writhing and burning throughout the track supported but a hypnotic rhythmic groove, the whole thing spacing you out nicely and harking back to early Bevis albums.
Originally a mellow country rock affair “Sundown” (Gordon Lightfoot) is given a shimmering cloak of West Coast Acid Rock as Wreaths elongate it beyond reason creating a gorgeous and very relaxing track that drifts your mind downstream in blissful fashion.
Quite possibly taking things to the extreme, Superfjord take the two and a half minute jangle of “CTA-102” (The Byrds) and wring seventeen minutes of psychedelic enjoyment out of it, the original tune used as a snippet to kick start another groovy acid style jam that is equally perfect for a late night session or a lazy afternoon in the garden, the track containing plenty of odd noises, samples and effects especially in the second half where things get odder in a psychedelic sort of way. As with all the tracks on this collection it takes a while to really get to know them and they all get better on repeated listens.
As well as the music the four albums are housed in a beautiful box with stunning artwork by Gregory Curvey from The Luck Of Eden Hall who also contribute a cover of “Starship Trooper” (yes) that retains the structure and dynamics of the original whilst making it sound less Prog and more Psych with some great playing and plenty of noisy guitar throughout.
Given that “Shhh/Peaceful” (Miles Davis) is a rambling jam anyway Julie's Haicut seem to be on fairly safe ground as they stay close to original feel to create a free flowing and elegant piece of music. Of course, the fact that Miles Davis worked with some of the most respected musicians around including Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock, means the band have to be at the top of their game to compete and they do seem to be the sound drifting lazily across the room in a suitably relaxed manner that is easy on the ear and wonderfully played.
To round off the compilation Sendelica offer an unlikely, yet excellent, reworking of “I Feel Love” (Donna Summer) that begins with a hazy drone, laden with synth sounds and mellow sax before a sudden rising chord introduces some pulsing drumming, the bass line beginning to creep in as the band invent Space Disco, a new genre that could well catch on as sequencers and saxophones groove together around the vocal melodies. Brilliant stuff and perfectly reflecting the playful nature of Fruit De Mer, I wonder if they will play it when I see them in Cardigan, hope so.
Epic in its concept and flawless in its execution fans of long mainly instrumental music should jump through hoops to get a copy of this collection and you may well have to as it is limited in number and quite probably sold out at source by now.
Simon Lewis - Terrascope
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_July_15.htm#SideEffects

When it comes to thinking outside the musical box, you have to hand it to the Fruits de Mer record label. This latest package should hold a lot of interest for Progressive Rock fans. It’s a four LP box-set that revisits eight “somewhat classic” proggy pieces and stretches them to fit a side of vinyl. Did I say proggy pieces, well I might be stretching that a bit since one of the epic tracks is actually a twenty-one minute re-think of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” compliments of the psychedelically inclined Sendelica. Other tracks include “Starship Trooper” by The Luck of Eden Hall stretched to 18:51, The Electric Sandwich’s “China” drawn out to 23:53 by The Bevis Frond, Miles Davis’ “Shhh/Peaceful” 17:13 by Julie’s Haircut, The Byrds’ “CTA-102” 16:59 by Superfjord, Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” 17:40 by The Soft Bombs and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” 16:37 by the Wreaths are given the same treatment. It’s an intriguing set of tunes that takes on a life of its own in many ways transcending the original versions. It’s quite amazing what happens to a short song that was originally maybe three to five minutes that is then stretched to over fifteen. But then that’s what happens when we tread that hazy middle ground that lies out there somewhere between the boundaries of psychedelia and Progressive Rock. It’s a fascinating box set well worth checking out to see how these tunes are reinterpreted.
Jerry Lucky
www.jerrylucky.com

Fruits de Mer have increasingly been pulling off some ambitious projects typified by their long sold out epic Strange Fish instrumental set. Their latest project is similarly bold, Side Effects – a four LP box set, eight bands doing a side each of 60s/70s covers.
Pink Floyd are represented of course, now de rigueur at FDM, with The Soft Bombs playing the hell out of ‘Echoes’. Arcade Messiah get brownie points for picking Aphrodite’s Child masterpiece ‘Four Horsemen’, a fitting tribute to the sadly departed Demis Roussos. Neo-psych stars The Bevis Frond rock a rare cut in ‘China’ by The Electric Sandwich, a version previously appearing in much edited form in another of FDM’s bold statements ‘Head Music’. Superfjord bring a Hawkwind cum electronic feel to The Byrds’ ‘CTA-102′, whilst The Luck of Eden Hall breathe new live to the previously well tread ‘Starship Trooper’ by Yes. Julie’s Haircut kick out Miles Davis’ ‘Shhh/Peaceful’ before branching into a more tranquil soundscape. Finishing off Sendelica make an arguably brave choice with the genre defining electronica of ‘I Feel Live’ but morph it into a space-prog-disco monster.
And maybe that’s it. Yes, Side Effects, an octo-headed monster, surprising but at times strangely beautiful.
Jason Barnard, The Strange Brew
http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/http:/thestrangebrew.co.uk/side-effects

Fruits de Mer Records may specialize in contemporary bands covering 60s/70s Psych/Prog/Krautrock/Space Rock/Acid Folk music, but they are continually brimming with fun theme ideas. What we’ve got here is 4 LPs, 8 sides, and 8 bands, each taking a track, NOT necessarily long in its original form, and doing their own version that fills an entire LP side. Sound pretty cool? Well hold on to your hat and check this out…
There’s some pretty serious variety on the Side Effects box set. Things start off innocently enough with the The Soft Bombs covering Pink Floyd’s Echoes, already a side long epic, and though largely faithful to the Floyd they take it deeper into space and get far more acidic. Similarly, The Luck Of Eden Hall stick to the core spirit of Yes’ Starship Trooper, mostly during the vocal portions, though they surround the proceedings with an atmospheric aura and some ripping guitar solos that are more ass kicking Space Rock than Yes’ Prog virtuosity, and blast off into Psychedelic space for some stratospheric jamming that is a total Yes gone Space Rock fest.
Things get more interesting with Arcade Messiah’s 19 minute treatment of Four Horsemen, originally a 6 minute song on Aphrodite’s Child’s 1972 666 album. It starts off as a high intensity guitar bashing heavy rocker. Once the vocal section kicks in the music continues rocking but goes into Psychedelic space and then gradually begins to mesh the trippy groove with more in-yer-face aggressive but atmospheric guitar rock while also incorporating both Prog-Psych and Metal elements. Lots of really cool and seamlessly flowing variety that takes the original into entirely new territory. The Bevis Frond’s cover of the Electric Sandwich song China was previously released on the 2012 Fruits de Mer Head Music compilation, though in considerably abbreviated 9 minute form. The wigged out Electric Sandwich original from 1972 is tailor made for the Frond and is stretched out to a 24 minute Nick Salomanized Psych guitar lovers wet dream, being a non-stop hard Psych rock jam with loads of awesomely delicious rocking and tripped out dual guitar soloing. Julie’s Haircut admirably tackle Miles Davis’ Shhh/Peaceful, starting off similar to Miles, then adding a touch of dreamy ambience and later a Soft Machine vibe, and then slipping off into an ambient soundscape excursion before laying down a cool Ambient-Jazz groove.
The song choices get downright surreal starting with Wreaths’ drugged and dreamy Acid-Folk-Drone take on the Gordon Lightfoot hit Sundown, creating a combination of Velvet Underground, Shoegaze and spacey, valium laced West Coast Psych. Superfjord put a Hawkwind and symphonic Space-Prog spin on their cover of The Byrds CTA-102. It’s Space Rock to be sure, with Prog influences and lots of bleepity blurpity electronic and robotic effects, and with an almost Kraftwerkian twist to what often sounds like Beach Boys vocals. It’s a highlight of the set and another where the band take a song and makes it entirely their own. Finally, Sendelica’s rendition of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love opens with a totally alien freaky soundscapes, effects and voice samples buildup. After several minutes the space synths start to whoosh and a dancey rocking beat kicks in, sounding like a Gong and Ship of Fools collaboration. The sax plays the classic melody but jams too and eventually locks into a You-era Gong gone cosmic disco feel.
DAMN, that is one hell of a batch of covers, both in choices and interpretations. To a large extent it’s all new music with the fact that these are cover songs being a mere launching point.
Jerry Kranity, aural innovations
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/06/various-artists-side-effects-fruits-de-mer-records-2015-4-lp-box-set/

