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Various Arists — Heads Together
(Fruits de Mer strange fish twenty three, 2022, 4CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2022-04-22

Heads Together Cover art

Here is another chapter in Fruits de Mer Records’ never-ending mission to explore psychedelia, Krautrock, progressive rock, and other strange music, to seek out new bands and new music, to boldly go where no single label has gone before, as if the last 50 years did not happen. The new Heads Together compilation is an impressive four-CD set and a departure from their usual vinyl releases simply because the 42 tracks spanning five hours would require more than five LPs. Many of the 37 artists have been part of Fruits de Mer’s crew over the years: Temple Music, Helicon, Astralasia, Sula Bassana, Schizo Fun Addict, Cary Grace, Electric Orange, Anton Barbeau, Psychic Lemon, The Lost Stoned Pandas, The Legendary Flower Punk, Craig Padilla, Jay Tausig, Vert:x, Jack Ellister, exedra, Rob Gould, and Moon Goose. Then there a number of newly discovered bands contributing their music: Computerchemist (Uwe Cremer’ collaborator on Audio Cologne), The Dark Zen Kollektiv, Das Blaue Palais, Saturn’s Ambush, Palace of Swords, Love Explosion, From Nowhere, Vince Cory, Taras Bulba, Blue Lily Commission, Revbjeide, Zenith: Unto the Stars, Anla Courtis (from Reynols), and The Arthur Park. And to round things out is a surprise track from the one and only nick nicely. To assemble this collection, FdM impresario Keith Jones simply invited musicians to submit music they thought FdM’s followers would enjoy. The result has a pseudo order to the music. Disc One is mostly in the motorik Krautrock made famous by Klaus Dinger, Neu! and Harmonia. There are some really tasty tracks on this disc from Cary Grace, Psychic Lemon, and Moon Goose. Disc Two continues by shifting from motorik to abstract Cluster to floating Tangerine Dream to the Düsseldorf sound of Der Plan and Pyrolator. The highlights of this disc include Schizo Fun Addict, Jack Ellister, and the Blue Lily Commission. Then Disc Three takes off into Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra Tempel, and Popol Vuh territory with amazing compositions by Mac of BIOnight, The Legendary Flower Punk, and exedra. Disc Four evokes Michael Rother’s solo material, Neu!, and bit of Faust and Amon Düül II. The best tracks here are by Eisberg, Taras Bulba, Anla Courtis’ experimental extravaganza, and nick nicely’s track that closes the set. But don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a bad note in this entire set, just some tracks that leapt above the others. Heads Together is a great addition to FdM’s other Krautrock compilations: Head in the Clouds, Head Music, Head Music 2, Head Quarters, Head Rush, and Shrunken Head Music. Who knows where FdM will venture next?  If you have yet to experience FdM’s Krautrock tributes Heads Together is a great place to start, and you will encounter many new artists worthy of your attention. Needless to say, this set of music will please anyone who cannot get their fix of new, yet familiar sounding, Krautrock.

Filed under: Archives, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Craig Padilla, Nick Nicely, Jay Tausig, Vert:x, Sula Bassana (Dave Schmidt), Jack Ellister, Electric Orange, Schizo Fun Addict, Astralasia, Various Artists, Cary Grace, Anton Barbeau, Moon Goose, The Legendary Flower Punk, The Lost Stoned Pandas, Rob Gould, Anla Courtis, Exedra, Dirk Jan Müller / Cosmic Ground


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