Gilgamesh — Arriving Twice
(Cuneiform Rune 140, 1975/2000, CD)
by David Ashcraft, Published 2001-03-01
The musical world suffered a major loss in May of 1981 when Alan Gowen died of leukemia at the age of 33. Perhaps best known for his work with National Health, Gowen had also been the leader of his own band, Gilgamesh, from 1973-78. For those not familiar with this wonderful but under-appreciated band imagine a slightly jazzier version of Hatfield and the North but without any vocals. Gilgamesh recorded two studio albums, a delightful self-titled disc in 1975 and also 1978’s Another Fine Tune You’ve Got Me Into. Released 25+ years after the actual recordings, Arriving Twice adds significantly to the unfortunately scanty Gilgamesh catalog. Cuneiform has once again done a superb job of releasing rare recordings of a very high musical quality. The accompanying booklet contains an extensive history of the band that is conveyed via a multitude of interviews with bandmates, friends, and other contemporaries. The music dates from three sessions recorded in 1973-75 and features mostly material from the first album. Phil Lee burns on guitar throughout, and both Gowen’s playing and compositions are stellar. There are also several unreleased pieces and significantly different arrangements of material that makes this CD an essential purchase for fans of the Canterbury sound. Overall this is an extremely well done release of archival material by a superb band that played intriguing and complex music but that never received appropriate recognition in their day. Hopefully the release of Arriving Twice will set the record straight.
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Matthew Shipp, Spring Heel Jack & Others - Equilibrium, VisionFest, Good and Evil Sessions – Back in the late 80s, the style called acid jazz emerged, blending jazz with hip-hop elements, essentially bringing a modern groove to jazz, analogous to the incorporation of funk, soul, and rock into... (2003) » Read more