Side Effects is a set of four twelve inch platters, each given over to two tracks apiece: the Soft Bombs’ take on Pink Floyd’s “Echoes”; Arcade Messiah’s version of Aphrodite’s Child’s “Four Horsemen”; the full-length version of Bevis Frond’s exploration of Electric Sandwich’s “China” (a much shorter edit was on FdM’s Head Music); Wreath drawing Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” out to unimaginable lengths; Superfjord expanding the Byrds’ “CTA-102”; the Luck of Eden Hall’s glorious recounting of Yes’s “Starship Trooper”; Julia’s Haircut mining marvels from MIles Davis’s “Shhh/Peaceful”; and, finally, space rock renegades Sendelica taking Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” and effectively dumping it somewhere past Uranus.
And all eight are so gorgeously redrawn that they more or less render the originals redundant.
Okay, that’s a little disingenuous. Playing through the box set that wraps the discs together, one never loses sight of the fact that this is tribute, not trauma, and traditionalist ears will not baulk at anything they encounter within. (Well, not much… Sendelica, we’re talking to you.) But the tried and trusted gets trampled upon regardless, a sensation you encounter just minutes into “Echoes,” as the guitars soar with a savagery that David Gilmour only hinted at, conjuring images of the albatross not simply soaring overhead, but dive-bombing down as well.
Eden Hall’s “Starship Trooper,” too, is a wonder to behold, an electrifying assault on such a well-worn favorite that it’s difficult to imagine them adding anything to the party. Instead, there’s a staccato lurch to the proceedings that feels almost punky, guitars that slash and a bass that bullies, while frontman Gregory Curvey (whose stunning artwork also decorates the package) delivers vocals that soar with all the passion that Jon Anderson was maybe too busy with his falsetto to embrace.
Stylistically, “I Feel Love” is the joker in the pack – although that’s historical hubris more than cultural awareness that shapes it with such sad intent. Both song and its creator are now so bound up with the dreaded disco that it’s difficult to recall precisely how revolutionary, and ear-scourgingly different our first taste of motorik felt at the time, and Sendelica do their damnedest to spring the surprise all over again.
Six minutes of pastoral psych prog and sound effects mask their intentions, and even when the rhythm kicks in, it’s still a gradual thing. It takes until then, too, for the melody to assert itself, but once it gets going, it’s unmistakable… so long as you can convince yourself that Gong were at the controls the day that Giorgio Moroder first handed the song to Miss Summer, and Didier Malherbe sent the synth man out for sandwiches.
“Sundown” comes as a similar surprise, with Lightfoot’s sweet pastoral seen through a haunted echo chamber, becoming a dream that only slowly reveals itself around that so familiar hookline and lyric, lazily loping across a soundscape of stunning eloquence.
And so on throughout the rest of the set, and a box that triumphs on so many levels that an evening’s immersion in its over-two-hour duration is akin to getting lost within every fairy tale that Roger Dean ever told. And the 12-inch single is back where it belongs, transporting realities to new realm of otherness.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine magazine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/new-release-round-side-effects-army-mice-jah-wobble-fallen-snakegrinder#sthash.kBEgcIV6.dpuf

"more great progressive curios from Fruits de Mer - home of the brilliantly esoteric"
Phil Alexander, editor, Mojo (on twitter

Keith Jones Fruits De Mer label has again created a special box, which this time consists of 4 LPs, where only 8 songs by as many bands played. The bands treading all one of the long favorite songs of Keith in the years 60- 70. The LP's in the box that "Side Effects" is called, have the names. "Side Tracks," "Sideways," "Side Shows" and "Side Steps" and each box contains a 60 cm large square foldout poster on side 1 "Side Tracks" I heard The Soft Bombs, from America, their nearly 18-minute version of the Pink Floyd track "Echoes" playing and here I get presented with a brilliant psychedelic song, in which some pieces are very recognizable, but also gives the band a completely fantastic own interpretation of the song, making it a pleasure to listen to. Cast includes 2 "Four Horsemen" Aphrodite's Child's album "666", which is played by Arcade Messiah from England and lasts almost 19 minutes. The band me in this progressive rock song from beginning to end, enjoy their great performance of this song, the tempo at the beginning is kept high and the light hypnotic music works for me, and then the band turns back slightly and the music a more spacious and get a more symphonic character, while the band in the last part goes into the hard rock, which the song is completed. Then dishes out The Bevis Frond from England to me, on side 1 of "Sideways," their 24-minute version of "China" Electric Sandwich and I get them to hear a great progressive rock song, from beginning to end provides a wonderfully hypnotic rhythm, played by bass and drums, while the solo guitars to make sure that the number is exciting kept. On side 2 I hear Wreaths from America interpret the song "Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot, in which the band to keep about halfway through the song, the rhythm of the original song, but there without the song doing violence to, as much a hypnotic rhythm build in and it then holds until the end to it. "Side Shows" starts with Super Fjord from Finland, who will be playing the song "CTA 102" by The Byrds in a 17-minute version and here I get a fantastic psychedelic song too hearing, focusing on light space rock influences processes are. Side includes two of the LP "Starship Trooper" from Yes, that through The Luck Of Eden Hall from America played and lasts almost 19 minutes. The band leaves me enjoy an excellent symphonic rock song with lots of great tempo changes and I also get to hear a wonderful performance of this song which are also light progressive rock influences. On the last LP, "Sidesteps" I hear on side 1 Julie's Haircut, from Italy, a 17-minute performance playing Miles Davis' "Shhh / Peaceful" and the catchy-sounding piece of progressive jazz swings like a train and here the band is still some time to experiment and on side 2, followed by the 21-minute "I Feel Love "by Donna Summer, which is started by Sendelica Welsh is played and also with jazz sounds, then the tire me a brilliant blend of jazz-rock and space rock cross, which is towards the end slightly experimental and psychedelic. (listen to a part of it using the youtube link below the review) The 4 LP box "Side Effects" includes 4 great LPs, in which eight great songs stand and this is also such a publication, you as a music lover should not miss short : a must!
Carry Munter, New Underground Music (auto-translated from Dutch)
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/07/review-various-artists-side-effects.html

This collection of cover tracks reached me on 2 CDs, but when you want to buy it, it'll be available as a fantastic 4 (multi coloured) record box set. I am somewhat allergic to cover or tributes from bands. Although (hypocrite that I am) I've played in a Pink Floyd cover band myself too for a few years. A great singer said: “Listen without prejudice.” But I'm afraid I can't do that. In my opinion there are two kinds of covers. A complete alternative version of the original or a perfect copy of the original. Something that 'nearly sounds like' it, doesn't do the trick for me, and normally will be skipped... very fast. The first one is Pink Floyd's Echoes by The Soft Bombs. This particular track is one of the most space rock versions in the very rich PF history. And I can't help it, I'm especially very critical about this one because I've played it myself too (as a singer). My old band (Wish We Were There) has completely dissected this track, and we tried to put it back together in the best and most original way. So my hair raised (and I'm bald) when I heard the first notes. Originally it was a piano that was guided through a Leslie box which created a swirly and spacy sound. When time passes, the Soft Bombs manage to regain my attention and over the nearly 18 minutes they even put a satisfied smile on my face. I (in my a bit too critical mind) think they actually succeeded to portray the difficult task to re-create the moody feeling PF made in the version of the original Echoes. Track 2. I have a shameful confession to make. I've never really listened to the 666 [The Apocalypse of John 13/18] album by Aphrodite's Child. Although I know lots of the work of the singer Demis Roussos. So for research purposes I had to listen to the original first (as I will do on other unknown tracks too). Arcade Messiah manages to create an alternative and 13 minutes longer version of this song, and puts some heavy elements in it. I like the sound of a good distorted guitar. To capture the unique sound of the original singer you'll have to open a box of magic, a lot of FX and vocoding will do the trick they would have thought. It makes the words sound spacy. But it doesn't really work for me. All in all, not a superb cover. But if you consider it as an alternative version it sounds quite good actually. The third track is also unknown for me. The Bevis Frond does China by Electric Sandwich. Electric Sandwich is not a band that I know, so my research has to go on. It used to be a 8:03 minute long song but Bevis went on the 'freaktrain' and jammed a good 15 minutes to it. In the old fashion live music scene this would be brilliant. But it gets quite boring in the long run. Compared to the original, which is unvendible, it sounds fresher. Of course it has to do with a clearer production and the era of when it's made, it's 43 years old! The base is the same, take a bassline, loop it, and freak away. Track 4 is a Gordon Lightfoot song. It's a typical country evergreen. I've heard it a lot of times in my early youth, as my parents were big 'country and western' music fans. Sundown is done by a band called Wreaths. Knowing the original track takes a near 4 minutes, I really wonder what the use will be to get this cover 4 times longer! Play it half the speed, and dip it in a psychedelic sauce. You'll get far. I respect the effort, but I think it's a waste of time, except when you are on a spiritual journey influenced by a fair amount of drugs. The 5th track is a golden oldie by The Byrds, CTA-102. It's a little song (2:30) about a quasar somewhere in the universe that made some people believe that there really is life beyond the stars. Of course, it was a hoax by misinterpreting the data that was given by SETI. The original song also paves a way to a psychedelic interpretation which Superfjord gladly will exploit until the 17 minute frontier. I even thought about Flak by IQ, but Superfjord did not use these sound/voice FX. The song goes on and on and on without really strand into boredom. Despite the ongoing rhythm (that never changes) there is enough to hear to keep it variable. And being the oldest cover (1967) on this compilation it sounds quite fresh. Track six is a cover of one of my favourite bands, Starship Trooper by Yes, done by The Luck Of Eden Hall. The last time I heard this epic song was on the Blu-ray audio disk revived version that was excellently mixed into a 5.1 surround track by Steven Wilson. I think by hearing this I'm especially critical. I know the skills are there to make this cover a good one but Superfjord did not listen to the original good enough. This is a case of 'nearly sounds like'. And Jon Anderson's voice never hinted to the sound of David Bowie? It's a bold attempt to cover this song but in my opinion it has failed. Don't get me wrong, the music is not bad. On 7th we got a jazzy freaky legendary Miles Davis track. Shhh/Peaceful done by Julie's Haircut. Now I'm listening with some objectivity. I'm not a great fan of jazz (rather than blues btw.) and I can't really manage to listen to it for more than 10 minutes without getting nervous twitches. I'm also not a fan of wind-instruments like trumpets, saxes and many others (except for the flute). I know this Miles Davis track, and I am amazed by the skills of the musical dinosaurs like Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock (to name a few) so I hope Julie and her Haircut will keep this unbelievable high standards up. Impressed as I am, Julie did it. The feeling of the trumpet player and the support of the other musicians are clearly an equal match to the original. Thumbs up! The last one makes me curious. What has Sendelica done with the legendary (disco) hit I Feel Love by Donna Summer? There are maybe 50 million covers and re-mixes of this track, (I like to exaggerate) varying from nearly 4 minutes to over 15 minutes, but 21:14? It starts with a perfect mood setting, the slight mellow beats come in together with the unmistakable bassline ... and then? You expect a female singer to explode with a sharp but heavenly sounding voice. Oh, disappointment. It's a muted sax. I'm sorry. It had all the ingredients to become a fantastic cover. But that was not what I had hoped for. For sax lovers this song could be a blessing, not for me. I wanted to turn it off, but at 15:30 the track got a'wish u were here' sounding passage and went into an ambient soundscape. A nice ending. Altogether I am very pleased with this compilation of cover songs. Some disappointments, some surprises. The quality of the bands, with weird names, is very high. And over all it's definitely worth listening to. Together with the beautiful package even worth buying if you're a fan of mostly psychedelic and jazzy progrock.
****+ Erik van Os (edited by Astrid de Ronde), Background magazine
http://www.backgroundmagazine.nl/CDreviews/FruitsDeMerRecordsSideEffectsBox.html

