Wednesday, 22 October 2014

fruits de mer take on the impossible

Like any independent record label you might follow, after a period of time you become familiar with the style of music and which artists they pick for their releases. This is the main reason why anyone might follow a label rather than just the artist.
It did use to to be more common decades back, whether it was back to the days of Chris Blackwell's progressive rock and reggae of Island Records, or Zappa's avante garde label Bizarre, or the prog rock of the Harvest label, or the punk of Stiff Records, you can probably name your own favourite. The beauty of it was you could trust these guys to find an album or artist you'd probably never even heard of, or dreamed of listening too, yet based on the labels previous output you sort of trusted their judgment. As a result it often produced a very varied listening experience and was never boring, which ever generation you came from. Of course as the independent labels became sucked up by the giant corporates so was that vital ingredient one of the old style independent labels were often prepared take, imagination. Or perhaps it was just the love of a new idea, something different.

In the case of Fruits De Mer who we've been following for last couple years their choice of psychedelic and progressive music, progressive that is in the original sense as opposed to 'Prog Rock', releasing their vinyl 7" records has been fascinating. Thanks to the guiding light behind the label, Keith Jones, who undoubtedly comes from a generaton that remembers and loved those long gone independent labels and their artists, has always stuck to his principals when it comes to Fruits De Mer vinyl. Have some fun. Take some risks.
It's been a real pleasure to see how the label has grown over the last couple of years, and in the face of stubbornly indifferent responses by the likes of the mainstream music press, there is at least one music mag that have recently backed them, Record Collector. Sure, FDM's limited edition vinyl is always collectible, but it would be hoped that Record Collector also see the pleasure this label is bringing to a lot of folk out there who still like their music to have credibility and and that scarce commodity, integrity.

So it is always with great interest we read any FDM promo on what their new line of vinyl is going to produce next. And to be honest the sight of one particular 7 inch release due out in November provokes the imagination immediately. It's not only daring, but in the face of the labels past years releases is wildly unpredictable to the point of outrageous. For this time, FDM have teamed up two bands on one vinyl EP who have in themselves dared take on what has until now been deemed by most sane musicians as nigh on impossible. The little matter of on one side, Superfjord covering John Coltrane's circular breathing jazz opus 'Love Supreme', and on the other by Earthling Society covering the transcendentally perfect and impossibly sublime 'Journey In Satchidananda' by Alice Coltrane, John's wife and inspiration. To even mention the prospect of covering these two inspirational jazz milestones to even the most experienced of jazz musicians would normally bring about hoots of derision or accusations akin to near heresy, and certainly over the years there's no recollection from these quarters of a single alternative version ever existing to that of the originals.
Until now that is, and Fruits De Mer have dug out this pair of tyro outfits to share the results on this treasure of vinyl simply called 'Coltrane'. The fact that it's been produced as an EP is even more outrageous and rather hilarious given the originals are near the whole side of an LP, and it has to be likely the bands own versions have been reduced in length to fit the 7 inch vinyl, it's known the Earthling Society do have a version which is at least 15 minutes long, although Superfjord's version of 'Love Supreme' is a more manageable 6 plus minutes so ought to just about squeeze on the record.

So maybe it has taken two rock bands to take on the impossible because.. well... they just love the music and are not afraid of the risk. But it's also taken a label as daring as Fruits De Mer to make it all fall into place for this November. You can just imagine Keith Jones grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of it all. Risk.. what risk!

The 'Coltrane' EP also comes with a 70 minute CD including exclusive Astralasia remixes all for £5.50. All the details and advance ordering from Fruits de Mer website Here is Superfjord's - "A Love Supreme" although the FDM verison will have their usual eye for detail and production value so may vary to this video version.