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Gong - Shamal CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.82 | 331 ratings

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The Mystical
5 stars Shamal is in my opinion Gong's strongest lineup.

This record is a masterpiece. It is rare to find such a great fusion of genres that works as well as Shamal. The record blends jazz fusion, space-rock and various other world world music genres. The lineup is run mainly by Mike Howlett, Didier 'Bloom' Malherbe and Pierre Moerlen. Mike Howlett's vocals are a nice addition to the band and were unfortunately lost within the transition into the Jazz/Fusion outfit "Pierre Moerlen's Gong". Steve Hillage's input is also very good, and it is unfortunate that there isn't more of his wonderful guitar work.

The album is bursting with feel-good vibes and there is a somewhat symphonic atmosphere, yet still retains some of the hippy atmosphere of the previous "Radio Gnome Trilogy". The album has some world music influences, most notably Indian, South-East Asian and Middle- Eastern. The album art is wonderful also, with its great Middle-Eastern font and the simple picture of the Middle-Eastern desert.

The key tracks of the record are the opener, the beautiful "Wingful of Eyes" my all time favourite Gong track, the second track "Chandra", and the atmospheric yet funky "Shamal", on which you can almost feel the sand of the middle eastern deserts (Shamal is a wind that blows across the middle east).

This is my favourite Gong album, and one of my favourite albums of all time. It is a masterpiece of Jazz/Fusion and Space/Psych-Rock.

The Mystical | 5/5 |


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