Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Canterbury Scene

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gong Pentanine album cover
2.94 | 60 ratings | 6 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy GONG Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Flying High (5:49)
2. Airway to Seven (4:37)
3. Pentanine (part one) (3:28)
4. Au Chalet (4:04)
5. Trip a la Mode (4:49)
6. Reminiscence (6:46)
7. Interlude (0:40)
8. Classique (7:12)
9. Lacheur (6:11)
10. Blue Nuit (3:54)
11. Pentanine (part two) (2:11)
12. Montagnes Russes (7:04)
13. Troyka (4:33)

Total Time 61:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Arkady Kuznetsov / electric guitar
- Meehail Ogorodov / keyboards, hand drum & percussions, recorder, "underwater" voice
- Alexei Pleschunov / bass guitar
- Pierre Moerlen / drums, vibraphone, xylophone, programming

- Alexander Lutsky / muted trumpet (12)

Releases information

Artwork: Alexander Repiov

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4606.AR (2004, France)

Thanks to Slartibartfast for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy GONG Pentanine Music

More places to buy GONG music online

GONG Pentanine ratings distribution

(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

GONG Pentanine reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars Pierre Moerlen's last album, sadly. Recorded in 2002 but not released until 2004. This one's a bit of an oddball release in and of itself. Daevid Allen had long taken back over the helm of Gong. Pierre had stuck to the Gong name when Daevid departed and eventually, officially became an offshoot under the moniker, Pierre Moerlen's Gong. Gong is something of a hydra headed thing. Some of the guys in that outfit split off into Gongzilla and here's Pierre in a totally new outfit with Russian musicians. Recorded in St. Petersburg, Russia no less. Where as Gongzilla has been doing things in a less electronics style, these guys don't shy away from the synths.

The opening Flyin' High is almost a little tribute to DA's Gong. Airway To Seven is more in the style of songs on Expresso II with a little '70's cheese fusion tossed in, but not too much. Pentanine part one, ah the hypnotic vibes or xybes, not sure I've ever learned to tell them apart, dreamy. Au Chalet sounds rather unique to this version of PM's Gong, it's got a lot of that Gong's elements, but the stamp of one of their own inventions.

Trip a la Mode, nice, very Crimson Discipliney or maybe Trey Gunn-ish. Reminiscence starts off with an odd synth whooshing and then Pierre launches into a nice vibing a nice track for letting your mind wander back into the past. Interlude, just that. Classique's another one very close to some of the old PMsG. Pierre holds down a great groove on the drum kit and shows why that drum machine craze of the '80's was so regrettable. Lacheur is another song to satisfy your PMsG craving you may have been having, most of the songs being somewhat laid back, this one is a bit more heavy Has a nice section for the keyboardist to synthesize at the end.

Bleu Nuit brings to mind some Bruford material from a while back. The guitarist definitely has some Holdsworth in him. Pentaine part two a little PMsG meets Shamal. Montagnes Russes the Russian Mountains has a special guest on muted trumpet doing an impression of Miles. Troyka wraps things up spiraling vibes or is it xibes once again?, ends with the sounds of a light rain and some odd clips of voices.

There's just so much of what I liked about the old Gong/Pierre Moerlen's Gong present here and it's not stale rehash. I wouldn't have been surprised to see this lineup still making good albums to this day.

Review by fuxi
3 stars According to a 1995 interview with Benoit Moerlen on the Calyx website, Pierre Moerlen's Gong (which in GAZEUSE and ESPRESSO II recorded two of the very best "progressive fusion" albums) was on the verge of being reformed with most of its late 1970s members, until at the final moment Pierre pulled out, leaving Benoit to establish Gongzilla instead.

I wonder if Gongzilla's artistic success then inspired Pierre to reform Gong using a bunch of Russian jazzrock players? The fact remains that PENTANINE (which dates from 2002) sounds considerably more varied and energetic than early 1980s Gong efforts such as TIME IS THE KEY and LEAVE IT OPEN.

It's true that the first half of PENTANINE in particular contains a lot of anonymous jazz-funk and "fusion lite", but Pierre's playing on vibraphone, and his highly individual way of drumming, make for moments of wonder and true excitement. A few of the early tracks sound surprising: the opener, "Flying High", mainly consists of spacy synths, and the fifth track, "Trip a la Mode", seems like a relaxed little brother of King Crimson's "Elephant Talk".

From the eighth track onward, the quality of the music noticeably improves. There are standout solos on Moog, electric guitar and Hammond organ, and the compositions are denser, more imaginative than before, and more similar to ESPRESSO II. The final track, "Troyka", is utterly charming chamber jazz performed mainly by a trio consisting of synth, vibes and bass; it wouldn't have been out of place on any of the classic "Canterbury" albums of the Seventies.

As far as I know, this Russian incarnation of Gong wasn't meant to last. Just before his untimely death, Pierre Moerlen seems to have considered forming yet another band with his brother Benoit.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Gong's discography always was a difficult one. But if speaking about their early albums, Trilogy or jazz-fusion period, many listeners can divide and perfectly know, what kind of music is recorded on each list of albums, latest period is not so clear.