Keith the Fruits de Mer boss came up with another crazy but wonderful idea: let's do a compilation of long covers songs of 60s/70s classics filling up one side of vinyl each and let's make it a 4LP box when we're at it! So what we get is eight excellent, loooong and sometimes very much extended cover tracks from Pink Floyd to Donna Summer! The disc one is started with Pink Floyd's "Echoes" (one of the best pieces ever if you ask me) covered by Fruits de Mer newbies The Soft Bombs. The verses sound and feel pretty much like the original, but they have added more of their own touch and ideas to the middle guitar solo/jam part which is great. This sounds so good! I've never heard of Arcade Messiah before, but they sound more like a post-rock/post-metal band than psych band when they do a very unique and different version of Aphrodite's Child classic "Four Horsemen". I have to say that this song is sacred to me so I'm having some difficulties in trying to take in this version that is so different in style and construction. Arcade Messiah is perhaps a bit weird band to have on a FdM release but then again, you'd better expect the unexpected when ever there's something new coming out on this label! And I'm not saying this sounds bad, the boys are great musicians and make wonderful soundscapes sounding at times a bit like later prog metal Porcupine Tree. The vocoder-styled vocals are also pretty cool, but most of the track is instrumental. My old favourites The Bevis Frond are next with the full, 24-minute version of "China", originally by the Electric Sandwich. A short edit of the same recording has been released before but this is the whole, extended psych jam and I love it! The rhythm section basically plays the same thing on and on while Nick gets to freak out with his guitar and we also hear some other weird sound effects in the mix (or is it just me going nuts?!). Wreaths is a new band for me and they do a rendition of "Sundown" by Gordon Lightwood. This is (luckily if you ask me) quite far away from the country rock style of the 1974 original. Great song, anyway, and I really enjoy this updated, dreamy and hypnotic shoegaze version that is the shortest track in the box at 16:37. Finland's Superfjord always deliver the goods and this time they do it with a highly mind-altering and heady kraut/space rock version of "CTA-102" (The Byrds). Too bad thet they couldn't make it to to the Fruits de Mer's 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus festival in Wales in three weeks, since they are also really great live. This is definitely one of my favourites on this release. Keen FdM stalwarts The Luck of Eden Hall have a pretty demanding song to cover: "Starship Trooper" by Yes! But no worries, these gentlemen of course make it superbly. The track fits into the band's style surprisingly well and we again get some bonus jam parts and an extended ending since their version is two times as long as the original. Julie's Haircut from Italy are also worth checking out and they add a more jazzy feel to this box with "Shh/Peacefully" by Miles Davis. Very cool! Welsh space/psych rock masters Sendelica have the honour of finishing this amazing compilation and you know what, they've decided to do it with a spacey, psychy version of the Donna Summer disco hit "I Feel Love"! This has been done before by Finnish band Kingston Wall, but the Sendelica version is a total 21-minute trip to the other side of the galaxy! They have added a long intro and outro, lots of synthesizers, space sounds and samples, smokey saxophone, space guitar etc. and I'm totally loving every second of it. What a way to end an excellent release that has great art work by The Luck of Eden Hall's Gregory Curvey and comes with a poster. You'd better order this eight-sided monster right away or you might miss it!
DJ Astro, The Psychotropic zone
http://psychotropiczone.blogspot.fi/2015/07/various-artists-side-effects.html

13th DREAM of Dr. SARDONICUS FdM CDS

Okay we are heading into the final section of this very extended Fruits de Mer releases round up (the rest will be FdM related niceness)…..with news of an imminent festival – this weekend in fact – over three days – a co-hosted event between FdM and Sendelica. Alas sold out, ‘the 13tth dream of dr sardonicus’ is a three day gathering (7th – 9th August) in Cardigan, Wales – that features a formidable billing that includes live sets from the likes of Astralasia, Earthling Society, the Luck of Eden Hall, Bevis Frond, the Soft Hearted Scientists and of course Sendelica among the many…..whats been seen as an special event the festival will include all your usual trademark gubbins – stalls selling bands wares, rare Fruits de Mer oddities which include those aforementioned ultra limited lathe releases, a plethora of specially pressed to wax ‘momentary’ 7 inches, signed posters, download cards, t-shirts and the now legendary FdM goodie – this ‘un featuring 10 CD’s from acts as disparate and familiar as the blue giant zeta puppies, zx+, the portraits, me and my kites, a signed todd Dillingham set from the 90’s, our solar system, a headspin comp and a CD version of that excellent Art of the Memory Palace set put out earlier this year by Static Caravan on limited cassette. As though that wasn’t enough there’s also the inclusion of three specially cobbled together ‘dr sardonicus’ compilations – one for each night of the event. And its these that we turn our attentive eye and ears to. Featuring friends old and new – CD1 gathers together 20 tracks from a select specially invited roster – included among the grooves unreleased and alternate early versions of cuts by the likes of Soft Hearted Scientists, the luck of eden hall, us and them and the past tense to name just a few. So where do we start – well unusually and impishly at the end for tucked away at the close sits a previously unreleased cut by Beau dating back to 1981 – a track that will flip wigs – seriously have you ever heard that Midgley man sounding so loose as he does on ‘moonrock’ – kinda like the classic rolling blues sound trademarked by a young Sun Studios rephrased through a cosmic visor – Clinic and their ilk need to get onto this. Space and time pressing a quick ramble through the grooves reveals a plethora of tastily tuneful nuggets such as the very kooky and crooked Barrett-esque ‘the ice cream song’ by the mysterious Mooch from a set released a few years back entitled ‘1967 ½’ which I’m suspecting we really must hear before we shake off these mortal shackles. Somewhere else the seventh riong of Saturn kick in with the grizzled power pop perfection that is ‘time to fly’ from their latest set ‘ormythology and something which we reckon in our much humbled opinion those digging the flaming groovies will do well to check out at their earliest convenience. Elsewhere there’s the radiantly smooth shimmer pop of the demurring ‘summer dresses’ by Zombies of the Stratosphere to keep the most ardent World Party admirer suitably smitten while Hollow Hand’s ‘chariot’ sumptuously swims in sonic waters once upon a time frequented by dark captain light captain and these days intricately weaved by the amazing Tokolosh. Other must hear pickings include the frankly eerily enchanting ‘night spell’ which finds firefay shimmying up to Alison O’Donnell while quickly becoming a fixed listening point around our gaff of late and on this occasion positioning the seduction settings to tempting, Cary Grace offers up the slyly uplifting and dare we say quite celestial ‘razorwire ’ from her ‘tygerland’ album – further adoration to come.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/the-13th-dream-of-dr-sardonicus-1/

CD2 – for those up to speed with these things is your treat / gift for sticking around till day 2 is an eleven track affair described by the attaching press blurb as a heavier offering featuring 70 minutes of beard growing aural additives and wigged out flowery beatnikness that includes a brace of cuts from Simones ’98 set ‘balloon ride’ – ‘the way she smiles’ and ‘song from Mars’ if you happen to be taking notes – the latter mentioned featuring some nifty fuzzed out fancifulness. Then there’s a blistering home demo from the Bevis entitled ‘the rest is silence’ which finds him channelling the spirit as were of the Soft Boys c. ‘underwater moonlight’ while Paul Foley trips in with the wonderfully wasted and middle eastward facing bliss eyed ‘journey’s end’ – a 13 minute titan that takes Fahey’s dust grizzled delta blues on a spiritual homage while Sendelica’s Sabbathian head trip ‘spaceman bubblegum’ is here captured in all its live gloriousness pulled from a Wurzburg appearance last year. Fast forward to the closing grooves and something strangely magical lurks in the shape of Gizmo’s ‘marlow’s children’ – this honey taken from a planned set of the same name – the first in a trilogy no less – frankly sounds like a seriously whacked out at the height of their creative powers Gabriel in situ Genesis under Beefheartian influences.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/the-13th-dream-of-dr-sardonicus-2/

