Keith the Fruits de Mer boss came up with another crazy but wonderful idea: let's do a compilation of long covers songs of 60s/70s classics filling up one side of vinyl each and let's make it a 4LP box when we're at it! So what we get is eight excellent, loooong and sometimes very much extended cover tracks from Pink Floyd to Donna Summer!
The disc one is started with Pink Floyd's "Echoes" (one of the best pieces ever if you ask me) covered by Fruits de Mer newbies The Soft Bombs. The verses sound and feel pretty much like the original, but they have added more of their own touch and ideas to the middle guitar solo/jam part which is great. This sounds so good! I've never heard of Arcade Messiah before, but they sound more like a post-rock/post-metal band than psych band when they do a very unique and different version of Aphrodite's Child classic "Four Horsemen". I have to say that this song is sacred to me so I'm having some difficulties in trying to take in this version that is so different in style and construction. Arcade Messiah is perhaps a bit weird band to have on a FdM release but then again, you'd better expect the unexpected when ever there's something new coming out on this label! And I'm not saying this sounds bad, the boys are great musicians and make wonderful soundscapes sounding at times a bit like later prog metal Porcupine Tree. The vocoder-styled vocals are also pretty cool, but most of the track is instrumental.
My old favourites The Bevis Frond are next with the full, 24-minute version of "China", originally by the Electric Sandwich. A short edit of the same recording has been released before but this is the whole, extended psych jam and I love it! The rhythm section basically plays the same thing on and on while Nick gets to freak out with his guitar and we also hear some other weird sound effects in the mix (or is it just me going nuts?!). Wreaths is a new band for me and they do a rendition of "Sundown" by Gordon Lightwood. This is (luckily if you ask me) quite far away from the country rock style of the 1974 original. Great song, anyway, and I really enjoy this updated, dreamy and hypnotic shoegaze version that is the shortest track in the box at 16:37.
Finland's Superfjord always deliver the goods and this time they do it with a highly mind-altering and heady kraut/space rock version of "CTA-102" (The Byrds). Too bad thet they couldn't make it to to the Fruits de Mer's 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus festival in Wales in three weeks, since they are also really great live. This is definitely one of my favourites on this release. Keen FdM stalwarts The Luck of Eden Hall have a pretty demanding song to cover: "Starship Trooper" by Yes! But no worries, these gentlemen of course make it superbly. The track fits into the band's style surprisingly well and we again get some bonus jam parts and an extended ending since their version is two times as long as the original.
Julie's Haircut from Italy are also worth checking out and they add a more jazzy feel to this box with "Shh/Peacefully" by Miles Davis. Very cool! Welsh space/psych rock masters Sendelica have the honour of finishing this amazing compilation and you know what, they've decided to do it with a spacey, psychy version of the Donna Summer disco hit "I Feel Love"! This has been done before by Finnish band Kingston Wall, but the Sendelica version is a total 21-minute trip to the other side of the galaxy! They have added a long intro and outro, lots of synthesizers, space sounds and samples, smokey saxophone, space guitar etc. and I'm totally loving every second of it. What a way to end an excellent release that has great art work by The Luck of Eden Hall's Gregory Curvey and comes with a poster. You'd better order this eight-sided monster right away or you might miss it!