Various Artists — A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl
(Fruits de Mer crustacean 60, 2014, 2CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-01-17
Since its inception, Fruits der Mer has been releasing an annual exclusive members only release. To qualify as a member, all that you have to do is purchase all FdM releases for the year directly from the label or Heyday Music. In past years, the FdM annuals have been a cassette and a single or double vinyl 7-inch set. This year Keith has once again outdone himself. A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl is a double CD of 30 bands and Pink Floyd covers from their pre-Dark Side of the Moon days, which I assert was their best and most creative period. The songs are a mix of Syd Barrett’s solo work (“Golden Hair,” “Dark Globe,” “Terrapin,” and “Dominoes”), early Pink Floyd singles (“Candy and a Currant Bun,” “Apples and Oranges,” and “See Emily Play”), the “classics” (“Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” “Cirrus Minor,” “A Saucerful of Secrets,” “Grantchester Meadows,” and “Interstellar Overdrive”), and many others. Each band was given full freedom to choose the song they wanted to cover. I am sad that no one attempted “Astronomy Domine” or “Careful with that Axe Eugene.” One of the great things about these FdM annuals is that they contain music by existing FdM bands (e.g. Ilona V, Chemistry Set, Vespero, Sendelica, Vibravoid, and Crystal Jacqueline) and newly discovered artists (e.g. Max Kinghorn-Mills, Wild Pink Yonder, and Interstellar Emily). This set seems to be very different from other Pink Floyd tribute compilations. Perhaps it is due to the FdM bands not trying to sound polished, but instead retaining the 60s/70s psych vibe that pervaded early Floyd. The Chemistry Set’s cover of “See Emily Play” is simply astounding, with a surprise integration of the Beach Boys “Heroes and Villains”! I cannot begin to tell you about all 30 songs, that would take a book!
There is nearly two and a half hours of music here. So let me touch on the familiar tracks. The Magic Mushroom Band’s cover of “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” is a hypnotic and trippy reading of this classic song. Mordecai Smyth’s “Candy and a Currant Bun” is a lecherous treatment of Floyd’s single. Brooklyn’s Sky Picnic’s cover of “Apples and Oranges” is actually trippier than the original! And my favorite band of 2014, Octopus Syng presents a superb cover of “Flaming” from the first Floyd album. “Grantchester Meadows” is the perfect vehicle for Crystal Jacqueline, who outdoes Roger Waters. Newcomer Rob Gould covers “A Saucerful of Secrets” with prepared piano, electronics, and other syncopated random sounds that more than merely pays homage to the original. The tubular bells clinch the deal for me! “Interstellar Overdrive” has been covered so many times in the past that is hard to imagine someone breathing new life into this song, but Interstellar Emily apparently have closely studied the original and nearly recreated it for the 21st Century. And to close the set, we have the German psych/Krautrock masters Vibravoid and their unique cover of “Chapter 24,” that is more like Jan Kaczmarek’s Waiting for Halley’s Comet than Pink Floyd. So, if you are not an FdM member, the good news is that some of these great covers will released as limited edition vinyl singles next year, but only available at either of the two 2015 FdM festivals.
Related artist(s): Sky Picnic, Jay Tausig, Sendelica, Crystal Jacqueline (Bourne), Jack Ellister, Vibravoid, Octopus Syng, Mordecai Smyth, Various Artists, The Chemistry Set, Magic Mushroom Band, Cary Grace
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more
Steve Gorn, Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta - From the Caves of the Iron Mountain – Take a woodwind player and the early 80s rhythm section for Peter Gabriel (circa Security), put them together in a cave and you'd be surprised what they come up with! The second release from King... (1998) » Read more