Gong — Camembert Electrique
(Charly SNIP 405 CD, 1971/2003, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-09-28
Camembert... camembert... It's easy to forget that some of the great moments on Gong albums were created by some of Daevid Allen's studio wizardry or musique concrète effects. He always managed to replicate the psychedelic states so perfectly, that sense of the bizarre and sublime with a laugh about to ring out, vocals turned into radio gnomes, that two-sided coin that always seemed deadly serious and extremely funny at once. For me this is really the first true Gong album, somewhat reflective of the writing that would make up the first Soft Machine and earlier but with Allen's psychedelic-spiritual vision starting to come to fruition. It had the anthemic "You Can't Kill Me," the development of one of the great feminists of the 70s in Gilli Smyth, who wrote some of the most important lyrics of the era, and perhaps one of the first true space rock pieces with "Fohat Digs Holes in Space" (a title also reminiscent of how theosophy and other 20th century spiritualities were so influential on the story). The guitars were sharp sometimes and glissed at others, and all along there was a spirit of invention that could have only come out of this time period. It was the first of four classics, all of which are favorite albums of mine. But this one seems like a tropical fish to me...
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more