Archive for October 10, 2013

Various Artists – “The Regal Crabomophone Annual for 2014″ (Regal Crabomophone 2013, Winkle13, 7″ vinyl)

Regal Crabomophone is the Fruits der Mer Records sub-label created to release both original songs and covers, and like the Fruits de Mer annuals, this one finds a home for songs that FdM Keith could fit in anywhere else during the year.

On this year’s annual we’re treated to two tasty originals. Mark McDowell is a UK based musician I don’t think I’ve heard before. His Girls Of Belvoir is a beauty of a lilting folk-pop-psych song with woodwinds and violin, pulsating phased guitar, and sporadic guitar leads that add an edge to this otherwise dreamy song. I need to explore more of Mark’s music.

Octopus Syng was for a long time a solo project of Finnish musician Jaire, though I think he may have taken on more members now. His Listen With The Moths is a perfect companion to Mark McDowell’s song. It starts off as a gentle but rhythmic folky brand of 60s inspired psychedelia. But after a few minutes the music blasts off into a heavier rocking but trippily angelic psych tune. I love the vocal harmonies which are gorgeously retro 60s. And at nearly 8 minutes Jaire really stretches out and we get some scrumptious psychy guitar leads.

The single will be available mid-November, and as usual this is vinyl ONLY, no CDs or downloads. If interested you better hurry because Fruits de Mer releases sell out QUICK!

For more information visit the Fruits de Mer Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Various Artists – “Fruits de Mer Records – Live In London” (Fruits de Mer Records 2013, Crustacean 45, 7″ vinyl)

I’ll start by telling you that unless you regularly purchased Fruits de Mer Records releases throughout 2013 you can’t get this. So why am I reviewing it? I’ve grown to love this label so call it a “membership has its privileges” plug. Being a Fruits de Mer “member” simply means that if you purchase all their vinyl delights throughout the year you get an oh so awesome freebie as the end year holidays roll in.

In August the label held their first ever live event – the Fruits de Mer All-Dayer, held in London and featuring Jack Ellister (Netherlands), Sendelica (Wales), The Luck Of Eden Hall (US), Stay (Spain), and headliners The Pretty Things. The members’ freebie this year is a 7″ featuring one track from all but The Pretty Things, who had to be excluded because they’ve got a live album coming out soon.

Jack Ellister is a psychedelic maestro who did an acoustic set at the All-Dayer and his Old South is a lovely tune with a 70s singer-songwriter feel. Stay’s I Don’t See Myself is a swingin’ slab of R&B infused psychedelia. Sendelica’s Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Buddha is a cool rhythmic blend of trippy tribal and ethnic influences wrapped around a Pink Floyd Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun core. And The Luck Of Eden Hall do a feisty spaced out rockin’ cover of Pink Floyd’s Lucifer Sam. Wish I could have attended this event!

For more information visit the Fruits de Mer Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Dave Mihaly & the Shimmering Leaves Ensemble – “Rivers” (self-released 2013, CD)

I’ll get your attention by saying that Dave Mihaly has done time as percussionist in Mushroom, having played on a half dozen of their albums. Rivers is the second of his Shimmering Leaves Ensemble albums and features an interesting and varied collection of steadily brewing free-jazz, ambient-jazz, and vocal numbers. But that’s a simplistic description of this 13 track collection which is ultimately difficult to adequately describe.

I like the acoustic guitar and percussion rhythms which inject a strange but pleasant vibe on Oil Painting for Adolphe Sax & Coleman Hawkins. The viola sings and the horns blow some jazzy swing. Other highlights include A Bientot, a melancholy viola, trumpet and acoustic guitar instrumental, best described by the last line of the CD notes – “like wisteria and Spanish moss drooping down from hazy rafters some golden afternoon.” There’s an element of free-form experimental exploration on Mudang, yet it’s accessible and pleasant, with mildly wailing and singing horns that are efx’d and may even be looped. It’s all very slow and understated with a beautiful drifting ambience. Willoughby and Red Mask features an avant-jazz combination of high energy drumming, dueling trumpet, sax and viola, and old time funky wah’d guitar. Among my favorites is Honu, which after an avant-jazz inspired mariachi intro transitions to ambient guitar, viola and horns backed by free-jazz drumming. This is a perfect warm-up for the 9 minute multi-faceted title track, which consists of a cool grooving blend of lounge jazz and Coltrane, a lovely trumpet and singing viola duet, and acoustic guitar tripping along slowly to free-jazz percussion and an underlying tension laden ambience, which gets nicely screechy and borders on the psychedelic. Lots happening here. There are also 4 vocal numbers. I’m not good at singer-songwriter analogies but The Cat Tried to Catch a Hummingbird is like a Tom Waits song with tastefully jamming sax and whimsical percussion. The one that really caught my attention, though, is Cherry Blossom Road, with its spacey ambience and distant ghostly viola that surrounds Dave singing along to slowly soloing electric guitar.

In summary, an interesting set that I wouldn’t begin to know how to classify. Jazz fans may be intrigued. Singer-songwriter fans might get confused. Adventurous types with cross-genre tastes will find much to enjoy across repeated spins.

