Those of you subscribing to the forthcoming Fruits de Mer release schedule, that’ll be those essential Fuchsia and Sendelica happenings, will find tucked into your parcels a limited CD compilation going by the name ‘a gathering of the fish’. A mixed ten-track gathering of instrumentals from folks well-known to the FdM community and some not so well known, though in the fulness of time might well prove to be regular fixtures. It’s a set that you might fancy kicking back a tad and finding yourself a wee window of seclusion with which to chill for something perfectly cobbled together for these summer days and sultry nights. the Ilk open matters with the quite adoring ‘the forest break’, teased in bucolic sprays and somewhat fashioned in a becoming late 60’s noir setting, there’s something of L’Augmentation attaching to these lushly toned romantic swathes. Previously unknown to us, Man and Machine step up to the plate with ‘Earthman (lost in space)’ and into the bargain serve up some nifty atmospheric laid-back moods that hint of a Floyd admirer or two amid their assembled ranks which is no bad thing if the softly psychedelicised murmurs are as mellow as this. Next up, Nathan Hall and the Sinister Locals, fresh from fond words for his new ‘Tunguska Tydfil’, ‘like a setting sun’ is taken from the instrumental version of his solo debut ‘effigies’ and is marked out principally for its wonderfully lolloping pastoral twists which on initial moments shadow plays with Nick Drake. Delphini, I’m assuming one of the newies as I don’t recall straight away having heard them previously, herewith ‘nova boss’ which might be best described as a trippy dub pill and has something of a Dreadzone vibe going attaching, though that’ll be Dreadzone re-filtered through the creative mind of Astralasia, well stoned with some woozy touches of arabesque happenings. If memory serves me right,I’m probably wrong, but I might have new Vespero tucked among our must listen stash, for now here’s ‘the curse of Abagaz’ captured in all its live glory, all seventeen minutes which during its gestation period manages to trip the same genre bending tapestry as both Sendelica and earthling society in so far as the spiking of some seriously senses frying and head flipping jazz psych prog stonerism. Pardon me but the mere fact that this is the ‘Dusseldorf motorik mix’ of Das Blaue Palais’ ‘Zeitfield’ should give adequate hint as to where we are going with this one, a control cruising galactic groover which in truth wouldn’t look to out of place lurking on a platter by Dan Carney’s current sonic exploration Astronauts as were in a starry storm with old school space navigators Fly. Been such a long while since we had Black Tempest gracing our ear space that we were considering filing a missing person’s report, ‘Archipelago’ aside being the most serene and tripping thing here, arrives intricately smothered in all manner somnambulant dream drifts, a cosmic pastoral if you like, decorating the dark stellar voids in prettified twinkling posies. Like Black Tempest, we’d had concerns that the much-admired Blue Giant Zeta Puppies had disappeared into oblivion, herewith the lulling lunar lullaby that is ‘love song of the Saroos’ which I’m sure they won’t mind us saying, sounds like some cosmic campfire gathering of the Clangers elders and is that the rarely heard Theremin we hear in full tilt, very Joe Meek one should say. Another new to us, Mercy and the Sea’s ‘we fight to win’ is a hefty slab of classic 70’s boog-a-loo very much sharpened in the likeness of the Mac with a more than healthy side serving of Mountain helping in the colossal beard forming cocktail. The Hoodoo Dial draws matters to a close with ‘Future Wizards Records’ which I’m guessing isn’t strictly speaking the actual title but their label, anyhow whatever the case one thing is for sure, these dudes know their way around a fret board and turn in a nifty account of stoner blues which in truth had us of a mind to go rummaging for our stash of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Nuff said.