Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Strange Fish Four
(Fruits de Mer strange fish four, 2013, LP)

Various Artists — Strange Fish One
(Fruits de Mer strange fish one, 2013, LP)

Various Artists — Strange Fish Two
(Fruits de Mer strange fish two, 2013, 2LP)

Various Artists — Strange Fish Three
(Fruits de Mer strange fish three, 2013, 2LP)

Various Artists — Strange Fish Five
(Fruits de Mer strange fish five, 2013, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-07-14

Strange Fish Four Cover artStrange Fish One Cover artStrange Fish Two Cover artStrange Fish Three Cover artStrange Fish Five Cover art

In their never ending quest to plumb the nether reaches of the sea of neo-psychedelia and neo-Krautrock, the fine folk at Fruits de Mer have just released a new series of original, instrumental tracks, inspired by Krautrock, kosmische music motoric beats, progressive rock, acid-jams, minimalist, and ambient music. This new series is a departure from the usual covers of obscure jems. This massive set of vinyl and a CD features many of the contributors to Fruits de Mer releases along with some new names. Plus each volume has a different theme.

Strange Fish One is an LP of one artist per side of ambient synth, sequencer, and guitar muisc. Side one is devoted to two long tracks by Craig Padilla and side two is a 24 minute track by Sendelica. Padilla is an electronic musician who has been active for over 20 years, working in TV, theater, and film productions. This is his first FdM outing and using his arsenal of analog synths, sequencers, etc. Padilla provides some very nice floating electronics, Mellotron, and so on, reminiscent at times of Klaus Schulze. Sendelica need no introduction, as they have been part of FdM since its inception. And as it was true in the 70s and 80s, it does take a bit of patience and perseverance to make it through the music.

The theme for the Strange Fish Two double LP is Krautrock and progressive rock guitar-led music. Side one opens with a track by Moonweevil, who previously appeared on FdM’s Hollies Re-Evolution tribute last Spring. Next is a track by Vespero, another of the FdM artists appearing on earlier releases. And closing side one is a track by Organic Is Orgasmic, a new FdM band playing a combination of jazz and new age for some nice background music. Side two is another piece by Sendelica with long slow guitar chords and an obvious reference to Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs,” followed by a tracks by Temple Music and The Grand Astoria, who have appeared on several FdM releases including Head Music and Roqueting through Space. The Grand Astoria track, “Space Orchid vs. Massive Drumkit,” takes a while to build momentum from its initial chord strumming to finish with a lot of energy. Side three contains tracks by Cat Frequency (UK psych band) and Julie’s Haircut (very odd name for this Italian band), both new FdM bands. The Cat Frequency track is quiet and mysterious, ending with pentatonic sequences ala Tangerine Dream. Side four is dedicated to three tracks by Mechanik, a new Spanish band from Madrid. The first track “Kwangmyongsong” starts off slow and finally after four minutes it all comes together.

It isn’t until Strange Fish Three that the music kicks into gear. This volume is centered on kosmische music, motoric beats, and sequencer-driven music. Side one consists of tracks by Palace of Swords, Zenith: Unto the Stars, and Earthling Society, all long term FdM contributors. This is great music, lots of interesting things happening, and the tracks are just too short! Side two contains tracks by Dead Pylons, The Golden Cake Company, and one more track by Palace of Swords. The Dead Pylons and The Golden Cake Company are new Brit bands, with the Cake Company’s track having a strong Klaus Schulze vibe. Side three contains another Cake Company track, and three tracks by Vert:x who have appeared on FdM’s The Crabs Freak Out and Roqueting through Space. Vert:x’s “Bad Calibration” is a great Neu!-inspired track. Side four closes this volume with one track by Black Tempest and another by FdM long-timer Frobisher Neck. Black Tempest previously appeared on FdM’s Head Music with an outstanding cover of Klaus Schulze’s “Bayreuth Return.” Now they present the 14 minute “Energy of Stars.” The closing track “Underwater Starblob” is seven minutes of pure bliss calling to mind Harmonia and Popol Vuh.

Having made it this far is Strange Fish Four, a single LP of acoustic guitar and ambient electronics. Side one contains one track by Cat Frequency, two by Organic Is Orgasmic, two by Zenith: Unto the Stars, and one track by The Vox Humana. The Organic tracks are outstanding and very different. “Chinese Horoscope” sounds like it could have been on Neu! 75 and “Lifeless Void” is firmly in the kosmische music camp. The other outstanding track is Vox Humana’s “Shortwave Radio and the Ionosphere.” Side two opens with four tracks by James McKeown, who is also involved with long time FdM contributors Hi-Fiction Science and the Dead Pylons. These cosmic acoustic tracks are followed by Temple Music’s “Dreaming of Flying East,” an excellent track of Popol Vuh meeting Harmonia, and the closing melodic synth track “Spirals” by the Bordellos, an FdM band first appearing on FdM’s 2012 Annual.

For purchasers of the four volumes, FdM also included a bonus CD of additional tracks by Elevation, Jay Tausig, The Golden Cake Company, The Cream People, Mademoiselle Marquee, Oceanfire, Purple Rock Trip, Beau, and The Amazing Sounds of D. B. Turi. Except for Jay Tausig, who has appeared on numerous FdM releases, these bands are making their FdM debut. Of special note is Mademoiselle Marquee’s “Salvia,” which is an excellent piece heavily influenced by Ashra, and The Cream People’s outstanding blend of Harmonia, Neu!, and Ashra on “Will of the Cusp.”

This was a mammoth undertaking with many peaks and valleys, but though everything included here may not appeal to you, there is a ton of new and excellent music from many up and coming new artists and bands.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Earthling Society, Craig Padilla, Jay Tausig, Sendelica, Zenith: Unto the Stars, Frobisher Neck, Vert:x, The Grand Astoria, Colin Consterdine

More info
http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Schicke Führs Fröhling (SFF) - The Collected Works of Schicke Führs Fröhling – During their brief yet productive career from 1976 to 1978, the trio of Ede Schicke (drums), Gerd Führs (keys), and Heinz Fröhling (guitar, Mellotron) produced three outstanding albums on...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues