Crystal Jacqueline — Morning Dew
(Fruits de Mer winkle 24, 2016, 7")
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-04-16
On Friday I received the promos for the FdM May releases. Normally I treat my review queue as First In / First Out, but being a fan of Crystal Jacqueline, I just had to listen to her new EP immediately, and the music is so outstanding I wanted to review it while I was still basking in its glow. Crystal Jacqueline and Icarus Peel recorded four tracks that are sure to compliment the new Honey Pot releases on Mega Dodo earlier this year. The disc opens with one of my favorite 60s songs recorded by the Grateful Dead, “Morning Dew.” They breathe new life into this song, imbuing it with their goth-psych treatment. The second track is an original Icarus Peel song “Ivy.” This dreamy song could have been part of the studio side of Ummagumma, but is just too short in my opinion. Side two opens with a cover of Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies’ “Moonsong: Pelog.” Gongs, cymbals, reverbed vocals, and tasteful electronics combine into one exquisite and beautifully sung cover. The disc closes with another favorite of mine, The Jaynetts’ “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses.” I’ve listened to Tim Buckley’s and Grace Slick and The Great Society’s versions for the last 40 - 50 years and neither prepares you for Crystal Jacqueline’s outstanding performance and gothic psych reinterpretation. In order to accommodate the near 16 minutes of music, FdM decided to cut the EP at 33 1/3 RPM instead of their usual 45 RPM. So be forewarned that you don’t play it at the wrong speed. That reminds me of a friend in college in the late 60s who thought that Jimi Hendrix was awful because he played the album at 45 RPM by mistake.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more