Following the runaway success of the first Claremont Editions compilation earlier in the year, Claremont 56 founder Paul “Mudd” Murphy has put together a speedy follow-up that’s every bit as alluring as its predecessor.
Like volume one, Claremont Editions Two features a mixture of brand-new tracks, previously unreleased archive material from the label’s expansive family of artists, and the odd never-heard-before remix. The compilation will be released in limited numbers on vinyl, with cover artwork by Jim Woodring, a legendary illustrator and underground comic book artist. The vivid, colourful and surreal image adorning the front of Claremont Editions Two is the Frank creator’s first work since his celebrated designs for Yo La Tengo almost a decade ago.
Musically, there’s much to set the pulse racing across the eight tracks that make up the compilation. Murphy and regular studio partner Benjamin Smith kick things off with “Norway Stores”, a brilliantly warm, jolly and evocative instrumental number recorded in St Ives during sessions for their forthcoming fifth studio album, which is due to land in stores in 2021. Another Claremont 56 stalwart, Almunia member Leo Ceccanti, has a debut solo album on the way and here showcases “Brillo De Luna”, a jangling and gently psychedelic slice of evening sunshine rich in gentle Latin rhythms, layered acoustic guitars and languid electric guitar solos.
There’s a surprise return to action from Murphy’s Hillside collaboration with Alex Searle and Patrick Dawes. “Walpole Days” sits somewhere between intergalactic jazz-funk, horizontal Balearica and 1970s space-rock. Those wanting more of the trio’s tasty keys, mazy solos and seductive synths should check out Joaquin “Joe” Claussell’s inspired “Stripped Down Mix” of the same track on record two. Expect a ten-minute ambient-meets-jazz-funk epic.
Alongside the Phenomenal Handclap Band’s Quinn Luke, Searle, Dawes and Murphy also feature on Claremont Editions Two as part of Paqua. Their deliciously opaque, atmospheric and loved-up contribution, “Escondido”, is the outfit’s first new material for over three years.
Also returning to make their mark on the compilation are Essex trio Statues – check the twinkling, piano-heavy Balearic shuffle of “Lokrum” – and German krautrock revivalists Fürsattl, who contribute the buzzing analogue synthesizers and metronomic, guitar-driven grooves of “Haru”.
In keeping with his desire to showcase new and up-and-coming artists, Murphy has chosen to showcase a track from new label signings Jype and Leonidas. The Twonk members excel themselves on “Oui Non”, a seductive, warming and alluring chunk of drowsy Balearic pop that sounds like the missing link between Air, Serge Gainsbourg and Cantoma. With its sunset-ready Rhodes chords, French language vocals and slow-motion grooves, it fits Claremont Editions Two like a glove.