THE CATS NEVER SLEEP/THE INSEKTLIFE CYCLE

Second serving of the lathe lovelies pairs together the cats never sleep and insektlife cycle for what are label debuts for both parties, the former incidentally hailing from Sweden – the recognised land of pop perfection whilst the latter transmitting from the Philippines. Both cuts featured within are instrumentals which as the attending press release rightly notes offer up a perfect chill down soundtrack to accompany lazy evening lounging in the garden watching hazy sunburnt skies retreating into the distance (in which case if you have the misfortune to live in the North West substitute that hopeful but non-existent picturesque scenery for blackened cloud filled skies getting ever more darker). Anyway enough grumbling and back to the business of the tracks, the Cats Never Sleep (to digress a short second longer – our house cat – Dylan – whilst having no issue in the sleep department has taken to being very vocal of late to the point its becoming a living flashback of those ‘Charlie says….’ public information broadcasts of the early 70’s – just thought I’d share that – off you go then) serve up ‘soma’ – a hulking 4 minute snake winding dream coat wearing odyssey which aside sounding blissfully stoned out could easily (on closer inspection) be taken for something you’d find quietly lurking on the Cardinal Fuzz imprint given its undeniable ability to have you the listener by its close magical festooned with all manner of weird hair and beards, that is once you’ve emerged mind, body and soul intact from the far out freak kissed trip it sets its dials for you to venture upon. Things are a little more earthbound and somewhat tropically trimmed by insektlfe cycle’s ‘sungaze’ which by and large throughout its 5 minute stay comes touched with the intricately subtle needlework that one would more commonly associate with Mr Reilly of Durutti Column fame albeit here as though found smooching up to Jonas Monk in his Manual guise both in cahoots concocting an alluring bliss kissed alchemy upon a warmth fused panoramic canvas of cloud watching lazy inclines delicately spliced by the adoring soft cascade of rushes of euphoric radiance.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/the-cats-never-sleep-the-insektlife-cycle/

ME AND MY KITES/SOFT HEARTED SCIENTISTS

First up with the FdM frolics a brace of uber limited lathe cut releases specially crafted and lovingly shaped out of polycarbonate or whatever hell the material they make these wonderfully looking pressings on is by those fine folk at 345rpm – Phil as it happens (whose contact details you can find somewhere below). These treats will be available to purchase at the forthcoming ‘13th dream of Dr Sardonicus’ soiree due to happen over three days early August – 7, 8 and 9 if you’ve a circle making pen for your diaries handy – in Cardigan, Wales – details of which in abundance we’ll be regaling you with later on here. Just 50 copies each of these eye catching lovelies both splits the first of which finds me and my kites sharing billing with the frankly amazing Soft Hearted Scientists. Maybe it’s just me but Switzerland’s me and my kites’ quite dreamy ‘war’ has what can only be best described as all the becoming wherewithal to have the most casual admirer of woozy psych folk momentarily imagining that it be the creation of a studio down time bliss out shared by Magnet and Renaissance such is its slyly divinely pastoral mellowing and its beautified out of step and out of time vintage allure, that said those among you smitten by Beautify Junkyards (also appearing in coming days here) albeit as though discovered rethreading Linda Perhacs gem stone ‘parallelograms’ may find much to adore by way of its airy cascading enchantment. Over on the flip the as advertised Soft Hearted Scientists who serve up ‘surferella’ and into the bargain salvage a track that’s been foolishly languishing in the SHS vaults since way back in that golden year 2007. Now we here have always had something of a soft spot for these dudes, so much so we’ve oft considered (or rathermore) suspected them of operating in some hitherto parallel space uniquely quarantined and free from faddish dilution and disturbing influences. How on earth this has remained in the dark for such an age is a mystery sounding as it does like some strut gouged Who-sian throwaway re-trimmed by Joe Meek and sent a-sailing to tropical climes to show off its fleet footed hip wiggling shimmy. Need I say more – I suspect not

Mark Barton, The Sunday Experieince
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/me-and-my-kites-soft-hearted-scientists/

GAMES FOR MAY

The light of an half moon shines in the London sky for a festival of psychedelic amplitude also recalling the first experiments UFO - Blackhill Enterprises (with the Pink Floyd concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall May 12, 1967) and revive the 'Games for May' 38 years later at the Half Moon in Putney. Promoters of the event: Fruits de Mer Records and Mega Dodo, sisters labels among the most active in the planetary new underground scene thanks to a very original work in the artistic achievements and to promote musicians. Keith Jones's Fruits de Mer has grown within a decade, specializing its state of small independent with vinyl rigor (often colored) in limited editions (one hundred to date), fabulous artworks, groups from all over the world (with prevalence UK), trustworthy distribution channels and a club members through which to offer exclusive issues (connected with some official releases). All this is joined to an activity of support to the groups organizing the Crabstock festival and other concerts, beautiful traveling realities with neighbouring souvenirs. Mega Dodo was founded in 2012 by John Blaney, journalist, collector, writer (among others of 'A Howlin' Wind: Pub Rock and the Birth of New Wave' and various critical essays on the Beatles) up to the inspiring convergence with Fruits de Mer also by sharing musicians and an interesting overview of this interaction is the program of the Games for May festival with Past Tense, Mark and the Clouds, The Honey Pot, Schnauser, Tír na nÓg. Included with the ticket a fantastic goodie bag containing 9 CD and a vinyl 7"EP with exclusive songs by participants.
The opening of the festival is entrusted to the Past Tense, quartet from Surrey (East London), authors of an handful of CDs and singles starting from 'Take Three' (2012) on the Detour Records offshoot label Paisley Archive and suitable basis for the mod-garage-psych reverberations (Who-Creation-Jam) then developed in self-production until the very recent 'Heads Held High' (PTR, 2015). The stage at the Half Moon immediately becomes exothermic area triggered by two guitars and relentless rhythmics in power pop dynamics from which we pick the contribution of the Past Tense to the Fruits de Mer universe with 'Shattered' and 'Soul Fiction' (from the compilations' Keep off the Grass' and 'Postcard from the Deep') precious fuzz-freakbeat echoes from lost singles made by Californian Good Feelings and South African Hippies in 1967-68. Heat reciprocated by the audience along 60 intense minutes even when the originals parade, from ‘Vision (from another world)’ to ‘Wolfman’ and ‘No No Blues’ almost the announcement of a new possible Mod wave coming to 'decline the past' and actualize with Mod(ernist) spirit. The Past Tense are: Andy (guitar, vocals), Ken (bass, vocals, keys), Nuts (drums), Buzz (guitar, keys, vocals). Surprise in the goodie bag a CD of unreleased pre-Past Tense band Pipe, the time to enjoy this gem that movements on stage announcing the next band...
Mark and the Clouds are the new adventure of Marco Magnani guitarist and composer active in the Italian '80s (and 90s) Colours' with Avvoltoi and then London resident along the 2000 with Instant Flight cult band of a visionary neopsychedelia culminated in 2013 with the third work 'Around the Gates of Morning', alchemical adjacency from which start again with old and new companions in flexible lineups especially live. The Mark and the Clouds with Marco at the Games for May all have an Instant Flight past and they are: Charlie Bennett (Keyboards), John O'Sullivan (Bass & backing vocals) and Shin Okajima (Drums), also presences in the beautiful debut 'Blue Sky Opening'(Mega Dodo, 2014) that is proposed almost entirely. The experience of these musicians becomes a sonic kaleidoscope, and the album flows from the stage with renewed intensity and roaring pop thanks to the fine writing of songs like 'The Grudge' and 'You Call Me Brother' (Robyn Hitchcock vs Exile on Main Street) generated by guitar - keyboards dialogues or in the 60s vortices 'Goddess of Desire' and 'London Fire'. At the explosive finale of 'Music Disease', when join the horns of Tom and Joe Hammond (trumpet + trombone), we are at two hours of the festival and not even halfway.
Here come the DJ Marrs Bonfire and Julian Smith (drummer of Cranium Pie, another Fruits de Mer fab band) for a psychotropic break mixing King's Road and Haight Ashbury, worthy preamble awaiting the third band...
The Honey Pot are founded in the early '10 by a collective of musicians led by guitarist Icarus Peel (artistic history from the London pre-punk) in the laboratory of possible to reinvent folk - blues formulas with space rock effect. A dimensional structure triggered by 'To The Edge Of The World' (CD, Psychedandy, 2012), continued with 'Honey' (2 × 7 "EP, Fruits de Mer, 2014) and shared with Crystal Jaqueline, voice of the Honey Pot, also in his solo work including the brand new 'Rainflower' (Mega Dodo, 2015). Four years of alternating for a large repertoire from which play an hour-light of cosmic journey with John Wyatt (keyboards), Wayne Fraquet (drums) and Simon Fear (bass). An exploration harmonized by the wonderful voice of Crystal in enchanted tributes like 'White Rabbit' (Jefferson Airplane), 'Egyptian Tomb' (Mighty Baby) and 'Tick Tock' (Fleur de Lys) as well as in the originals swirling guitar-keyboards to remove gravity and let to float 'To the Edge of the World', 'Paper Garden' and 'A Fairy Tale'. Slowly return the weights just in time to see the five Honey Pot in a greeting grateful that vanish amid applause, leaving on the stage a pot of honey, feed your head!
New breaks, new magic coming from Bristol ...
Schanuser present themselves: Alan Strawbridge (guitar, vocals) Duncan Gammon (keyboards, vocals), Holly McIntosh (bass), Jasper Williams (drums), Dino Christodoulou (sax). Fine to find the left-handed guitarist Alan Strawbridge already appreciated in the three albums of Lucky Bishops late 90s - mid 2000, albeit as a multi-instrumentalist and now find him out refined lead guitar to play with energy a vintage Danelectro 12-string. With his new companions found Schnauser in 2005 releasing 3 albums plus other 2 of demos and outtakes between self-production and various labels of which the last 'Protein for Everyone' (Esoteric Antenna) in the top titles of 2014. Complex harmonies and a sincere desire to write catchy pop songs, further contribution to a current scene in expansion to actualize the Canterbury sound of bands like Soft Machine, Caravan, the Gong of Daevid Allen, Hatfield and the North. The total sound without boundaries of Schanuser is well represented by 'Herne Bay', single released for Fruits de Mer with the cover of 'As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still' (Soft Machine 'Volume Two') and 'Astral Traveller' (gem from the second Yes 'Time and a Word' with ex-Syn, Chris Squire - Peter Banks), offered at the height of their live set. It's truly a sight to see them live, be embraced from their energy and perceive an amazing tuning seasoned with British humor and instrumental - vocal delights of 'Protein for Everyone' performed almost entirely until the shock announcement: 'And now the last song...' disappointment in the hall '...do not worry lasts half an hour!'. 'Disposable Outcomes' starts and the space is curved in a warmhole that reveals new worlds and passages to a time when giants ruled.
But it's not yet over for the senses and the Half Moon stage prepares to offer the last magic, from Dublin...
Who has enough years old and also had the good luck to see Jethro Tull in 1971 for one of the three Italian dates of the world tour to present 'Aqualung', certainly will remember the Irish duo Tír na nÓg chosen to open the concerts and to astonish with hippie-folk atmospheres (between Incredible String Band and Pentangle) announcing their first self-titled album, today in the current of acid folk and the principle of a small discographic treasure that extends after 40 years with the 7"EP 'I Have Known Love'(Fruits de Mer, 2014) and the new album 'The Dark Dance' (Tír na nÓg Records, 2015). And so, in the twilight of the Games for May festival, the last magic coming true when Sonny Condell and Leo O 'Kelly free some fireflies of acoustic arpeggios to twirl in our hearts and to regenerate our minds overloaded by electricity. How much beauty in listening to the past of songs like 'Time is not a Promise' or a fantastic cover of 'Time Ride' (Nick Drake), but is the present of Tír na nÓg to disclose new inventions such as' The Angelus' and 'You in Yellow ', to appreciate the live performance by strings and light percussions between soft tremolos and glissando, to perceive penumbras and rarefied atmospheres that rises ecstatic tones when 'Sympathetic Love' embraces the west coast psychedelia (by Arthur Lee and 'sympathetic' Love) hovering in delicate visions.
What a final for the Games for May festival! And coming out of the Half Moon after 6 hours of great music there is only one word that I can think of: unforgettable!
Giampiero Fleba, Plenirockium
http://plenirockium.altervista.org/games-for-may-festival-londra-24-maggio-2015-di-giampiero-fleba/

