Gong – I See You (2014)

Gong – I See You (2014)

Gong – I See You (2014) How old you are? “I See You” will be probably the swan song of this legendary band which spinning around for the last 47 years. Brain-child of Daevid Allen, other notable band members include Tim Blake, Didier Malherbe, Pip Pyle, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, Francis Moze, Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen. Others who have briefly played in Gong include Bill Bruford, Brian Davison, Don Cherry and Chris Cutler.
This is an effervescent mixture of progressive, psychedelic and space rock reaching out the border of jazz fusion and other vivid experiments. With a tasteful addition of mythology.
Gong was formed in 1967, after Daevid Allen — at that time a member of Soft Machine — was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom because of a visa complication. Allen remained in France where he and a London-born Sorbonne professor, Gilli Smyth, established the first incarnation of the band. This line-up, including Ziska Baum on vocals and Loren Standlee on flute, fragmented during the 1968 student revolution, with Allen and Smyth forced to flee France for Deià in Majorca.
They allegedly found saxophonist Didier Malherbe living in a cave in Deià, before film director Jérôme Laperrousaz invited the band back to France to record the soundtrack of his movie Continental Circus. They were subsequently approached by Jean Karakos of the newly formed independent label BYG and signed a multi-album deal with them. Albums Magick Brother/Mystic Sister (1970), Camembert Electrique (1971), and Allen’s solo album Bananamoon (1971) were all released on BYG.
In late 1972 they were one of the first acts to sign to Virgin Records, getting first pick of the Manor Studio’s time ahead of Mike Oldfield. By that time, a regular line-up had been established, and Gong released their Flying Teapot album in May 1973. The following year 1974, Camembert Electrique (1971) was given a belated UK release, priced at 59p which was the price of a typical single, a promotional gimmick Virgin had done before in 1973 on an album by Faust, and would do again for a reggae compilation in 1976.
Between 1973 and 1974, Gong, now augmented by guitarist Steve Hillage, released their best-known work, the “Radio Gnome Trilogy”, three records that expounded upon the Gong mythology, Flying Teapot (1973), Angel’s Egg (1973), and You (1974). For about two months at the end of 1974, Bill Bruford played drums with Gong.
At a gig in Cheltenham, in 1975, Allen refused to go on stage, claiming that a “wall of force” was preventing him, and left the band.
The next album entitled Shamal was released in 1976 with Jorge Pinchevsky on violin, the band being lead by Steve Hillage.
Drummer Pierre Moerlen formed a new percussion-based line-up with American bassist Hansford Rowe and percussionists Mireille Bauer and Benoit Moerlen. To avoid confusion, it became known as Gong-Expresso, and from 1978 on, as Pierre Moerlen’s Gong.
Allen, however, continued to develop the Gong mythology from the late seventies up until the nineties in his solo work, and with bands such as Euterpe, Planet Gong, and New York Gong, while Smyth formed a separate band Mother Gong, with Jean-Paul Vivini from the band Can am des puig. Allen delighted in this proliferation of groups and considered his role at this time to be that of an instigator, travelling around the world leaving active Gong-related bands in his wake.
After spending most of the eighties in his native Australia, Allen returned to the UK in 1988 with a new project, the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, whose revolving cast included the likes of violinist Graham Clark and saxophonist Didier Malherbe. This morphed into GongMaison and by 1991, the name Gong was again in use, by which time early drummer Pip Pyle had also rejoined. The band released the album Shapeshifter (1992).
In 1994, Gong celebrated its 25th birthday in London, including a performance by most of the ‘classic’ line-up, including the returning Gilli Smyth and basist Mike Howlett. This formed the basis of the “Classic Gong” band which toured worldwide from 1996 to 2001 and released Zero to Infinity in 2000 (by Allen, Smyth, Howlett and Malherbe plus new recruits Theo Travis on sax and Chris Taylor on drums).
However, 2003 saw a radical new line-up including Acid Mothers Temple member Kawabata Makoto and University of Errors guitarist Josh Pollock. Allen and Smyth’s son Orlando Allen drummed on the album Acid Motherhood (2004), but the drummer on most of the band’s live dates was Ruins drummer Tatsuya Yoshida. Members of Gong and Acid Mothers Temple later worked together under the name “Acid Mothers Gong”.
In June 2008, Gong played two concerts in London: Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank (opening Massive Attack’s Meltdown festival) and the Forum, with Allen, Smyth, Hillage, Giraudy, Howlett, Taylor and Travis among the line-up. This line-up then released the album 2032 in 2009.

“I See You” it’s a 62.37 minutes psychedelic rock trip. Fans will enjoy it throughout. Realtime history!!

Tracks:

01. I See You [3’33] (d. allen, O. Allen, D. Sturt)
02. Occupy [2’54] (d. allen, I. East, D. Sturt)
03. When God Shakes Hands With The Devil [5’40] (d. allen, K. Torabi)
04. The Eternal Wheel Spins [7’04] (F. Golfetti, O. Allen)
05. Syllabub [4’32] (d. allen, D. Sturt, I. East)
06. This Revolution [3’50] (d. allen, D. Sturt, I. East)
07. You See Me [2’40] (d. allen, O. Allen, D. Sturt, I. East, F. Golfetti, K. Torabi)
08. Zion My T-shirt [6’18] (d. allen, D. Sturt)
09. Pixielation [4’42] (I. East, d. allen)
10. A Brew Of Special Tea [1’22] (O. Allen)
11. Thank You [10’35] (d. allen)
12. Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin [9’30] (d. allen, G. Smyth)

Personnel:

Flamedog Alien: beat/crash/kick/vocal – aka Orlando Allen {drums, vocals on ‘The Eternal Wheel Spins’}
Unicorn Strut: bass & invisible operas – aka Dave Sturt {bass & computer samples}
Spiral K. Octoflash: crunchbox & scythe guitar – aka Kavus Tobabi {neoprog smart guitar}
Fabuloso Golfcart: winged guitars/glissando – aka Fabio Golfetti {guitars, old school psych solos & glissando}
Eastwinds i.e. Windows: saxo/flutes/lungs – aka Ian East {saxs, flute}
Dada Ali: bi-focal local vocals ‘n’ gliss – aka daevid allen {gliss guitar and vocals}

Special Guests:

Gilli Smyth {sprinkled space whisper}

Gong – Official Site
Planetgong (Fan site)

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