For more information you can visit the Dave Mihaly web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Brian Noring & Dave Fuglewicz – “Furious Cactus” (self-released 2013, Download)

Brian Noring is a veteran electronic music hometaper from Iowa who had been inactive until recently inspired to return to music by Hal McGee, another homemade music luminary who long time Aural Innovations readers will know. Seeing Brian back in action, Atlanta area electronic musician Dave Fuglewicz reached out for a collaboration. Brian sent him a couple CDs worth of source files which Dave “twisted and mutated, adding my own synth voices using my modest collection of VST software synths”. The results can be heard on their new collaboration, Furious Cactus.

Among the darker pieces is the title track, with its cavernous, bowels-of-the-starship space electronics. The music conjures up images of a claustrophobic stroll through the ship’s engine room, with all the attendant machinery and a looming alien presence. The music is minimal but weaves its way along a slowly evolving linear path. The Forbidden Road has an ominous feel, with vaguely Proggy keys. I like the multiple cosmic effects working at once, but not too busily, and there’s an interesting use of percussive effects too. The Transoxian Express is similarly foreboding and would make a great soundtrack piece.

Veering in a somewhat different direction is The Bells Of Axum. A valium-like ambient foundation is set for the bells, which makes for an interesting contrast and gives the music an uplifting melodic boost. Bonafide is similar, combining freaky holiday bells with whooshing UFO and cosmic windswept effects. I wonder if Netflix has Santa Claus Conquers The Martians? I dig the whimsically frenzied main theme on Terrobolem Parts 1 and 2. The Void Is The Boundary is a wild, multi-layered roller coaster ride that takes the spaced out themes that have characterized the album and adds a healthy dose of noise. Fractal Companions features a cool combination of busily flittering effects, a lovely melody, and damned if the beloved droid r2d2 isn’t the lead singer. And Chuchunga Chant has what seems to be a strange spaced out duet between a church organ and kazoo (which is probably an efx’d voice).

In summary, Furious Cactus is a varied set of image inducing electronic space excursions. It’s an intriguing listen from start to finish, in large part due to the combination of disparate elements that come together so seamlessly. Check it out.

Furious Cactus is available for free download from
Dave Fuglewicz would enjoy hearing from anyone who downloads the album. You can reach him at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Oresund Space Collective – “Organic Earthly Floatation”, SpaceRock Productions 2013, SRP017, LP)

Anyone who has been checking out Aural Innovations on a regular basis will have come across a few frequently recurring names – Hawkwind, Acid Mothers Temple, Ozric Tentacles – either through album reviews of those bands, or name-checked as influences. Another frequent flier on AI, perhaps less of a household name but extremely prolific just the same, is Oresund Space Collective, a constantly changing roster of players built around the synths of Dr Space and Mogens, and a shared love of improvised music. Now they are back again, releasing their 16th (!!!) album as a limited edition (500 copies) vinyl gatefold, entitled Organic Space Floatation. Last year’s Give Your Brain A rest From The Matrix featured guests from hard spacerockers First Band From Outer Space, while West, Space And Love showcased guests from Siena Root, jamming along with the ever-present Dr Space. Organic Earthly Floatation sees the arrival of yet more talented Scandanavians in the form of Kristoffer Brochmanns, Nicklas Sorensens and Christian Becher Clausen of the Copenhagen band Papir. Also along for the ride is American guitarist Daniel Lars, who breaks with Oresund tradition by bringing with him opening track Walking On Clouds, the first time that the Collective have utilised a pre-written track upon which to jam; up until now, everything they have done has been completely improvised.

The 19 minute Walking On Clouds, is the undoubted highlight of this guitar-based album, with lots of dreamy guitar over a chord sequence that brings to mind the opening notes of ’60’s supergroup Blind Faith’s Can’t Find My Way Home mixed up with Hawkwind’s You Know You’re Only Dreaming, although this is an entirely instrumental piece, as is about 99% of everything done by Oresund. There are bits of Grateful Dead in there too, as well as Neil Young and Crazy Horse – check out Drifting Back from 2012’s Psychedelic Pill for the evidence – but the most apparent (and most obvious, given the guest list) influence is that of Papir and fellow monolithic guitar trio Causa Sui. This is not hard rocking stuff, but rather huge guitar soundtracks, with waves of synthesizer periodically breaking through and then submerging again. Near the end of part one of Clouds, the guitars reach a screaming climax, before backing off again as the track winds down and fades into the second part, much shorter at just over six minutes. The Collective have never been about egos and solos, but rather a tapestry of instruments weaving in and out of the mix. Being a vinyl only release at this time (although it is to be hoped that an official CD release will follow), the track lengths are divided into approximate album length, with both parts of Walking On Clouds making up a 25 minute A-side. Carlos On The Moon starts out more organically, as one would expect from a purely improvisational piece, and drifts gently through its 17 minutes. Album closer Neptune Rising serves as a satisfying conclusion to 45 minutes of etherial spacerock.

It must be mentioned that the cover of Organic Earthly Floatation (drawn by Finnish artist Eetu Pellonpaa) is eye catching, to put it mildly – it looks like he has invited Hawkwind’s Stacia in to model – and a full size 12″ album sleeve would look even more impressive. Long time fans of Oresund are likely to enjoy both cover and contents, while it also serves as an excellent point of entry for newcomers. Causa Sui and Papir fans would also be advised to check out at least side one of this interstellar floatation device.

For further information, go to or
The band can be contacted at

Reviewed by Pat Albertson