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(118:56; Fruits de Mer Records)
This triple vinyl set (a mere 2 hours long) captures a more diverse group of artists than on the recent ‘Head In The Clouds’ set, covering songs from some of the more challenging areas of krautrock. This means we get covers of songs originally performed by Kraftwerk, Michael Rother, Eloy, Edgar Froese, Agitation Free, Faust, Amon Duul, Mythos, Can, Brainticket, Embryo and Amon Duul II. Any time I see Can in a list I always sit up and pay attention, as they are still one of the most interesting bands ever to record, and here both Jay Tausing and The Arthur Park cover some of their material, with the latter actually attacking “Moonshake”. But there is also one person in the performers which attracted my attention, namely Cary Grace, so the first song I played was her version of the Amon Duul II number “Surrounded by the Stars”. I was not disappointed, as Cary always seems able to come up with an arrangement which is so fitting for the task at hand, and here we have wonderful vocals, a solid rhythm section and guitar, and wailing violin over the top of it all. She uses space as an additional element, and the music swirls and ebbs, with totally different dynamics and styles throughout, very different indeed to the original. Spurious Tangents give us a few different takes on “Autobahn”, which are close to the original and while enjoyable I do wonder if this particular song has been somewhat overdone in that everyone knows it, even if they have not followed the genre in any particular fashion. Contrast the almost clinical sterility of that with the messy guitars and keyboards of Das Blaue Palais as they mess into “Krautrock”, originally by Faust. This is far more evocative of the freedom and sense of experimentation, and so totally different again to Rob Gould’s “One Morning” (originally by Brainticket). This set is an exultant celebration of the more experimental styles that can be discovered within krautrock, as the boundaries with other genres are obscured. It is an interesting take on the genre, and a set which allows listeners to hear songs they may not have previously come across by artists they did not know existed. This is then a guide to discover material both by those being covered, and by those doing the covering. Given that FdeM releases tend to sell out very quickly indeed I am rather surprised to see that at the time of righting this is still available so I would grab it before it disappears.
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