Exposé Online banner

Jack Ellister — Tune up Your Ministers and Start Transmission from Pool Holes to Class O Hypergiants
(Fruits de Mer Friends of the Fish 5, 2015, LP)

by Henry Schneider, 2016-01-01:

Tune up Your Ministers and Start Transmission from Pool Holes to Class O Hypergiants Cover art

Friends of the Fish is a Fruits de Mer side label for FdM artists to release their own music. In the present case Jack Ellister, an FdM artist who has appeared on several FdM releases over the past two years, has recorded and released his first full album with this very long and obscure title, Tune up Your Ministers and Start Transmission from Pool Holes to Class O Hypergiants. This 12-inch slab of vinyl was a limited run of 111 hand-numbered copies released in November and now completely sold out. The album contains nine songs, five of which have appeared on other limited FdM releases The Man with the Biochopper (2012), Lobster Disque (2014), Crabstock (2014), 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Day One (2015), Crab Sells Out (2012), and Live in London (2013). For those of you who have not been lucky enough to snag a copy of the album or any of the other FdM discs, here is a brief rundown of Jack’s music. The album opens with “The Man with the Biochopper,” a strange title that I have no earthly idea what it means. The music sounds like it belongs in a 60s spy film, complete with a lo-fi treatment, megaphone vocals, and trippy guitar. The second song has an equally obscure title “The Sun Sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter” that takes the listener in a different direction with its quiet acoustic guitar and gentle voices. The third song “Saddle Up the Horse” is the first new song and it sounds like early David Bowie. Next is the instrumental “Calm Adapter” with slow waves of sound and chords, very Eno-esque in nature. Then we have “Great Esmeralda,” another Bowie-influenced lo-fi song. In particular, this song reminds me of Bowie’s “Memory of a Free Festival.” The sixth song is the next new track “Wishmachine,” a short Krautrock interlude followed by “Old South,” an excellent acoustic singer-songwriter folk song. Then the disc closes with the final two new songs “Curator” and “A Hunter Needs a Gun.” “Curator” is a spooky song with megaphone vocals and “A Hunter Needs a Gun” conjures up images of Ummagumma era Pink Floyd with the extended organ chords and eerie guitar. Quiet a brilliant debut album.


by Jon Davis, 2016-01-01:

From the cover art and title, you’d probably guess Tune up Your Ministers and Start Transmission from Pool Holes to Class O Hypergiants is a psychedelic album – it is on Fruits de Mer, after all. But far from being mere pastiche or imitation, it’s a bold and original collection that captures the anything-goes spirit of the psychedelic era and applies it to the modern world. There are some classic touches like the brass arrangement on “The Sun Sends Me Hails, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter” and the filtered vocals on “Saddle up the Horse,” but there are also many things that would probably have been impossible in 1968, especially the sheer density of the overdubs. But what makes it work is the quality of the songwriting – merely capturing the tropes of Piper at the Gates of Dawn or Sgt. Pepper is not enough on its own to make an album worthwhile. I can’t claim to understand what “The Man with the Biochopper” or “Great Esmeralda” might mean, but the lyrics are evocative and entirely appropriate for the music. “Old South” is the calm center of the storm, with lovely acoustic guitar and what sounds like a Mellotron sneaking in at the very end. The album is on the short side, and when the last echoes of “A Hunter Needs a Gun” fade away, I really want a couple more songs. But far better to leave me wanting that to overstay your welcome and leave me bored. Fruits de Mer may be best known for 7-inch singles, but Tune Up stands as ample proof that when they commit to a full album, it’s pretty tasty stuff.


Filed under: New releases , 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Jack Ellister

More info

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alma - Sobre Fantasías – There appears to be an emerging group of excellent South American bands, one of the more recent being Alma from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The band members Carlos Lucena (guitars, bass, and programming)...  (2008) » Read more

Bruno Heuzé - Eurasie – Heuzé's stunning electro-acoustic music belongs in the broadest swath of progressive music and can be roughly categorized as techno-tribal, an eclectic mix of eastern exoticism, ambient and...  (1996) » Read more

DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid & Dave Lombardo - Drums of Death – DJ Spooky (Paul Miller) and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo are the core of this oddly compelling recording. Together with bassist Jack Dangers, this cleverly arranged fusion of samples and hard rock...  (2006) » Read more

Art of Infinity - Dimension Universe – It’s the Thorsten and Thorsten show! These two Dutchmen are staking out a claim to musical territory already paved by folks like Art of Noise and Enigma, but they still do a nice job with the...  (2007) » Read more

Earcandy - Sound Is Just the Way You Ear It – Quite a grab bag of psychedelia, this. We covered Earcandy's first two releases (Space Is Just a Place and Time Is Just a State of Mind), both released on LP only, back in #7. This is their third,...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues