Fragments du Monde Flottant

In 2004 Arthur Magazine released Golden Apples of the Sun, a twenty track cd compilation curated by singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart. The collection served as both a sonic manifesto for Arthur, a bi-monthly journal concerned with art, counter-culture and general esoterica, and as a tidy guidebook for the freshly anointed ‘freak folk’ movement.

A spiritual successor to Apples, the recent compilation Fragments du Monde Flottant proves Banhart’s ears fully intact. Released by the Genève, Switzerland based Bongo Joe Records, Fragments again finds Banhart in a curatorial role, culling demo recordings from his labyrinth of friends, acquaintances and musical compatriots. At a dozen tracks, this is largely a quiet affair, scanning various modalities of left-field folk and balladry. And like its Apples forebearer, the fragments within feel connected and of a piece; it’s obvious great care was taken in regard to the inclusion, pacing, and arrangement of the material. Notably, the set boasts an unreleased Arthur Russell track along with the delicate “If I Were” — Vashti Bunyon’s first attempt at writing and recording following a thirty year break.

In keeping with its overall homespun aesthetic, Fragments is DSP free, and limited to a couple thousand vinyl copies (available in no less than six colorway variants).

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