Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Plankton
(Fruits de Mer , 2013/2016, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-11-21

Plankton Cover art

In 2013 Record Collector magazine launched a new series of albums focused on labels they rated as “modern collectibles.” Righty they chose Fruits de Mer as their first release containing remastered selections from the first dozen or so FdM releases, which also happen to be sold out. That LP was only available through Record Collector. Now, three years later, the magazine has given FdM permission to release 300 copies of a CD that includes the same 10 tracks plus a bonus track from The Pretty Things that was originally included as a one-sided 7”. Represented here are bands and musicians who may be familiar to you if you have been following my FdM reviews over the years. I never reviewed these early releases as they pre-dated my introduction to the label. However, if you read my interview with Andy Bracken, he mentions these artists as he talks about FdM's formative years. The first track is an excellent cover of Van der Graaf Generator’s and BBC’s “Theme One” by Schizo Fun Addict from the very first FdM release in 2008. Not only do we have the instrumental, but there is some cool Sci Fi dialog floating around the mix. Track two is Spanish band Stay’s cover of a Strawberry Alarm Clock tune “Rainy Day, Mushroom Pillow.” This cover contains a trippy psychedelic organ and sitar. Track 3 is from the German psych/krautrock masters Vibravoid, who are the primary reason I discovered FdM in the first place. Vibravoid actually appears twice on this album. First with a killer cover of Amon Duul II’s “Eye Shaking King” and then on track 9 a superb cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” The fourth track features Mellow Candle’s Alison O’Donnell with a very cool and sinister cover of Nick Drake’s “Day Is Done.” In 1971 acid folkster Mark Fry recorded his solo album Dreaming with Alice that included the title track split into separate verses, with each snippet interspersed between the other album tracks. For FdM’s fifth release (2009), the A Side featured the song in its entirety and that appears as track 5 on Plankton. Finnish acid folk duo Us & Them cover Tudor Lodge’s “Home to Stay” for track 6. In typical Us & Them fashion, their cover is a minimal dreamy version. Sidewalk Society from the US West Coast brought their trippy cover of The Bee Gee’s “Red Chair, Fade Away” to FdM in 2010 and this appears as track 7. There is even a sense of Beatle-esque studio trickery ala “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Next we have The Chemistry Set’s fantastic acoustic guitar and Mellotron laced cover of Del Shannon’s psych classic “Silver Birch.” The LP closed with Hausfrauen Experiment’s cover of Brian Eno’s “Baby’s on Fire” that sounds like a techno remix / edit plus analog synths. And the CD closes with The Pretty Things playing “Midnight to Six” live. An excellent introduction to the FdM label and an opportunity to sample music from FdM’s early years that is no longer available.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases, 2013 recordings

Related artist(s): Alison O'Donnell, The Pretty Things, Sidewalk Society, Stay, Vibravoid, Us & Them, Schizo Fun Addict, Mark Fry, Various Artists, The Chemistry Set

More info
http://expose.org/index.php/articles/display/the-fruits-de-mer-interview-6.html

Latest news

2020-01-21
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

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
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

2020-01-12
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

2020-01-10
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


Previously in Exposé...

André Andersen - Changing Skin – Anderson is the keyboardist of Royal Hunt, a progressive metal band from Denmark that released the album Paradox on Magna Carta a couple years ago (and four more on other labels before that). The...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues