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Gong - Shamal CD (album) cover

SHAMAL

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

3.82 | 253 ratings

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Bj-1
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gong continued under Pierre Moerlen's direction after the legendary Radio Gnome trilogy with mixed reviews, heading towards a more fusion (and arguably less inspired) oriented sound that they previously had toyed with on 'You'. Both Daevid Allen and Steve Hillage were out of the band at this point (although Hillage guests on four of the tracks) and the whimsical elements are completely absent so don't expect another 'Flying Teapot' here, but the music is still of a high quality focusing more on percussive instrumentation which really adds here. The highlight here is new keyboardist Francis Moze's "Chandra", an instant favorite of mine and still one of my favorite prog songs to this date. This song sums up the entire album very effectively and really get's the album going after the easier and moodier opening track. The rest of the album is less focused and tends to drag after a while but ends on a high note with the excellent funk breakdowns of "Shamal", the albums longest but perhaps grooviest track.

This is basically the start of Pierre Moerlen's Gong but it's very good exotic fusion overall. The follow-up 'Gazeuse!' turned out to be even better before the band declined to a more aimless direction later on. As said, this is nothing like the trilogy, but enjoyable nevertheless.

Bj-1 | 4/5 |

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