The Crabs Sell Out/The Crabs Freak Out
the 2012 Fruits de Mer members-only freebie - 2 1/2 hours of exclusive music across 2CDs
If you're a member of the FdM members club and you've been showering me with cheques or paypal transfers all year (or if you're outside the UK, if you've been doing the same to Nick at Heyday Mail Order), when you receive your December box of Fruits de Mer vinyl, there'll be some CD-thingies sneaking into the package, rubbing shoulders with their bigger and better vinyl relatives. If you're not a member, or if you've been climbing into the meetings over the fence at the back without paying, then you'll have to read this with an ever-mounting feeling of jealousy because this year's members freebie is a double CD featuring new and exclusive tracks from the likes of The Bevis Frond, The Pretty Things, Paul Roland, Sendelica, Vibravoid, Stay, Beau and Anton Barbeau
...there are even songs from artists whose first tracks on a Fruits de Mer 'commercial release' won't be available until some time in 2013. 150 minutes of original songs, virtually all previously unreleased.
The artists involved have all contributed their recordings entirely free-of-charge so that they can join me in thanking you for your support during 2012 - and i must record my thanks to all of them for being great to work with, thank goodness they're happy to work with a label as shambolic as FdM!
Proper record labels would be charging you an arm and a leg for this compilation - dear god, exclusive tracks by The Pretty Things and The Bevis Frond for starters! If you're not a member, it's too late for 2012 but no doubt i'll come up with something similarly-bank-balance-busting in 2013, so maybe it's worth becoming an FdM member now? Email me for more details.
The full list of artists appearing...
THE CRABS SELL OUT:
Soft Hearted Scientists, Leigh Gregory, The Past Tense, Stay, Beau, Paul Roland, The Pretty Things, King Penguin, Permanent Clear Light, Sky Picnic, The Seventh Ring Of Saturn, Anton Barbeau, Jack Ellister, Rob Clarke and The Wooltones, The Lucid Dream, Johnny Vines
THE CRABS FREAK OUT:
The Chemistry Set, Vert:x, Earthling Society, Sendelica, Vespero, Helicon, Hills Have Riffs,
Red Elektra '69, The Luck Of Eden Hall, Anla Courtis, Temple Music. Language of Light
here are a few excerpts - and if you're not an FdM frequent flier, that's all you're getting....
and if youve got this far, here's a bit of context to all this 'member' thing...
Every year since we started the label, Andy and I tried to come up with something special to say a big thank you to all the FdM members for their support over the previous twelve months.
Andy decided about a year ago it was time to focus on his writing, so for the last 12 months it’s just been me, you, and all the brilliant artists that grace the grooves of FdM, along with Nick at Heyday, Johan at Clear Spot, Anouk at Record Industry, Fran Ashcroft our mastering engineer, and countless other people who make it possible for me to claim that Fruits de Mer is now a one-man label, not forgetting my missus Liz (who thought i was retiring a couple of years ago when I packed up the day-job!)
This year's freebie started out as 'The Crab Sells Out' - a CD compilation based very loosely based on 'The Who Sell Out' - 40 minutes of music and mock ads. As usual, it ended up as something completely different, as only Rob Clarke and The Wooltones came up with any ads, but band after band offered up new, original and previously-unreleased songs (or mixes of songs); 40 minutes quickly became 70 minutes and, once things burst through the 75 minutes barrier, everything got seriously out of control...'The Crab' became 'The Crabs' and a budget-busting 150 minutes of music spread across two CDs.
So, the double CD is my way of saying thank you to all the FdM members who've bought regularly from me, or from Nick at Heyday, throughout 2012. FdM has continued to develop as a label thanks to your support, and I still get a kick out of the whole thing thanks to your feedback. It's also all the artists' way of saying thank too for your interest – all that any of them are getting out of this is a couple of copies of the finished product for themselves, so i hope you'll check out their websites, their back catalogues and future releases - a couple of them have described Fruits de Mer as being like part of an extended family, and i can't think of any better way to describe it – artists, members, listeners, reviewers, shops, producers - it's a bloomin' joy to be working and corresponding with genuinely nice people.
Hang on, i was going to tell you about the music on the CDs...actually, there's a fair bit of information on the CD inserts, including everyone's FdM criminal records, so I'll just add a bit of colour...
