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(188:49; Fruits de Mer Records)
This triple CD, 29 track, 3 hour long compilation was produced especially for the Lucid Dream festival - and then officially released in September. It was put together from albums already released by the label, and features everything from 'Head Music', most of 'Shrunken Head Music', plus tracks from 'Roqueting Through Space' and more (including the 22 minute version of 'China' by The Bevis Frond, from the Sideways' LP). As one expects from FDM, what we have here is a wonderful selection of covers, produced by bands who have a real affinity with the music. So there are songs by Can, Neu!, Ash Ra Tempel, Kraftwerk, Faust, Tangerine Dream and many more. They are all treated with care and respect, and it is just wonderful hearing these songs being brought into the present day. The highlight for me, without doubt, is “Mantra II” by Zenith: Unto The Stars. The original was by Popol Vuh, and I have it on their 1978 album ‘Nosferatu’. The lead melody is delicate, and quite a contrast to the swirling backdrop, which combine with some Gregorian style vocals. At least it is like that on the original. But this has now been brought up to date with strong electronic background and drone, which provides warmth, then wonderfully plucked guitar to give the melody. To my ears there is far more depth and presence to this new version than the original, and I can only hope that these guys produce a full album of their own material in the near future. Other bands of particular note are Johnny Vimes, who come across as if Atomic Rooster never went away as they blast through Jane’s “Waterfall” and The Bevis Frond, whose 20-minute “China” is superb. Now, according to the FDM website this album is already sold out, but any lovers of krautrock need to keep their eyes open as it is an invaluable collection of great songs performed by real fans.
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