Strange fish #2 is the first of two double disc extravaganzas released on this most extraordinary series of releases and gathers together familiar and not so familiar names to the FdM brethren. This set arrives I believe in limited quantities of just 400 copies all pressed up on silver and white platters and again features an ear happening smorgasbord of future nuggets in the making. Perhaps the most experimental and dare I say most interesting of the four volumes. In some respects a real departure from the usual FdM fare not least side 1 wherein moon weevil – the extra curricula side project ovarious Cranium Pie-ers attempt orbital docking with the curious ’condentia’ which in truth sounds to these ears not unlike a buzzing Dadaist blip hop stew birthed in the basement of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop delivery room and zapped to life by some mutoid aural Frankenstein escapee fro the tigerbeat6 test lab. In sharp contrast Vespero – incidentally last heard on this turntable courtesy of a sublime reading of the faust gem ’jennifer’ – take things somewhat more mellowed and romantic, lulled by the regal cortege of sighing strings woven to a mysterious Viennese waltz filtered through opiate glazed viewfinders and distractively drizzled in a trippy amorphous trancey shell, ’red machine’ soon evolves and permeates its waxen captivity to mature deliciously into a soupy dream dazed slab of nu age loveliness replete in arabesque charms. Frankly one of the best ensembles we’ve had the pleasure of tripping across in many a year are organic is orgasmic, blighters never send records mind, however their ’as we speak of space and wisdom’ full length from 2011 was a set forged on a meticulous mooring of classicism and deft maturity, ’at dawn of men’ peeled from that set and found here is a quintessential blast of progged out cosmic ambient jazz that bears down with the intricate industry that out beards the Ozric Tentacles at their most far out and flying while pitting at polar opposites the aural ambitions of the enid and Edward ka spell at their most mercurial – nuff said. Sendelica make a welcomed return with ’80% neon bridge of sighs’ – guessing the clue is in the title when suggesting that this little nugget is inspired by Robin Trower’s ’bridge of sighs’ classic – spellbinding stuff, utterly chilled, sedate, sublime and kissed with the kind of stoned out floydian mind melting drifts that one suspects would serve as ear gear a go for a spot of astral planing – there’s the recent outing ’the kaleidoscopic kat and its autoscopic ego’ which name alone is
deserving of rooting out for closer listening pleasure. Is it okay to yow-zah of a track – we only ask because the temple music cut ’from the serene republic’ is like wow, a freak beat fancy that had our head expanding with its fuzzed out locked groove mysticism and deeply cosmic comatose third eye theatrics. Last and by no means least side 2 falls away with ’space orchid vs. massive drum kit’ from the grand Astoria, a deeply spiritually smoked and doped out cutie lush in a lulling array of finger picked arabesque swirls and softly spun psych folk florets, very transcendental and trippy even if I do say so myself. More of the same please. Over on side three things get very strange. First of two featured cuts from East Anglian maestro who goes under the mysterious monicker – Cat Frequency – the other cut can be found on Volume 4 – mentioned a little later I’d hazard to guess in this extended appraisal. Those among you who’ve laid awake at night troubled by thoughts of what a collision of zombi types with an ear for the shimmer toned harmonics of white noise mind sound like had they muddied the mix with some primitive beatnik frying ought to check out ’the fragmentation of st. veronica’s veil’ b the cat frequency which by our much humbled reckoning is a freak beaten motorik monolith of some noted worth. Encased in a gorgeously serene dream weaved pi-a-patter glazing that to these ears sounds not unlike a starry kissed sleepy headed lullaby soothed by what sounds like the distant DNA of the theme from the odd couple, Julie’s haircut – of whom should be no strangers to long time singled out missive readers – shimmer into consciousness with the mind drifting lilt of ’tarazed’ and emerge the other side of the haze with a locked grooved lovely heavily weighed in kraut-ian essences and spaced out with the needle cutting finery of dark captain light captain forming alliances with working for a nuclear free city. Recorded with valerio cosi and tiziano bianchi according to the tin ’asioli’ is a totally differing beast in design that superbly blends classicism, floral fancies, wierded out psyche, jazz junctures and krautrockian codas into a hulking sonic spectrum that’s high end on the brain food register and should be turntable candy for those seduced to the far out odysseys of tank and aquaserge to name but two reference markers. No information about weevil dropping alas – we were are of the thinking that this is moon weevil – guess the name gives it away – but this 15 second reprise is meant – on vinyl – pressing plant allowing – see out side three to a locked groove finale – the effect being lost and somewhat redundant on promo CD formats – but hey bet it sounds right groovy. Long time fruits de mer aficionados and the heads among you who love your headphonic experiences curdled in – shall we agree to say – a dense big bearded beatnik stew that looms and lurks like some ill begotten lovechild of a mountain meets godspeed bunk up will do well to hook up to mechanik’s triptych of delights. A humungous 24 minute spectacle tat veers into the fried freak beat stoned interior of cranium pie and the earthling society, from the sedate shimmer toned purr of the spacey ’you yourself are the teacher and the guru’ as it buzzes and whirrs amid a psychotropic haze one suspects initiated by those dudes seven that spells or the hallucinogenic meditation of the lonesome drift of the achingly hollowed ’radian’ as translated to an almost comatose spacemen 3 vibe to the colossal and epic void ventured on the opening ’kwangmyongsong’. quite out there and awesome if you ask me.