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(Fruits de Mer Records)
Over the last year I have been fortunate enough to hear a few releases from Fruits de Mer records, and there is no doubt that they are rapidly becoming one of my very favourite record labels. Not only do they only release on vinyl, but they have an incredible roster of artists, some of whom are captured here on this double album release. It is an insight to what happened at the 2018 gathering of friends and extended family of Fruits de Mer Records and Sendelica at the festival held every summer in the Cellar Bar in Cardigan. Apparently, there were some gremlins which meant not all bands all songs were available for selection, but what we have here is mighty fine as it is. If you buy this direct from FdeM then it is available at the crazy price of just Pounds 20.00, and it is worth the price for the opening track alone! Elfin Bow blew me away with her version of “Who Knows Where The Time Goes” when it was released as a single last year, and here she accompanies herself with just delicate instrumentation and reverb for company as her wonderful vocals take this song to a whole new level. There are very few who would dare to take on a classic like this, but I am sure that Sandy is up there smiling down and saying, “You go girl”, as this is simply awesome and shows just what an incredible talent she is. The complete list of artists is Nik Turner's New Space Ritual, The Fertility Cult, Sendelica, The Alain Pire Experience, The Fellowship Of Hallucinatory Voyagers, Stay, Elfin Bow, Consterdine and I Am Voyager 1. I’m not a huge fan of everyone (Consterdine meanders through his keyboards in a way I found quite boring to be honest, although it could well have been different if I had been there), but the quality of the recording is superb and there is more than enough on here for everyone as we range from acoustic through psychedelia, electronica and space rock. Nik Turner is still driving the genre as he always has, no matter what band he is in, and he and his band of merry men show there is plenty of life in them yet as space rock their way through “Steppenwolf” and “Walking Backwards”, while Sendelica’s version of “Maggot Brain” (originally by Funkadelic) has to be heard to be believed as they have taken it to a whole new level. Surely one of the most important labels around, this is a great introduction to some of their artists.
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