Saturday, 9 November 2013

Various - The Fruits de Mer 2014 Annual

Three bands, five tracks! Fruits De Mer Records find a home for the weird and wonderful. Limited 7” colour vinyl pressing with tracks from Astralasia, The Raiders and The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies.

A marvellously eclectic bag which somehow holds together, this shared 7” opens with a spirited surf-guitar version of the Joe 90 theme tune, performed by the oddly monikered Blue Giant Zeta Puppies. The band also put their souped-up-surf stamp on John William's Lost In Space. Fans of Man Or Astroman will no doubt approve.

Astralasia is a band I never thought I'd see appear on a Fruits De Mer record. The long-serving trance and dub specialists have turned in a version of Johnny Remember Me complete with a Lee Marvin-esque deep vocal. The song was originally a hit for John Leyton and was Joe Meek's first number one record. Here the band have brought the song kicking and screaming into the modern age yet kept that eerie otherworld quality that made it a special song in the first place.

Joe Meek is also a name that springs to mind on hearing The Raiders track on this compilation single. I Remember is an unreleased instrumental from 1964, and features a guitarist called Trevor Midgley AKA Beau, who went on to release albums on John Peel's Dandelion label. Why the track was unreleased is a mystery as it's a real gem. Perhaps its haunting and eerie Meeks-meets-David-Lynch quality was too much for folks back in the pre-England swings era. Anyway it's available here now so check it out.

The best is saved for last though with Astralasia's Johnny In Dub. A heavy skanking dub mix of Johnny Remember Me. Again, even with Fruits De Mer testing the time limits of a 7” single there still enough deep groove on this record to carry the room-shaking bass-line. Nice!

1 – The Giant Blue Zeta Puppies – Joe 90 Theme
2 – Astralasia – Johnny Remember Me
3 – The Giant Blue Zeta Puppies – Lost In Space
4 – The Raiders – I Remember
5 – Astralasia – Johnny In Dub

Click here for The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies on Facebook.
Click here for the Astralasia website.
Click here for the Fruits De Mer website.