I See You (Madfish, 2014)
The legendary psychedelic progressive rock group Gong has reappeared with a new album titled I See You. The current incarnation of Gong features co-founder Daevid Allen, who is currently receiving treatment for cancer.
The album opens with a short piece titled ‘I See You’ that contains the signature elements of gong, Daevid Allen’s vocals, frenzied saxophone and glissando guitar. It’s followed by the hard rocking ‘Occupy’ song.
The third cut on the album, ‘When God Shakes Hands With Devil,’ is one of the best. Gong plays an exciting mix of progressive rock, blues and funk featuring great flute and guitar work.
‘The Eternal Wheel Spins’ is even better. It’s pure space rock goodness, featuring Allen’s mesmerizing voice, trance-like beats, fabulous electric guitars and electronics.
On ‘Syllabub’ the band jumps unexpectedly from one genre to another, switching to funk, space rock, pop and jazz-rock. The saxophone lays a leading role here.
‘This Revolution’ is a powerful spoken word poem that Allen performed during the 2012 European tour. It’s full of frustration with current politics.
Gong turns toward wild jazz-rock on ‘You See Me.’ The next piece is another album highlight, the dreamy ‘Zion My T-shirt’ that combines electronic ambiance with progressive rock featuring spoken word, space rock guitars and flute.
On ‘Pixielation’ Allen interweaves his rhythmic vocals with flute.
‘A Brew Of Special Tea’ takes into deep space electronic dreamland.
The connection with Steve Hillage’s psychedelic guitar influence is pretty evident in ‘Thank You.’
The album ends with another high point, ‘Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin.’ It’s the spaciest piece on I See You, featuring ambient synths and outstanding glissando electric guitar.
The lineup includes Orlando Allen on drums, Dave Sturt on bassist, Fabio Golfetti on guitars, Ian East on horns, and Kavus Torabi on guitars.
Gong is a Franco-British band that was formed by Australian musician Daevid Allen. Other notable band members include Kevin Ayers, Tim Blake, Didier Malherbe, Pip Pyle, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, Francis Moze, Mike Howlett, Pierre Moerlen, Allan Holdsworth, Bon Lozaga, and Hansford Rowe. Mick Taylor & Darryl Way have played on Gong albums, and Van Der Graaf Generator drummer Guy Evans played with Gilli Smythe’s Mother Gong. Others who have, albeit briefly, played in Gong include Bill Bruford, Brian Davison, Don Cherry, and Chris Cutler.
The label, Madfish, did an outstanding job with the CD packaging and artwork. The attractive CD version comes in a hardback book featuring song descriptions and lyrics, photos and amazing psychedelic illustrations.
Buy I See You