Various Artists — The Fruits de Mer Records Guide to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
(Fruits de Mer crustacean 74, 2016, 7")
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-08-16
I was never an Eagles fan. They were too mainstream for my tastes. So I had no idea that the BBC used their one excursion into space rock, “Journey of the Sorcerer,” as the theme music to the TV dramatization of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Fast forward 40 years and this summer Fruits de Mer decided to try something completely different rather than merely featuring Eagles covers. They enlisted FdM regulars Astralasia, Icarus Peel, and the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies to create three wildly different cover interpretations of The Eagles' tune. In addition to the 7-inch single, FdM is also including a bonus CD of remixes of The Eagle’s track plus another version by the Quantum Surf Rocket Garage Dolls that could not fit on the vinyl. The CD also contains new music by Astralasia and Sendelica’s Pete Bingham. However, the CD tracks were not provided with the promo copy, so we will all have to wait for the August release to hear the bonus music. The 7-inch proudly kicks off with Astralasia’s repurposing of the theme liberally using the VCFs and VCOs on their analog synths to create an abstract intro. Then they launch into the theme with a heavy beat that propels the entire energetic piece for some great prog-psych music. The tune ends with sped up voices saying, “So long and thanks for all the fish.” In stark contrast is Icarus Peel’s slow and quiet version. He uses wah-wah guitar and a voice slowed down to a growl. For the bulk of the track it is hard to detect that this is a version of “Journey of the Sorcerer.” About two thirds in, there is a great Hammond organ solo that leads into the theme. The third version by the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies relies on a bass riff similar to “Peter Gunn.” All three are quite different and quite fun to experience.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more