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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Strange Fish Three CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.00 | 2 ratings

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4 stars UK label FRUITS DE MER RECORDS was formed back in 2008, and have since the onset specialized in a small select field: To release new versions of old classic and forgotten jewel tracks of a psychedelic and cosmic nature on limited edition vinyl singles. As the label have grown in stature they've also started to release some original material, and in 2013 they launched their most ambitious project so far: A series of four full length album productions to be released on vinyl albums, two of them double features, and a fifth bonus album on their first ever factory pressed CD made for those who buy all the vinyl releases. All of these containing new, original material.

The third installment in this series is also the second of the double features, two vinyl albums of music that in this case appears to revolve around instrumental excursions of which the majority are electronic based constructions with references to artists such as Kraftwerk, Tangrine Dream and Klaus Schulze, as well as quite a few others those more well versed in this type of music than me presumably can enjoy uncovering.

Palace of Swords have been represented with three short contributions spread out amongst the others on the first LP, all of them alluring minimalistic constructions sporting two contrasting elements supplementing each other quite perfectly for such brief excursions. Opening piece Live At The Aberdeen Witch Trials 1597 and later on Vicus Lemurum two truly brilliant examples, and as the concluding song on side B The Temple Of Golden Rays is almost as enticing with it's Asian-tinged atmosphere. Zenith:Unto The Stars' contribution Gemini is a construction that should please fans of Tangerine Dream with it's brief and brilliant blend of complex electronic percussion and rich array of synth motifs and effects. In a slight detour from the otherwise electronic oriented excursions Earthling Society's three part construction The Vampire's Kiss is an enthralling composition with a strong and distinct atmosphere with nervous acoustic guitars and later on piano as the key ingredients with an eerie ticking clock and child voice construction in between crafting a truly unsettling mood. Dead Pylons three contributions Theme From The Dead Pylons, Osiris and Dream Cargoes are contributions of a kind that should interest fans of bands like Kraftwerk, the first of these a compelling array of reverberating, oscillating, swirling and surging futuristic sounds, the latter two based around a machine-like electronic percussion exploring a dark and moody and a lighter toned and uplifting atmosphere respectively.

The Golden Cake Company are featured with two contributions each clocking in at just over 7 minutes, Thrum Mystique a gentle, dreamladen electronic construction with a mesmerizing atmosphere, while Arthurian is a somewhat more demanding but compelling creation of a kind that should appeal strongly to fans of artists like Tangerine Dream. Vert:x have been represented with three tracks, a dark drone-driven affair called A Floating Mass Of Metal And Heavy Electricity and two effective guitar and cosmic effects laden affairs with more of a classic Hawkwind sound in the shape of Bad Calibration and Killer Beez respectively. Black Tempest's epic length Energy of Stars is more of a one-dimensional affair where the main part revolves around a dizzying electronic percussion element Kraftwerk style, sporting many intriguing sequences but didn't manage to maintain a strong alluring mood throughout for me. Frobisher Neck's somewhat shorter Underwater Starblob a creation of a similar nature, the chosen electronic percussion on this one a dominant sound whose presence will turn people on or off to the moods explored, and personally I found this dominant detail to be more annoying than compelling.

The end result, as just about always with productions that comes courtesy of Fruits de Mer Records, is a strong collection of material. If not always strongly compelling the contributions are never uninteresting, and the majority of compositions of a kind and nature that warrants a description as well worth getting familiar with. Fans of progressive and psychedelic electronic music the key audience for this third installment in the Strange Fish series presumably, but with contributions that should intrigue also those without a keen interest in purebred electronic material.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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