Gong — Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy
(Charly Records CHARLY L 178, 1974/2015, 3LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-02-03
On October 30, 2015, Charly Records reissued Gong’s three Radio Gnome LPs (Flying Teapot, Angels Egg, and You) as both a 3-LP box set and a 4-CD hardback book. Each 180-gram audiophile vinyl LP was mastered from the original tapes, while each CD was digitally re-mastered. The LP box includes facsimiles of four extremely rare promotional booklets of Daevid Allen’s artwork (including A Pocket Introduction to the Planet Gong and How to Construct the Planet Gong Power Symbol), the complete trilogy narrative, lyrics, and philosophy, along with the original LP artwork, full band line-ups, credits, and rare photos. The CD hardback book contains the same items in a 60-page book plus a fourth CD of bonus material including both sides of Gong’s impossible to find debut single, released only in France in 1970 (“Est-ce Que Je Suis?” b/w “Hip Hypnotise You”). Unfortunately the promo I received is a single CD sampler containing 8 songs, two from each of the four CDs. From what I can tell, the sound on the three re-mastered CDs is much cleaner and crisper than the prior CD reissues. CD 4 remains a mystery to me as the sampler only contains “Est-ce Que Je Suis” and “Love Is How You Make It.” “Est-ce Que Je Suis” is crazed French madness / gibberish with occasional snorts, no instrumentation. “Love Is How You Make It” is a minimal a cappella song. The other songs on the fourth CD are “Flying Teapot (Alternate Mix),” “Eat That Phonebook Coda (Early Version),” “Other Side of the Sky (Single Version),” “Ooby-Scooby Doomsday or The D-Day DJ’s Got the DDT Blues,” and “Hip Hypnotise You.” As most everyone either owns the Trilogy LPs or CD reissues, fans will be curious about CD 4. It is a shame that the sampler promo did not include all of CD 4 as I cannot determine if the Bonus Disc is worth the investment. If you have never heard Gong or don’t own any of the Radio Gnome discs, then either the LP or CD set is for you.
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more