CRANIUM PIE - MECHANISMS PART TWO

When it came out in 2012, we hailed Cranium Pie’s Mechanisms Part One as ‘the most bonkers prog album of the year’. No wonder, given that it’s the story of a battle between civilizations of robots and crayfish. Part Two is unsurprisingly a continuation of the crustacean conceit.
This time lobster-like beings stumble across tapes recorded by ‘the last band on earth’ that have laid hidden for 908 years. There are no songs in the conventional sense, just a set of sprawling, serpentine entities that are best listened to in a single session. This is prog at its most bamboozling, a free-form freakout of krautrock, Zappa and Arthur Brown, augmented by industrial-sounding passages that recall the soundtrack to futuristic 60s kids’ TV series Space Patrol.
Bizarrely, you cannot fail to become immersed in the concept. Indeed, you form a strange affinity with the plucky crayfish, whose ‘voices’ are reminiscent of The Clangers crossed with Sweep (from Sooty & Sweep). You’ll never want to buy a jar of Marie Rose sauce again. (8/10)
Geoff Barton, Classic Rock magazine

English proggers "based in the 11th dimension" deliver a third album full of warm kosmische grooves and Anglican charm. Four tracks on a limited double LP set reward listening in one sitting by expanding minds Phil Alexander, Editor, Mojo

I can't escape the impression that anytime I'm listening to a Cranium Pie release I've gone slightly out of sync. This UK based progressive rock outfit are unusually adept at shifting perception, and coupling this with their overflowing barrel of ideas creates a singular listening experience.
The music on "Mechanisms Part 2" is often wildly experimental, giving the impression of something that's escaped from a secret government research facility. Anything else would be far too ordinary a catalyst for music this adventurous and odd. Which may make it sound like this would potentially be hard work to listen to, and it probably should be, but the band's restlessness and way with a tune ensure that it never actually is.
The preview CD that I received to review sees the double LP split into four, unnamed, side length tracks, and in that form "Mechanisms Part 2" is very successful; four suites of fragmentary fever dreams, hopping wildly from one idea to the next in an entertainingly unpredictable fashion. (Although I see that the band have chosen to split the tracks up into their constituent parts for digital release).
There's obviously a great love for the music of the very early progressive rock era evident here, but rather than try to create an album that sounds like it's from that time, Cranium Pie have elected to use the philosophy of the music of that era to create a new progressive statement that sounds surprisingly fresh, even as it brings to mind the likes of Soft Machine, Caravan, King Crimson and Matching Mole. The drums swing nicely, helping to enhance the free flowing nature of the band's music, and allowing the rest of the band to delve into areas derived from psychedelia, folk, jazz and beyond.
More often than not instrumental, the band's surfeit of ideas ensure that there is never a dull moment, and that no passages outstay their welcome - quite the opposite! Most bands would be content to stretch the ideas contained on any one of these sides over the length of a full album, but Cranium Pie seem to have worked out that the music of the early progressive era was so exciting because of its unpredictable and quickly evolving song structures. Adopting that same approach has paid serious dividends here.
Prog fans will be in Heaven, naturally, but those normally suspicious of the genre will find plenty of spacey lashings of psychedelia to keep them amused too. Very highly recommended indeed.
Nathan Ford, The Active Listener
http://active-listener.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2.html

Cranium Pie return to Fruits de Mer after four years with their second full size album, this time a double slab of vinyl. Released at the end of March, the long awaited Mechanisms 2 sold out in one day! Fortunately for those of you purely interested in the music and not necessarily vinyl junkies, on April 21 the album was released on iTunes. This new double vinyl set is a very different album from their previous releases, both on FdM and other labels. The sound is harsher and more distorted, kind of an alien psychedelic approach to Lo Fi. Apparently Cranium Pie locked itself away in a bunker for the past three years to concentrate on producing music reminiscent of the late 60s/early 70s, while extending it to the 21st century. I hear Pink Floyd Echoes-era influences throughout, as well as Arthur Brown, a bit of Frank Zappa, and Krautrock, namely Amon Düül II. I also detect some influence from Pyrolator’s Ausland. On Mechanisms 2 the Pie explore the use of tapes (sped up and/or reversed), different themes/genres, rhythms, oddball lyrics, and bonkers singing. Tying this all together is the trippy organ, Mellotron, fuzzed guitars, demonic laughter, and sci-fi subject matter conveyed via the lyrics. I find it difficult to single out significant songs from the 16 spread across the two discs. Suffice it to say, Mechanisms 2 is excellent, never boring, and a great addition to their recorded output.
Henry Schneider, Expose magazine
http://expose.org/index.php/articles/display/cranium-pie-mechanisms-pt.2-6

The new double album of Cranium Pie is now out of stock!! And this is what I expected. But what I didn't expect is that the Mechanisms Part 2 would be at least equivalent to the Mechanisms Part 1!!!! Indeed!!!! The Pt2 is a global, cataclysmic masterpiece!! On 4 sides of the album, all close to 20 minutes, marching the music that enchants the Cranium Pie, those enchant us. Psych/prog/kosmiche/acid-blues ... .Really while i listen to it, I firmly believe that it is inconceivable that one could imagine what an incredible album has been recorded by Cranium Pie!! Imagine Soft Machine, the Brainticket, Hendrix, the Arzachel, the Floyd of course, and some more that have blessed the minds and hands of those Englishmen. The result could only be relentlessly magic and sufficiently tempting! Logically now that you are reading these lines there will be no copy of the 700 released, at least at normal price, so please send letter to Fruits De Mer to releases many more!
George Markou, Gew-Gaw magazine
http://gewgawfanzine.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2.html

