crystal jacqueline

And so to Crystal Jacqueline, last mentioned here – if that is you don’t count the honey pot album (see elsewhere) – via a rather nifty cut cooked up for those dudes at Fruits de Mer wherein she turned in three exceptional covers of lost classics originally penned by the troggs, the stones and second hand which in case you missed first time of asking are all here for your discerning ear. ‘sun arise’ be the name of the collection, a formidable set that sees Jacqueline calling upon the sister craft of Bunyan, Nico, Dyble (especially on the baroque folk treasure ‘by the way‘), Kristina (the flipped out fluorescently detailed ’love is light’), Slick (most notably it has to be said on the cosmic prog voyage that is ‘dream I’) and Perhacs to evoke a truly kaleidoscopic aural experience that dips between the shadowy impasses that exist amid the twilight cracks unifying psychedelia, prog and freak folk. However before we venture forth I’d just like to say that weird things afoot in our gaff – all loosely connected to this release (not that I’m saying we’ve been hex’d or anything I’m sure ex wives have seen to that) which is beginning to disturb us a tad for we’ve now managed to not only mislay the press release but two copies of this album along with (and I probably dreamed this) a complimentary missive from CJ following our review of the aforementioned FdM single. Now I don’t believe in mystic portals and other such nonsense but I am beginning to think that some releases that venture our listening space have an unnerving habit of assuming legs and scuttling off to party hard with other impish escapees. Therefore due to this we are in fact reduced to listening to this via the Mega Dodo band camp given that a thorough reconnaissance of the gaff has still yet to upturn said errant discs. Anyhow enough of that to the album in hand, ‘sun arise’ opens sensibly enough with the title track – an out there glam kissed Tibetan transcendental nugget – arguably the first time you’ve probably seen the descriptors glam, Tibetan and transcendental in the same sentence (you wait they’ll all be doing it soon), this blighter comes possessed of a strutting kick and hazily glazed groove of such medicinal attributes one might suspect its packed its own peace pipe for the journey. Appearing originally on that aforementioned FdM outing ‘a fairy tale’ is a kookily day-glowing freak beat happening atop oozing in acid fried riffola and shoehorned by tooting 60’s key serenades atop of which prowls the feline purr of a youthful Ms Harry – can do no wrong. ‘play with fire’ tis the second of those three exceptional covers, this one being in a class of its own, far darker than the Stones original and trimmed with a subtle menace that presides over a serious wasted and entrancing acid psyche motif. ‘cousin Jane’ completes the covers triptych, an exquisite and macabre melodic mosaic sweetly arrested by the grand and ornate dimpling of frosted atmospherics which aside imparting a degree of reverential gravitas also somewhat endows the spectacle in an ice dripped enchanted embrace. ‘fly a kite’ – what can we say. I’ll admit we here have always had something of a soft spot for the film ‘Mary Poppins’ – but shhh don’t tell anyone else, so it was a heartening and a eyebrow raising occasion to hear this airily dreamy sort softly weaving through the speakers before it headed off to touch stratospheric heights. Best moments of the set, and there are many, we suggest you track the haunting and bewitchingly dark hearted Nico-esque ‘who do you love’ as it pirouettes upon a gorgeously brooding madrigal that ripples with feigned passion to the lovelorn incline of chiming corteges and hollowed twinkle tones. Maybe not quite in design, ’Alice’ mirrors in spirit and subject matter Jefferson Airplane’s ’white rabbit’, both inspired by the brace of books that formed Carroll’s Victorian fantasia and here trip wired to a thoroughbred English eccentricity spirited upon the surreal warping psyche of Syd Barrett. Elsewhere there’s the cast adrift and shyly bruised and hollowed sensuality of ‘I break’ sounding as though its fallen from the final cut of the ‘wicker man’ soundtrack and the snake winding lysergic arabesque opine that dusts the warning calling parting shot ‘sundown’. a classic modern day evocation of folked out progressively psychedelicised magicalia – nuff said.

Incidentally this release is the subject of one of those pledge music type things wherein you can pay up, place your pre order and help get this fine audio adventure pressed upon thick slabs of yellow vinyl – just follow the various links around

Just in case you need to hook up to our review of CJ’s outing for FdM it’s here……

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