The Crabs Sell Out
...kicks off with The Past Tense, and their very first song called, coincidentally, 'The Past Tense', dusted down and psychedelically-enhanced for this CD (cracking band, they play the Half Moon in Putney regularly). Next up are Spanish new-psych band Stay with a remix from their 'Things You Cannot See' LP, then three US artists in Sky Picnic, Anton Barbeau and The Seventh Ring Of Saturn, with a new song, a long-lost song and a new mix of a song, respectively.
Nick Saloman has dug into his never-ending archive to uncover with a I-can't-believe-this-hasn't-been released-before Bevis Frond recording, while Jack Ellister offers up an epic track from his forthcoming album - a whole LP in three minutes.. Rob Clarke and The Wooltones come up with a great ad AND a great new song, and The Lucid Dream deliver an amazing live version of 'Hits Me Like I'm Stoned', taken from a Dandelion Radio session.
Back to the USA, for two high-class tracks from the equally high class King Penguin and Johnny Vines and then onto two names that are new to Fruits de Mer - Soft Hearted Scientists and Leigh Gregory: both will have their own releases on FdM in 2013 and i thought you'd like to hear tasters of what they do. Then it's John Peel's Dandelion-label 'veteran' Beau (sorry, Trev) with an unreleased track from the early 80s called 'Poor Old Thing', that somehow seemed to resonate when i was trying to pull the CDs and the December singles releases together (I picked up Beau's first LP in a little vinyl shop in Brighton recently and was well-pleased with myself - I'd never even seen a copy before) and Paul Roland chips in with his homage to the 60s BBC TV series, 'Adam Adamant', which i'm easily old enough to remember.
Permanent Clear Light attempt to see us off the premises with seriously-deranged live recording that reminds me never to compete in a drinking-contest with a Finn, and then a real bonus I managed to squeeze onto the end of the CD - an exclusive, live version of the mighty 'Rosayln', by the even more mighty Pretty Things – what a buzz it's been to work with Mark St. John and the band in 2012, next year is 50 years since the band first got together, make sure you catch them live!
The Crabs Freak Out
The second CD is a little more instrumentally-inclined than CD1 and begins in style with the intro music that The Chemistry Set play at their gigs, after which Vespero dive into the sea for their track and Red Elektra '69 look to the skies for theirs (I love Red Elektra's straight-for-the-jugular approach - I really must see them live soon). Then it's onto Fruits de Mer faves Vibravoid with a remixed/remastered version of 'Random Generated Future' (I hear they might be gigging in the UK in 2013).
Vert:x give us 8 minutes of Cube Abuse live (I wanted to include their 15 minute version, but a triple CD would have put Tales Of Topographic Oceans to shame). Then more live sounds, this time a radio session from the Luck of Eden Hall, who get close to krautrocking on this track to my ears.
Sounds get nicely stretched over the next four tracks, with Sendelica, Anla Courtis, Earthling Society and Temple Music all coming up with new songs that are exclusive to this compilation; look out for more from at least a couple of these guys on Fruits de Mer in the first half of 2013.
The kosmische side of things take charge for the final five songs on The Crabs Freak Out, with Scotland's Helicon opening and closing proceedings (you may notice a slight similarity in their two tracks); sandwiched between them are Hills Have Riffs, Language Of Light and Palace Of Swords - it's like a 'Head Music' reunion party!
So that makes a total of 32 tracks, 31 artists, about 2 1/2 hours of music and virtually every note is exclusive to this compilation. I don't expect everyone to like every track but i defy you not to find your own gems amongst them.
I've produced just over 400 copies of the double CD set - around 300 are going to FdM members who been helping keep the Fruits de Mer bank balance above water during 2012, the rest are going to the artists who have donated the tracks and to the reviewers and DJs who have been good enough to listen to, review and play Fruits de Mer's releases over the last 12 months - my thanks to all of you for spreading the word, and it's usually been a positive one.
2013 is going to begin with a flourish, with two album releases that I think you'll like - but that's months away (oh good grief, oh not it isn't - time to start panicking again), meanwhile I hope you enjoy the rest of 2012.
All copyrights reserved 2012
...hear the tracks.. ..buy the vinyl.. ..smell the fish... firstname.lastname@example.org