The successor, of course to part one, Mechanisms is that rare beast in the modern age – a slice of utterly demented prog that sets out from wherever the music’s last great leap wound up (probably somewhere around Van Der Graaf Generator, circa 1977), and then goes nowhere that anyone else could have dreamed.
Four side of vinyl – four tracks, titled according to their place in the running order, and pushing twenty minutes apiece. Time enough indeed to wipe from your mind all the over-earnest sad sacks who think that prog is simply a matter of putting your head up your hind quarters and then seeing how many Chapman Sticks you can pull in with you.
“[1]” rides in on menacing percussives, building slowly on foreboding rhythms but inexorably drawing you into the web, where other sounds await, each one almost boleric as it leads you in to a place where… it’s not Arthur Brown, but the voice that screams is just as manic, just as terrifying.
Without even a hint of “weird for weirdness’s sake” (another lesson that others could learn), elements harken back to pastures familiar – Cranium Pie have been aligned with sundry highlights of the Canterbury Scene, as it veered towards the jazz rock sensibilities that ultimately sent it elsewhere entirely.
But a more accurate vision would place them on the Vertigo label circa 1970, with Dr Z, Nucleus and Cressida as their closest relatives, and Van Der Graaf (labelmates in certain foreign climes) offering them a loan of a demonic sax player. They don’t accept, but there’s equal dislocation at work both here (the midpoint of “1” is a drum solo from hell) and elsewhere. And the result is an album that you may not instantaneously love, but which will certainly pursue you. Relentlessly. So find it here, before it finds you.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine
http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/album-reviews/put-dancing-shoes-new-releases-need-year-far

Majestic prog-opus ahoy!Funnily enough it's a follow up to Mechanisms Part One! Who woulda thought?! Fans of Fruits De Mer Records will no doubt already be familiar with Cranium Pie, the band having contributed tracks to various FDM cover version compilations over the years. Here though we get to hear what the band are really about. Mechanisms Part Two is oddly enough the follow up to Mechanisms Part One, their 2012 album about a battle between civilizations of robots and crayfish. I don't know what the local council are putting in the water in Wiltshire but it may be stronger than fluoride! Either that or we're in the company of a very adventurously creative group of people.
Mechanisms Part One went on to be Classic Rock's “bonkers prog album of the year 2012”, so Part Two has something of a reputation to live up to. Over the four sides of vinyl the band are free to stretch out into the furthest reaches of sonic exploration. With heavy Hammond organ, free-jazz-rock drumming and Brian Blessed-esque vocal passages this is music that calls to mind the giants of early '70s progressive rock – Soft Machine, Zappa and Aphrodite's Child may all be influences, but there are also some other more unlikely musical nods in the album's grooves with some surprisingly funky psychedelia.
It seems there may be just as many Funkadelic, Parliament and Prince records in their collections as there are records by The Nice and Caravan. Side One sees the band co-opt the bass line from Isaac Hayes' Ike's Rap II, with Side Three beginning with wacka-wacka guitar chops straight of his Shaft album. Elsewhere there's music borne out of of intuitive collective jamming. So while it's without question another “bonkers prog album” it's also a surprisingly soulful and funky one.
Like many FDM releases, the vinyl version is sure to sell out quickly so if you've missed out bug them for a re-press of make do with a digital copy. Be warned though – it may fry your brain like no other record this year, albeit in a good way.
Harmonic Distortion
http://harmonicdistort.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-two.html

4 STARS
Earning their crust
Hot-ish on the weathered stack heels of 2011’s Mechanisms Pt 1, the wondrous Wiltshire weirdoids Cranium Pie have devised a follow-up to their willfully self-ostracizing concept piece about “a battle between civilisations of robots and crayfish”. The resultant Mechanisms 2 is an agreeably spread-eagled, fuzz-fringed double-album on coloured vinyl, limited to 700 copies and “intended to be listened to in one sitting”, which is exactly what we did.
Only a poltroon of the first water would come to this anticipating elucidation or closure. Like all the most provocative ensembles, from The Residents to Goat, Cranium Pie come over as a secret society, giggling sinisterly when you approach the stereo. Vocals and soundbites, whenever they surface through the krautrocky brume, tend towards the creepily subversive, obliquely humorous stoner gnosticism perfected by Second Hand circa Death May Be Your Santa Claus, so you may never clearly discern how those crayfish are holding out. However, you won’t care overtly when swept along on a roiling soundwave that conjoins Caravan/Egg organ textures with cabalistic, linear grooves straight from the Neu! road map. Cranium Pie exist in the magical interstice between psych and prog, so you’ll search in vain for the intemperate showing-off of the latter while basking in the polychromatic flashes of the former.
Oregano Rathbone, Record Collector magazine

"Marching into the room to an ominous organand swirling synth backing, the first of four untitled side-long tracks, sets the tone for the ensuing mayhem; Arthur Brown-ish pronouncements, disembodied waling of souls, ferocious drumming, house-house-meets-fairground keyboards. sit back and for the next 70-plus minutes, Cranium Pie will take you on a magical head trip soundtracked by elegaic segments of kosmische musik, symphonic prog, Floydian psych, Residents-ial pop and Zappaesque musique concrete. Oh, and did I mention the screaming guitar solos, dreamy flute, hypnotic mellotron, and sci-fi conspiratorial narrative flowing throughout?
This elaborately constructed mindfuck benefits from every second of its nearly four-year birthing process and will please fans of everyone from Caravan and Soft Machine to Yes, Gong and Henry Cow, which should include a good proportion of readers of this magazine"
Jeff Penczak, Shindig! magazine

Oh yes, the vinyl LP, a disc of plastic that gives the listener a real interaction with the music; as the physical element of flipping the side and even switching to the second record has tangible depth that enhances the listening experience. For it’s that experience alongside of the music that makes the second installment of Cranium Pie’s Mechanisms a unique trip; not only pressing LPs but also making creating that for those who have the CD as well, it too being divided into sides, even if there is no flipping involved. Following up their classic prog mantra, a mirror image of those deepest & rarest (eBay type) albums from the Vertigo & Harvest labels (plus a generous helping from many eclectic independents of the day), this continuation sees the band diving further into psychedelic mannerisms, cleverly annunciating a brooding atmospheric vibe as if it were recorded in a haunted cathedral, allowing dark spirits to seep through the cracks and infiltrate the electro integrity of melodic nuances.
Reflecting a British feel on a collision course with Krautrock, along with suggesting the fearless mannerisms of Family, a hallowed & sinister compositional approach of Black Widow, the spaciness of Hawkwind, and the witty experimentation of Brainticket, there are free-jazz elements that roam through the abundance of Mellotrons, Fender Rhodes, groove riddled and even at times funkified guitar, spacious reverb, and a multitude of instruments moving back and forth all wrapped up in a ‘needle to the red’ grittiness that captures the authoritative layered tenacious tango that continues throughout the Mechanism’s Part 2. Thankfully, with a buffet of musical ideology before them, they don’t gorge everything like some bands do as a self-indulgent feast; every part of the album and it’s respective sides are heavy handed approaches to expression, painting a picture one page a time. A headphone experience indeed, so grab another slice of pie!
Tommy Hash, ytsejam.com
http://ytsejam.com/music-review/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2/

This other-worldly adventurous mountain of music could only have come from minds that have been knowingly altered in some fashion. And I mean that in a very good way. Insert smiley face here! The combo known as Cranium Pie have given us a double vinyl set featuring what appears to be one track per side with each side running about nineteen minutes so there’s a ton of music here. And as you might expect the general feel is equal parts space-rock and psychedelia. Fans of bands like Hawkwind or Ozric Tentacles should be in their glory over what is on display here. Everything from the compositional style to the sound recording seems intentionally designed to transport the listener back to some dimension inhabited by the likes of Dr. Strange. The four side-long musical performances are actually made up of shorter segments but as instructed in the promo material, designed to be listened to in one sitting – if you dare! The music chugs along with intermittent spacey bleeps and blurps building an intense atmosphere that then simply slips away to feature some wonderfully lazily played guitar or keyboard solos and as if that’s not enough, given the length of these pieces there’s lots of soloing going on, but know that it never sounds samey. These ever changing solos then typically build into something else altogether. Fans of this musical approach will also be delighted to hear Mellotron sprinkled throughout, muted drums, odd sounding keyboards and processed vocals all periodically drenched in reverb and echo. These ever-changing compositions go everywhere musically and yet seem to go no-where. It’s the grand psychedelic paradox. That said, there is a lot of music on display on Mechanisms Part 2 and it all seems to come with its own smoke haze. If you’ve never heard these guys you really should check’em out. It’s a trip.
Jerry Lucky
www.jerrylucky.com

So, where on earth do I begin? 70+ minutes, four tracks (one per side), with each track consisting of three to five parts. It's intended to be listened to in one sitting, but I've had fun 'dropping in' at different places too – not an easy thing to do with a CD either!
OK, there are hints of the classic prog era – I can hear a little of Arzachel, Caravan, The Nice and Pink Floyd at their peak in the 70's. There's plenty of powerful organ playing, but some cool guitar too as well as a few 'weird' vocal fx that are probably the scariest moments! The sample of the 'For mash get Smash' robots was a bit of a surprise to hear after all these years...
There's an easy pace throughout the album, nothing is rushed and no piece overstays its welcome. It's not a hard album to kick back and listen to, it's just there's so much 'happening' to listen to! 'Mechanisms 2' is Tangerine Dream's 'Zeit' - 'Through The Looking Glass'. Sounds like it was a gas to make, knowing where or when to stop must have been agony! A labyrinth of sounds! The more I spin it, then the more there is to hear. Imagination's gone wild!
I can't think of anyone who'd make an album like this now. Maybe 'Mechanisms 2' exists in a parallel world where this is where prog was meant to go? It's certainly not a world where there are too many notes to the bar during solos and the band play one too many complex chords to know what's good for them. Perhaps this parallel world also has a Julian Cope music anthology with 'Mechanisms 2' already written up in it with flying colours? I'm sure he's going to love this one!
Whether you think you're going to like it or not, it's worth checking out just to find out...
There's a lovely piece at about 17 minutes on side three that makes it all worthwhile. I can hear radio calling. Go on Keith, see if the FdM coffers could stretch to a promo 45 of this?
It's a fine start to 2015 for these ears. I really haven't heard anything quite like this before, so I'm not sure how am I supposed to find the words to describe it. It's an experience and that's it!
A bold release from FdM and Cranium Pie. They're both out there on their own now as far as I'm concerned - and absolutely free...Epic!
Nick Leese, Heyday Mail Order
http://www.heyday-mo.com/catalog/index.php?_a=document&doc_id=7

