Gong — Continental Circus
(Mantra 089, 1971/1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01
Reissued late last year without much fanfare, this was recorded by an early version of Gong circa Camembert Electrique, and was the score to the film by Jerome Lapperrousaz by the same name, about a motorcycle race in 1970. This is more the spacy and open-ended Gong material that finds a groove and flows; only two of the album's four tracks have lyrics, and three clock in at well over nine minutes apiece, giving the band plenty of room to stretch out and explore. Some dialog from the film finds its way into the second track, but after that it's all spacerock in its purest form. "What Do You Want?" and an instrumental take of the opener "Blues for Findlay" carry the listener off into hyperspace. While this album is no match for Camembert, especially when considering its conceptual aspects, it does show the early band at its free-flowing instrumental best, and is well worth seeking out.
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