Astralasia — A Different Kettle of Fish
(Fruits de Mer strange fish fifteen, 2019, 2LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-08-16
When Keith Jones was combing the Fruits de Mer archives for the tenth anniversary Goldfish compilation, Marc Swordfish of Astralasia was going down an entirely different path of celebration. Marc was taking whole tracks, excerpts, strange links, etc. and remixing them into long pieces. FdM released these reconstituted compositions as FdM club member only promo CDs: Decade Decayed: The Coastal Path Trip, Decade Decayed: The Road Trip Mixes - The First Trip, and Decade Decayed: The Road Trip Mixes - The Second Trip. This past Spring FdM released a double vinyl album that contains four new Marc Swordfish re-imaginings of label artists, including remixes from the FdM 2014 Annual release, Postcards from the Deep, Astralasia themselves, The Chemistry Set, Coltrane 7 inch, and the FdM Guide to the Theme to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The result is four side long tracks that constantly shift where at times you can detect the source track and at others you are swept along with the music. Side One is “Johnny's Little Brainticket (Lounge Mix) / Sargasso Sea / Love or Confusion,” with jamming Hammond organ, ambience, techno beats, and trippy raga rock. Side Two is “Deep Magick, A Love Supreme / Fountains of Ambience,” with swooping analog synths, subliminal voices, tabla, and lots of electronics that do not allow you lose focus. Side Three is “Johnny's Little Brainticket in Dub / Shamanic Waterfall,” with church bells, neighing horses, analog synths, and trippy shamanic chanting. The album closes with Side Four, “The Sorcerers Apprentice Ambience Mix / The Desert - Instrumental Mix / Timothy Leary Forever (Legend of a Mind remix),” a moody mix with analog sequencers, hammered dulcimer, and an extended (possibly improvised) cover version of “Legend of a Mind” with sound bites from Dr. Tim. All in all a great addition to the FdM catalog.
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