Ocean’s Ten; cel­e­brat­ing a decade of the UK’s most hal­lu­cino­genic record la­bel.

Prog - - Echoes - KN

In the fickle shoe­string world of in­de­pen­dent record la­bels, it’s lit­tle short of a mir­a­cle that Fruits de Mer are cel­e­brat­ing a decade of squirt­ing of­ten un­hinged psy­che­delic magic and pure Bri­tish ec­cen­tric­ity like oc­to­pus’s ink out of its squid-like bot­tom, fre­quently to so­lid­ify into an im­mor­tal state­ment or mem­o­rable genre clas­sic.

To mark the oc­ca­sion, the la­bel, with typ­i­cal lack of re­straint, is the sub­ject of a book (re­viewed on page 115) and has re­leased a gate­fold triple al­bum (with bonus 45) strad­dling the cat­a­logue since Tor Ped­ers’ ebul­lient ver­sion of Van der Graaf’s Theme One launched it in 2008. But you’ll find an ar­ray of names, fa­mil­iar or lit­tle known, tack­ling the 60s and 70s chest­nuts that orig­i­nally mo­ti­vated the la­bel, or con­coct­ing their own in the same spirit. Prog, psych, space rock, Krautrock and acid folk all sound sub­lim­i­nally FDM – surely the hall­mark of a great la­bel?

High­lights in­clude the Pretty Things tor­pe­do­ing The Bea­tles’ Hel­ter Skel­ter, Schizo Fun Ad­dict’s take on the Small Faces’ Og­dens Nut

Gone Flake that was the first 45’s B-side, Sen­del­ica wran­gling the Vel­vet Un­der­ground’s Venus In Furs and Stay pick­ling the Stones’ 2000 Light Years From Home. There’s also vet­eran folk out­fit Tir Na Nog’s I Pick Up Birds At Funer­als, the Chem­istry Set’s won­der­fully ti­tled Kiss Me,

Vi­brate And Smile, Soft Hearted Sci­en­tists’ de­mented Cater­pil­lar Song and in­cred­i­ble acid-folkies Beau­tify Junk­yards. Cra­nium Pie roast The Bea­tles’ Baby You’re A Rich Man and Su­per­fjord con­quer Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Mean­while, stal­warts such as The Honey Pot, Us And Them, Per­ma­nent Clear Light, Vi­bravoid,

Nick Nicely, Crys­tal Jac­que­line,

Side­walk So­ci­ety, Kris Gi­etkowski and As­trala­sia rep­re­sent the la­bel’s amoe­bic as­sim­i­la­tion of elec­tronic dance mu­sic.

Yes, 10 years of Fruits de Mer. What would life be like with­out a la­bel that can re­lease a tune by some­thing called Blue Zeta Gi­ant Pup­pies? Trea­sure them, and trea­sure this much-de­served trophy awarded to them­selves.

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