The Upshot: Mostly unknown artists (with the exception of Bevis Frond) covering well-known artists (Miles Davis, Donna Summer, Yes, Pink Floyd, Byrds, Gordon Lightfoot and more) inna psychedelic stylee.
BY JONATHAN LEVITT
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.
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.
DOWNLOAD: “China,” “I Feel Love,” “Sundown”