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Gong - Second Wind CD (album) cover

SECOND WIND

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

2.54 | 28 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

To their credits, PM'sG never stopped recording during the low point in the history of music, the 80's decade, but they weren't exactly making outstanding albums either, and certainly not of the calibre of Downwind, Gazeuse or Expresso. Sooo Second Wind was recorded in late 88, and it's a little surprising that there was still a public for this kind of music. Personally I wasn't paying attention back then, and probably thankfully so, because chances are that I wouldn't be as objective than if I discovered it in the new millennium, which is the case.

Coming with an interesting semi-esoteric artwork, the double lp album Second Wind is not as bad as some of the fusion records of earlier-80's, and could fit easily on the ECM label catalogue. Hovering Gongzilla- type of fusion, and sometimes approaching dangerously muzak, SW has some moments, but completely lacks energy in favour of that typical way too slick sound (almost defining the decade musically) and even if the musicians are still impeccably virtuosic in their playing. Maybe Moerlen's 80's style drumming on some songs is the most irritating thing on this album, but it doesn't stop Pierre from impressive, no matter what.

However the second disc is just a gigantic drum solo, with one track divided into three sections and sprawled over both sides of the vinyl. Pierre is certainly one of the better drummer of his generation, but here filling an entire vinyl with his unaccompanied solo, is not exactly humble of his, neither is it rivetting, no matter how good a drummer he may be. But it's certainly one hell of a performance, no doubt about it.

Hardly essential an album, but better than the previous two efforts, SW could easily be confused with some of the era's ECM albums. But should you want to investing the Moerlen brothers' works, there are much suitable intros than this album to their percussive world.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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