Exposé Online banner

Gong — I See You
(Snapper Music Mad Fish SMACD1023, 2014, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-01-13

I See You Cover art

The two geriatric pothead pixies Daevid Allen (age 76) and Gilli Smyth (81) are still going strong even though Daevid had some recent health issues. As it has been five years since the last Gong studio release 2032, I was looking forward to their new album with anticipation, but there is a definite shift in the music. I See You is not a continuing chapter in the Gong Mythos. This is a very uneven release. About half of the songs are bland, leaving me with a so-so impression: “I See You,” “Occupy,” “When God Shakes Hands with the Devil,” “Syllabub,” “You See Me,” and “This Revolution.” The whimsical spark of the earlier Gong is just missing. Although on “Syllabub” Daevid’s glissando guitar ends the song on a high note, rescuing an otherwise mediocre tune. “This Revolution” is an uninspired pseudo-political rant that seems very out of place, even with the tasteful sax accompaniment. Once you get beyond these tunes, there are many excellent songs that save the album and extend the Gong legacy: “The Eternal Wheel Spins,” “Zion My T-Shirt,” “Pixielation,” “Thank You,” and the album closer “Shakti Yoni and Dingo Virgin.” Gong is truly a family affair as Daevid and Gilli’s son Orlando Allen (aka Flamedog Alien) plays drums. And the band continues to use other pseudonyms: Unicorn Strut (Dave Sturt, bass and samples), Spiral K. Octoflash (The Cardiacs’ guitarist Kavus Torabi), Fabuloso Golfcart (Fabio Golfetti, guitar), Eastwinds (Ian East, sax and flute) and Dada Ali (Daevid Allen). I See You is not an album for the uninitiated listener, and it may not appeal to the Gong devotee either. And given both Daevid’s and Gilli’s ages, I See You could very well be their swan song. Perhaps it is time for them to hang up their guitars and costumes and enjoy their remaining years in relaxation.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Gilli Smyth / Mother Gong, Gong, Daevid Allen

Latest news

2019-06-05
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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Moving Gelatine Plates - The World of Genius Hans – MGP was an early French underground band that eschewed the tendency of other bands of that period in France to propogate a left-wing political message. By contrast, MGP's lyrics (in English) were...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues