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(16:10 EP, Fruits de Mer Records)
The curiously named "The Fruits de Mer Annual for 2011" is a compilation by the vinyl and psychedelic specialist purveyors Fruits de Mer Records – an initially strange collection of tunes, presenting re-recordings of songs by The Beatles, Peter Hammill, Third Ear Band and Clifford T. Ward. The vision behind this collection apparently was "something we'd like to think will appeal to anyone who woke up on a Christmas morning". STAY opens the ball with a cover of the Fab Fours Tomorrow Never Knows, in a spirited and energetic arrangement that does present this classic psychedelic excursion in a different light, albeit not one quite as enthralling as the original in my opinion. PERMANENT CLEAR LIGHT's take on Charles T. Ward's Wherewithal is a gem though. With strings, subtle psychedelic keyboards and careful psych-tinged guitars, this version of the song sounds like a lost tune from The Beatles psychedelic era – yeah, just about that captivating. On my promo copy ZEUK is next with their take on Peter Hamill's Vision, in this case presented as a three-part classical excursion with chamber rock aspirations, with vocals, guitar, violin and cello combining in a nice and pleasant manner. Nothing really special to my ears, but well made. Finally we're treated to a stunning version of Third Ear Band's Fleance, courtesy of the UK act HI-FICTION SCIENCE. A brilliant piece of music in this arrangement, with the angelic pipes of Maria Charles hovering above a tranquil yet richly layered instrumental foundation with careful, sophisticated psychedelic touches. The finer details stay elusive for me on this one, as the sheer presence of the vocals just about takes over all my concentration when enjoying this most excellent piece of work. Yet another high quality constellation from the idealist label Fruits de Mer Records, and as most other productions from it one that most likely will have to be found second-hand, as the sold-out message appeared for this item in record time on the label's website.
Olav M Bjornsen: May 19, 2011
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