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Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.25 | 961 ratings

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4 stars Even if you don't like Gong that much you've got to love them for the music they created back in the day. The progressive folly of the band is such a delight that it is hard not to smile. On the other hand, do not be mistaken. The folly is not all madness and laughter. There is a serious intent behind it all and the musicianship is not to be taken lightly. The sprawling and fanciful genius of Daevid Allen & Co. is breathtaking and to me the brilliance is at it's absolute peak on the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy. It is definately one of the great concept albums of the whole era and delicious to partake in.

While the first installment of the trilogy sounds a bit primitive recording wise (the sound is not pristine) it is the album I like the most. It marks the beginning and if you listen to the whole trilogy you will find that there is a clear progression in how the music is shaped and performed. While the first part is somewhat goofy the third part is more "serious" prog, if that makes sense. The second part of the story lies somewhere in between.

The third part starts off in familiar Gong-ish fashion with Allens chant-like singing on "Thoughts for naught". With a middle eastern flavor it kicks off the album and the rolling R:s of the vocal bit reminds me somewhat of the zeuhl of Magma. Anyway... The second track is whimsical but great and leads into "Magick mother invocation" which really is the intro to the first really great song of the album, "Master builder". That song, which really is a spacey jam with a hypnotic groove, builds in intensity throughout its duration. Lovely.

One thing about this album that differs from the other two in the trilogy is the way jamming seems to have been used as a means for cosmic awareness. (Really?) Sounds, bleeps and boinks that lead you in to the very depths of the universe. Listen to "A sprinkling of clouds", for instance. Such a hypnotic and amazing track. It is a great example of the very thing I just talked about.

The spaciness of "A sprinkling of clouds" is put on hold with "Perfect mystery". Enter goofy Gong. It is a brilliant track. Askew and very british sounding it does indicate that spaceship Gong has landed. No, no, no. We're still up there. My favorite of the album is the really groovy "Isle of Everywhere". A great bassline accompanied by percussion and space whispering that leads into a really mezmerising jam. Listen to this with headphones on and you will find yourself floating away in the galaxies. It all ends with "You never blow your trip forever". It has a real punky feeling to it but it encapsulates everything that is Gong. Just listen as the waltz away into the universe.

It may be a challenge to get it right, listening to Gong. There is alot of trickyness and sprawling ideas on their albums and while they at first may seem severely disjointed you'll soon find out just how to connect the dots. It is brilliant, it is goofy, it is exciting and the very blend of it all makes this (and the other two parts) quite the essential listen. Obviously Gong stands with one foot in the Canterbury tradition (as is evident on the first track) but there is also this completely unique paradise of Gong that defies defenition. It has to be heard to be believed. And while the trilogy as a whole is a five star experience I award this particular album with its spacy fusion four glowing and pulsating stars.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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