UK band CRANIUM PIE have been active for a good handful of years by now, and have a handful of single releases and a number of project participations to their name so far, as well as their debut album “Mechanisms (Part I)” from 2011 and a second full length album called “The Geometry of Thistles” that was released the following year. “Mechanisms Part Two” is their third full length studio production, and will be released as a double LP by vinyl enthusiast label Fruits de Mer Records in March 2015.
There are quite a few details I really don’t know about this production, as I have a promo copy on CD rather than the official vinyl release at my disposition. Will the vinyl album consist of unnamed album sides only for instance, or do these songs have a name? Are there one or more songs here, or are we dealing with suites divided into multiple parts? The manner in which these musical excursions play out makes it rather difficult to establish an answer by merely listening. At the end of the day these details aren’t all that important though, especially not for a production of this kind, as the music here is rather far removed from anything one might describe as conventional.
The one recurring detail that is a distinct presence throughout the close to 80 minutes of music at hand here is that we’re dealing with a band whose affection for the vintage sounds of the late 60’s and early 70’s is profound. The instruments used are all time typical of that period, or played in a manner that makes them sound like it. The mix and production is warm and analogue sounding, with a slight tendency to a closed in sound I’ll always associate with music made in the era where the slogan of the day was Make Love, Not War. And as far as the music is concerned, I guess that tripping is an easy description of what’s going on here.
All the album sides here consists of material that sounds like an improvisational jam has had a frantic and elongated intercourse with a studio wizard. Themes come and go, suddenly shifting from one to the other, subsiding into almost silence before a new one arises, and with all manner of effects applied to one or the other as well as for transitional sequences in between. Mellotron, organ and electric piano are all given plenty of room to weave their textures, vintage keyboards are applied and lots of more or less subtle drones, effects, cosmic vibes and extensive amounts of sampled voice effects, spoken word dialogues and what sounds like effects treated varieties of all these elements dominate this album through and through. The band may stop up for a bit to take a run through a classic blues rock oriented sequence, plenty of organ driven escapades come and go too, and a liberal amount of Mellotron driven passages appears as well. Generally speaking these tend to be short and concise experiences however, relatively brief excursions into landscapes of conventional melodies and arrangements, even sporting regular lead vocals at times, in between myriads of parts and passages with more of an experimental character. Experimental in this case should be read as psychedelic, subtly freaked out and more often than not with a cosmic vibe.
This is a case of tripping the light fantastic in a vintage space ship, the soundscape to a cosmic journey planned more than 40 years ago and rediscovered today. It’s a sonic experience, a journey through moods and atmospheres that focus and hone in on the moods and atmospheres first and foremost, teasing us with conventional snippets and pieces of familiar and mostly harmonic sounds amidst their more dramatic, theatrical and chaotic escapades. It’s all about the experience from what I can comprehend here, where the journey rather than the goal is the important aspect of what’s ongoing.
The question I guess many will have is if this album is any good. The answer to that one depends very much on what you desire to get from an album of music. If you fancy an album to contain compositions that at some level opens at a place, establish a route of some kind or other and reach a final goal, or if you are fond of themes, motifs and arrangements of a more conventional, harmony based nature then this production is one you should inspect prior to purchasing I guess. But if vintage psychedelic and cosmic rock from around 1970 is something you fancy, you are fond of improvisational escapades and music of an unconventional overall nature, then chances are that you’ll be intrigued by this double vinyl album. Especially if you regard words like freaked out and Krautrock in a highly positive manner.
Olav Martin Bjorsen, House of Prog
http://social.houseofprog.com/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-two-2015/

Some gently wafting weirdness from Cranium Pie. Mechanisms Part Two is the follow up to 2011's Part One. Keeping the spirit and sound of psyched out prog alive, these chaps evoke the sounds of the 60s & 70s with a trippy hammond, washed out guitars, groovy bass lines and samples form The Great Dictator. Out on vinyl double LP from Fruits de Mer.
Norman Records
https://www.normanrecords.com/records/151706-cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-two

It took nearly four years but Cranium Pie have finally released the follow up to 2011’s fantastic Mechanisms Part 1. Mechanisms Part 2 is a 2-LP set with a single approximately 19 minute track on each side. Though untitled, each side has distinguishable segments, though they typically flow fairly seamlessly from one to the next. But titles mean little here as the whole is like a tour de force of Prog-Psych-Kosmiche Rock circa 1969-73. Follow along as I stream of conscious describe this 4 sided experience and you’ll get a flavor for what Mechanisms Part 2 is about…
Side 1 starts off with an intense narrative segment that’s like a cross between Arthur Brown and the early Brainticket albums. This segues into a bouncy jazzy Kosmiche and orchestrated jam with swirling effects and haunting backing vocals, and a lead vocal that sounds like Frank Zappa. Additional treats include Jazz propelled Space Rock and soulful Psychedelic Prog-Blues with impassioned vocals and guitar leads. Side 2 begins with more jazzy Space Rock, augmented by luscious trippy fluttering flute leads and sweeping Mellotron-ish waves. This leads to a brief but delirious collage-like blend of early Pink Floyd song, spaced out cut-us with wild narratives, leading to a spaced out Hendrix bit that serves as a quickie stepping stone to a Prog-Jazz jam that’s like the Cosmic Jokers doing a freaked out rendition of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, followed by more Arthur Brown meets Brainticket heavy Prog intensity, and then a spaced out, soulful organ led jam with brief but crazy narrative samples and effects. Side 3 comes roaring out hot ‘n heavy with a fiery Prog-Funk rocking jam, which abruptly veers into a mélange of narration and effects that soon settles into a tripped out tune that sounds like some kind of Frank Zappa/Peter Hammill hybrid taking a whack at symphonic Prog-Psych, though freakiness abounds as we roller coaster zig-zag through a hair raising series of thematic twists and turns. When calm briefly settles we find ourselves floating groovily along with a cool Bluesy Psych jam, though lysergic disorientation rules the day via a crazed circus of effects with an underlying Pink Floyd foundation. This is followed by more high intensity yet soulful and jazzy Kosmiche rock, dark Van der Graaf Generator symphonics, spaced out orchestral rock, cosmic Jazz-Funky Soft Machine, and a bewildering parade of cut-ups and effects that culminates in the utter shock of a beautiful Folk-Prog song that concludes Side 3. Side 4 kicks off with a mixture of cool grooving Psychedelic Prog-Jazz jam, led by a killer Kosmiche organ sound. I really dig the dreamy and spaced out vocal song segment, which is followed by an intense slab of Space Rock and mindfucked montage experimentalism, including a surreal combination of wild narration, hypnotic organ, loose tripped out jamming and freaky effects, eventually morphing into a Doom-Prog song that retains a Jazzy feel and all the wigged out effects. And on we go, continually evolving, morphing and transforming. For pure Cool and Strange factor, Side 4 takes the cake.
So… how did that sound? Pretty crazy? Wildly disjointed? It’s not!! Cranium Pie stand on the highest mountain top holding up their influences like stadium lighting, throw them all into a bubble bubble toil and trouble cauldron, and through exquisite production and studio craftsmanship send the results streaming montage-evolution style throughout the four sides of this set. HIGHEST recommendation!
Jerry Kranitz, aural innovations
http://aural-innovations.com/blog/2015/02/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2-fruits-de-mer-records-2015-2-lp/

Just when you thought it was safe to emerge from your hiding place, your listening space cackles and crackles to the sound of incoming transmissions from distant star formations, you vaguely remember the code sign, you shake your head in disbelief, can it really be, what after all these years with only the fear and fading hope of the silence to accompany you. You pull up a little closer and listen more intently, it is you conclude, after all these years from the farthest reaches of the cosmos from whence you feared they were lost for ever, they are returning. Oh hell I can’t keep up with the pretense and this wordy nonsense – so we’ll cut to the chase. Fruits de Mer’s first spring flowerings come in the guise of a jaw dropping double disc set from everyone’s favourite beard stroking beatnik loons Cranium Pie. Entitled ‘mechanisms 2’ the release – as ever – will be a limited affair pressed up on 2 heavy duty slabs of colour wax, we’ve just taken delivery of an excerpts promo which will be getting a fair amount of attention in the coming days and which should feature in words of undying fondness next missive out. For now though ‘the lost song’ has been posted by those de mer dudes as a teaser, a realities leaving adventure into the sleepy folds of the sub conscious where synapses toot merrily on mind morphing bong pipes to pass through parallel doors of perception into wonky subterranean worlds where sonic serenades smoke out your head space and where dissolving melodic mosaics are cultured and kneaded into part hauntological lounge tastings and woozy progtastic mellow headed jazz funked freaky fruit cakes. Out there and bliss kissed barminess.
Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/cranium-pie-2/

