Claremont 56’s third imprint sampler, Editions Volume 3, is a characteristically eclectic collection. The label has never been easily pigeon-holed. Their releases ranging from boogie, to soft rock, folk, and electronica. This showcase is certainly no different.
On the one hand, you’ve got the intricate, crystalline, guitar picking of Ferdi Schuster, whose The Fuzz Version is like a plugged-in, more punchy Mike Hedges, or Robbie Basho. A wired Windham Hill. On the other, Conrad McDonnell – of the Idjut Boys – gives Paqua’s 2012 “blue-eyed bossa” classic, The Visitor, a tough techno edge. Even adding a little acid. Taichi Arakawa’s Ocean Sunrise is a woozy, wobbly, robotic river. Many of the tracks shimmy somewhere in between.
Hillside, for example, with the aid of label founder Paul Murphy’s production and the outstanding arrangements of Michele Chiavarini, manage to marry opulent disco orchestration with a chugging mid-tempo Ned Doheny-esque groove. Polevault’s fluttering summery, soulful for sure, fills of woodwinds, vibes, strings, brass, and flanged fusion keys, building, symphonically into a real epic. Jype & Renato’s Va-La-Bas is a similarly mellow, but most definitely moving, jazz-funk mood. As its title suggests, there’s a bit of Brazilian rhyme to its laid back blue-skied scat, provided by guest vocalist Michael T. On Seashore Redemption, Mike Salta & Mortale channel the Batteaux Brothers, and have their funky singer / songwriter folk reborn to a post-Soul II Soul shuffle, like an early `90s remix for Acid Jazz. A Movement 98 sunset serenade, accompanied by 6-string strumming and accordion.
Neumayer Station appear twice, and are responsible for the album’s rockiest moments. Crossing comes on – all tremolo twang and dramatic, cinematic tension – like David Lynch’s Wild At Heart set in an Sergio Leone / Ennio Morricone spaghetti western desert. Unterführung is a quality kosmische, cosmic creation, that gives away the group’s roots, in the bands Fursattl and Bambi Davidson. With a sitar shimmer, hushed haunting harmonies, and dope descending bass-line, it sounds like The Doors, Psychic Ills, and Wooden Shjips, shaken, stirred, and put through a dub blender.
Claremont Editions Volume 3 is available directly from Claremont 56.