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Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.14 | 716 ratings

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3 stars The second part of the Radio Gnome trilogy sees Gong moving to France and recording it during August 73' at the Manor Mobile at Pavillon du Hay, but the album was finally mixed at the Manor Studios in Oxford.The basic line-up of the group welcomes some new entries.Drummer Laurie Allan parted ways with Gong and more or less quit from music at the start of the 80's, Christian Tritsch also left Gong, the same occurs also with Francis Moze, who would rejoin them a couple of years later.Their replacements were crazy drummer Pierre Moerlen, Australian bassist Mike Howlett and female percussionist Mireille Bauer.Under the title 'Angel's Egg '', Virgin released the album at the fall of 1973, both for the French and English market.

The sound of Gong on this album is a bit more cohesive, eclectic and versatile compared to ''Flying teapot'', although the general style hasn't changed much.The album is divided into 13 short pieces, which flow from one to the other as a constant work, alternating between the established Space-Fusion trademark sound of Gong and more psychedelic parts with a bit of a dated sound.Nevertheless to combine with comfort so many different styles was some sort of an achievement and Gong did this pretty well, offering often extended instrumental parts with jazzy saxes and solid drumming by Moerlen, while Hillage's spacey guitar chops take the sound to another level.Malherbe's sax work seems to have been slightly inspired by the French enviroment during the time of the recordings, as there are some strong 60's influences in his work, which can be both romantic and angular.Lots of spacey underlines around are definitely a good thing with some obscure synthesizers delivered by Tim Blake and Hillage's guitar work always being consistent.Even some sparse flute passages by Moerlen are nicely executed and well within the bizarre, genuine atmosphere of the album.The most lyrical textures and the sporadic touches of a psychedelic past seem the hardest to get into moments, sounding rather unrelated to the intricate mood of the rest of the album.Some of Gilli Smyth's vocal parts though remain absolutely great and quite personal.

This Radio Gnome sequel is certainly an improvement over the first, uneven part.Spacey Psych/Prog with impressive jazzy influences, a style well-established by Gong on this delicate and strongly recommended work...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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