UK label Fruits de Mer Records started out as a provider of 7 inch vinyl singles featuring cover versions of more or less well known psychedelic classics, and for their last release in 2015 they had something of a return to this tradition with a split release single featuring contributions by US artist Ex Norwegian and Finnish band Permanent Clear Light.
The A side is given to Ex Norwegian, that have chosen to cover a track by String Driven Thing called It’s a Game, a song that in this version blends ska and funk-tinged elements with passages that have more of a pop and indie rock sensibility, lightly flavored with psychedelic instrument details. At times this one sounds more like a song by Madness than anything else, and to m y ears this is more of a well made pop song with psychedelic details than the other way around. A good and engaging song though, and one perhaps some will remember as a hit song for Bay City Rollers back in the day.
The B side is given to Permanent Clear Light, and their composition Corneville Skyline is again one that doesn’t feature all that many psychedelic details, at least initially. Acoustic guitars, flute, vocals and careful percussion combines to explore more of a pastoral landscape here, of the kind that evokes memories of golden summer days, but with a careful psychedelic guitar detail that grows somewhat more prominent in the end phase of the song.
None of these songs comes across as staples for those with a purebred taste for strictly psychedelic music, but for those who do have an interest in quality material that feature psychedelic elements to expand the scope of a song both of these fit quite nicely in, despite of or because of the marked differences in style that is rather undeniable between them.
I should probably add that this single was a very limited release, only 50 copies were made, and it sold out only a few minutes after the label posted that it could be pre-ordered. I guess both songs will make it to the next album by the artists in question however, so unless you do know one of the 50 owners of the single, or the chosen few who got the promo, this is a production that is a bit out of bonds. As such, I guess this release will function quite nicely as an example of why it might be a good idea to join Fruits de Mer members club, where productions such as this one are made exclusively for them, and other limited releases are made available to them before anyone else.
My rating: 80/100