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Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 - Flying Teapot CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.93 | 499 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The first chapter in the Radio Gnome Trilogy, a tale about Planet Gong and the Pot-Head Pixies who live there, as well as Octave Doctors and a hero named Zero. Steve Hillage is here as a guest and will later become a full member. His playing here doesn't really stand out like it would on Angel's Egg. Magma bassist Francis Moze is here and will come back later for the album Gazeuse. This is the first album to feature keyboardist Tim Blake. Stylistically, this is somewhere between Camembert Electrique and Angel's Egg.

"Radio Gnome Invisible" has a great mantra in "banana, nirvana, manana". I like the Gnome vocals here. The word "invisible" is pronounced in the French manner. This song is like a mini- epic with the changing parts getting repeated. The title track opens with spacey sounds. Later goes into a groove with vocals. Gets jazzier when the overdubbed saxes come in. Lyrics are mostly repeated mantras. A little bit of piano at one point. Last two or so minutes is vocal noises and percussion before the whole band finishes it off.

"The Pot-Head Pixies" is a catchy song. Similar to some of the songs on Camembert. Basically jazzy hard rock with a French music hall section in the middle. "Zero The Hero And The Witch's Spell" starts with a repeated 2-note guitar. Other instruments come in including some nice flute. First part with vocals is slow paced. Then some jazzy bass and percussion with some phased scat singing from Daevid Allen. The music then becomes very jazzy with some sax soloing. Space whispers in the middle. Music gets spacey with random drumming. Then goes into a groove. Gradually the groove gets looser. Then it gets stronger again with a repeated guitar riff to end the song.

If it weren't for the lyrics "Witch's Song/ I Am Your P*ssy" might have gotten played on the radio. Another catchy song. The verses have Gilli singing with a sax riff. The chorus is more poppy with Daevid singing with wah-guitar. In between the verses and chorus is a part with guitar and sax and Gilli doing her whispers. I don't really understand the whole concept of the trilogy. I've read that Allen wanted to create a story and have lyrics to make the complicated music more accessible; sort of the same thing Zappa said about his music. There is not as much of a jazz influence as on later albums. Not as spacey as the next two albums either. I prefer this to Angel's Egg but don't like it as much as I do Camembert and You. I'll give this 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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