Cranium Pie is one of the most important band's that I've discovered through Fruits de Mer / Regal Crabomophone. Their first full length LP Mechanisms Part 1 was released in 2011 and I have loved it ever since. The same goes for their second album The Geometry of Thistles released in 2012 but actually including material recorded before the Mechanics Part 1 sessions. A perfect companion to a mushroom trip? All the singles and compilation tracks are excellent too... It's no wonder they have been featured on two A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble compilations as well. Their sound is a perfect update on the classic early 70s prog/psych/Canterbury scene vibe and they also have a wicked sense of humor. "Bonkers prog rock" is a a rather suitable description... ´They have been compared to old bands like Soft Machine, Van der Graaf Generator, Nektar, The Nice and Caravan, and personally I can also hear a lot of Pink Floyd in their music, but they have still upgraded that old school sound to modern times a bit which is great.
The new album will be released on double album in March. Each four sides will have around 19 minutes of music. On the promo CD-R I had there are no song titles, and the whole album is divided just into those four sides, although there are obviously different sections on all sides. The album starts off in a mellow, slow and Pink Floydish mood, with a steady rhythm section, very nice organ work and some weird, psychy sound effects. Soon some spoken word is added to a great effect, and the music starts to grow. Then there's a bit groovier, more melodic section with vocals, and then we get some more orchestration, with Mellotron I bet, and more progressive parts and hypnotic jams, and some, bluesy, early Colosseum vibes next. I love it already and we're still on side one!
Side two begins in a soulful mode including some trippy flute and Brainticket sounds. At around the three-minute-marker there is a beautiful, short vocal section, before all the weirdness steps back in. Then there's some groovy, Can-like jamming, and strange guitar and organ solos, then they jump straight into a Jimmy Hendrix trip for a short while, and then there's a really odd, VdGG styled, progressive section that's pretty hard to explain... Phew! The rest of side two is more laid-back, organ-driven and moody again.
Side three kicks off in a totally bonkers way including some of the most far-out vocal effects I've ever heard. Then there's a really cool guitar solo section, and the weirdness continues, before things cool down towards the end of the side. The vocals at the end remind me of early 70s Genesis, and there is also some pretty acoustic guitar in there.
The last part begins with a Soft Machine styled, jazzy and soulful jamming, and then we get some peaceful vocals. Then it's time to freak out some more, I think I'm loosing my mind... I love the spoken word part in here. The ending is a great, pompous finale for this insane sci-fi crab opera... Get this superb album and be amazed!
DJ Astro, The Psychotropic Zone
http://psychotropiczone.blogspot.com/2015/01/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2.html

Cranium Pie from Wits Hire, England, was founded in 2006 and consists of: Rob Appleton - keyboards, synthesizer and vocals, Tim Bray - vocals, bells, effects, theremin and whistling, Steve Meadows - bass guitar, Dan Herra - lead guitar and vocals and Julian Smith - drums, vocals and lead guitar.
In 2008, three songs from the band on the 2LP compilation album "A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble" while the band in 2009, their debut 7 "vinyl 33 1/3 rpm ​​single" Baby You're A Rich Man "/" Madman Running Through The Fields "in a limited edition of 300 pieces from the Fruits de Mer Records label released with a poster that has a different image on each side. Then appeared in 2010, the limited edition 7 "vinyl single" Mothership "/" Rememberrr "through Bracken Records, which was followed in the same year by the limited CD-R compilation" White Bag Bootleg "which was sold through performances and comes packaged in a white crushed paper bag, where an illustrated" El musico "card is plus the CD-R.
Then the LP appeared "Mechanisms Pt.1" at Regal Crabomophone label (a sub label of Fruits de Mer Records), which the band garnered critical acclaim and the press for them to know win. In 2012 the band released the very limited vinyl LP "The Geometry Of Thistles" on their own Lunartica label in an edition of 25 pieces, made ​​for the Australian market, where each of the LPs is hand numbered and a handwritten / painted artwork contains the insert. The LP was, the songs were created between 2006 and 2009, through Lunartica in a limited numbered edition of 500 copies released in a silk printed sleeve, each case has a unique design.
Also, appeared in 2012, the split single of The Baking Research Station / Cranium Pie - "A Visit To Newport Hospital" / "Queen Street Gang" in the Fruits de Mer Records label, and in 2014 the limited CD-R single "The One Not Me Not I "exclusively through that same label was released in an edition of 100 pieces, especially for Fruits de Mer Records club members.
Their new album is a limited edition of 700 copies on colored vinyl 2LP if available and through the Regal label Crabomophone cast, while on each side first number is. On side 1 contains three songs, "Black Bird Of Death", "Mast Race" and "Prophelactus", running into each other. At the beginning of the LP pushing the tire me a menacing piece of music that is slowly removed, after which the song comes in, until the band decides a brief stop welding to play a different rhythm, making the music totally changed and I heard a brilliant progressive rock song get, containing medium tempo played and light influences from 70s bands like Soft Machine. After another change of pace allows the tire me enjoy a piece of psychedelic progressive rock, which I influences of Pink Floyd and The Peddlers observable to as side 1 end. On side two, I listen to five songs, which are played concatenated and that his "Here We Are Together", "The Magus", "What Did You Said", "Light The Candle" and "The Lost Song". In the first song I hear the band a catchy sounding progressive rock song playing, that after a few minutes turns into a funky rhythm and shortly thereafter in progressive jazz rhythms, and the band switch and me a free piece of experimental music sounds, where jazz influences are audible, only to continue making great progressive rock, in which texts microphone are shouted and the music reminds me a moment that the band Copernicus, after which there will again be a change-over and I heard an excellent piece of rock get. On side three are three songs that, as on previous sides, stuck together, making it difficult to determine which song I'm listening. The titles of these songs are: "Glimpses Into The 11th," "And So It Unfolded" and "Black Tree". The music starts experimental and includes influences from Bonzo Dog Band and Frank Zappa, and the number after some time turns into a delicious piece of progressive music, to a few minutes to change into a psychedelic whole, followed by a switch again and I get presented with a progressive rock song in which the keyboards playing the leading role, but after a new tempo change decision the band to continue for a short time making experimental music and then switches to create a beautiful airy light psychedelic pop song. The last numbers I hear "Intermission Trails", "The Lost Song" (listen to it using the youtube link below the review) "After The Marth," "It's Happening Now" and "Neverending Endings" and the band sounds like a pretty experimental psychedelic beginning herein, which prosecuted with a piece of progressive rock, which are once again declared the lyrics and the band film-like images evokes in me while I make associations with the cartoons of Disney and the music of Zweistein and Nine Days Wonder, after which the band, after a change of pace, again turn towards the progressive rock for the last part of the number. Cranium Pie me with "Mechanisms Part 2" to surprise a superb 2LP, filled with delicious progressive, psychedelic and experimental rock, where the music is inspired by 60s and 70s underground bands and a joy to to listen, so I this double therefore warmly can recommend to fans of this genre.
Carry Munter, New Underground Music
http://carrysnewundergroundmusic.blogspot.nl/2015/01/review-cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2.html

I have to open this review by confessing that while I am in no way averse to prog rock, I am not an aficionado of the genre. Another scribe more knowledgeable about this musical terrain would be better able to compare the album to others of its kind. But what I hear as I listen through to the four long tracks (each in the 19 minute range) is a swirling, adventurous romp that could be the soundtrack to an experimental film, either something like one of Jess Franco’s surreal works or a title like a Herzog feature. The sound is heavy on instrumentation but there is an occasional bit of singing, as well as odd spoken word and treated vocal parts. The third track has a dreamy vocal melody and some pretty guitar work, and could be something off a Pink Floyd album such as Meddle. Other segments sound like pieces that might accompany a monster movie sequence. There’s some funky scratchy guitar parts along the way, a whole word of spiraling Hammond organ play, and the occasional tricky sound effects touch. The whole goes through its various changes, sometimes coming off as playful and other times as eerie, but there is a consistent tone throughout the seventy-plus minutes. I’m not a prog head yet I find this to be an engaging and enjoyable listen; my guess is that anyone with a strong affinity for this type of approach will be fully enamored of the album.
Brain Greene, It's Psychedelic, Baby
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2015/01/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2-2015.html

The UK based band, Cranium Pie are back with a new double vinyl record on the amazing Fruits der Mer label. This time around the band cranks out 4 album side long tracks, none with song titles. The track glides along with a nice spacey Fender Rhodes piano that you follow along the drum machine and a disturbing guitar that pops in at specific intervals and then about 3½ mins the whole things turns violet as the vocals return and you go back to the main theme. This fades out and a new section returns with a distorted organ like on Brainticket as a new track beginnings. The organ and keyboard remain the main focus for some time. The third movement or track on side A has a repeated synth loop and more programmed like drums and lots of weirdness until the guitar and voice kicks in. Now we are at 14 mins and there has been very little guitar before this point but now he wants to play a bit! Track 2 is once again a collage of 3-4 different tracks-ideas that have a different pull. This one is a bit more jazzy and has more guitar as well but also a lot of far our movements and pieces. The organ dominates at the end as the spoken word samples returns. Track 3 starts off with a really funky guitar and groove but sadly it fades away into strangeness all too fast as you feel as if something terrible is going to happen next……….. disco?..No… just some samples, circus music and then…. Anyway, this record has surprises around every corner and is a very cool and interesting listen. I enjoyed it a lot the three times I have heard it now… If you dig the first Brainticket and Polytoxicmane Philharmonie, and Soft Machine all mixed together you will dig this.
Scott Hellier, Writing About Music
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.com/2015/01/cranium-pie-mechanisms-part-2-fruits.html

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