I have no intention to make musicological researches there, but just to make fans life easier, would like to declare one rule: if you see "Pierre Moerlen's Gong" written on the album's cover, just run away! It's sad fact, but after Gong became "Gong's Tree", with many different teams and one-time projects, Pierre Moerlen just used his right for brand name for recording of all the line of albums with strangers. Starting from late 80-s, all Pierre Moerlen's Gong's albums fluctuate between weak and not so weak.

Only common thing between them is jazz-fusion is used as base material for music recorded. Pierre Moerlen is playing with very different, often unknown musicians of very average level, and recording albums with cheese lounge fusion. This one is just another Pierre Moerlen's Gong's album, so you know , what to expect.

Exotic moment there is album's line up. Besides Pierre Moerlen himself, all other team is unknown Russian jazz-fusion musicians. The album even was recorded in Russia, but only relation with real Gong is borrowed name and project manager Mr. Pierre Moerlen. Music is usual to this project cheese jazz fusion, with plenty of electronics this time. At least ,they didn't recorded Russian folk.

To be correct, music there is even slightly better than some previous recordings, so you can use it for cocktails party ( if your guests wouldn't be shocked by some Russian spoken lyrics at the level of bad movie from 90-s). OK, I understand that musicians should pay their bills as well, but it's a bit pity, when someone using great band's fame for such understandable, but not very respectable reasons.

Can't imagine any reason why one could pay for this album.

Review by ExittheLemming
2 stars Pierre's Pit-Crew are the Pits

Since when did Gong become a franchise? Planet Gong, New York Gong, Mother Gong, Acid Mothers Gong, Gong Global Family, Gongzilla, Swiss Family Gong, Gong R'us and Pierre Moerlen's Gong have all appropriated the name with various and often conflicting motives with which to expound on the group's mythology. It is perhaps the jazz fusion branch of the network that could be deemed furthest removed from the hippy cosmology wafting from Head Office. That ain't a bad thing in my book, as pig-farming egyptologists who receive alien radio broadcasts via their earrings and take to the skies in vessels originally designed to house hot beverages are usually more than sufficient to 'rip a rodent's knitting' big time. I've never yet made it through any of the Radio Gnome trilogy efforts on a full stomach but liked the plain vanilla fusion material of Gazeuse sufficiently to take a punt on this album from 2004. Lemmings are very short sighted creatures and my cash was inside the till before I managed to decipher from the sleeve that this was just Moerlen and some Russian speed typists he hooked up with in Moscow circa 2002.

Musea's helpful description of their wares declares: Thirteen instrumental pieces full of groove, power and sophistication are to be heard, some more hypnotic or peaceful moments being also present in a very melodic jazz-rock fusion style.

What is there not to like?

For those consumers amongst us who might wish to make the desired 'informed choice' hereabouts try this:

Store your ambient hippy baggage in the overhead lockers on a smoother than silk flight that unlike 'Teapot Airlines' is strictly non-smoking. Between the roomy aisles you will be served minuscule portions of dried and professionally airbrushed nibbles that would struggle to satisfy your pedigree chihuahua ensconced safely in the hold.

God if one of these guys farted I'm sure the studio walls were tripped to fill the place with concealing pot-pourri. It's all very urbane, polite and professional 'north of the waist' but lacks the southern 'baby makers' to fill those roomy Cossack pants. These guys are but time served mechanics to Moerlen's racing driver. Once again Pierre leaves behind further evidence that he was was one of the finest and most versatile skin thumpers on the planet. I enjoy both his drumming and mallet percussion considerably more than I do the compositions here. His collaborators have chops in abundance but a finger-bowl of melodic ideas from which to draw upon and almost every track develops along wearyingly familiar lines:

A short melodic motif on vibes is repeated over a static harmony for circa 4 bars and then is transposed intact to fit over the next static harmony in the chain for the next 4 bars etc. All manner of fiendish meter changes and solos from the 'School of Widdley' are deployed en route but the sheer numbing predictability of these fraudulent mystery tours is enough to clot the capillaries in your ears. It's not an entirely featureless landscape however but what peaks/depths exist do not require any ropes or crampons:

Airway to Seven - Most composers compelled to tell you their piece is in 7 beat phrase length must have something to hide. It's not normally something like this fondant monstrosity of nonchalant calm. Circa 1 min 45 secs (ish) there is a piano solo that sounds chillingly familiar to (gulp) Body Talk by soul/dance criminals Imagination.

Pentanine Part 1 - Occupies the sort of dreamy arpeggiated territory inhabited by Happy the Man and ain't bad with a 5 beat phrase length and a lovely synth patch from Meehail Ogorodov to perk proceeding up but halts very clumsily and abruptly to embark on some twittering whirry electronica which leads exactly nowhere but eats up the clock.

Trip a la Mode - Either an affectionate homage to the gamelan guitar Discipline era Crimson or a shameless rip off. (You pays yer money etc) Decent but as accomplished a bass player as Alexai Pleschunov is, he sure ain't no Tony Levin. I could also have lived without the 'dance handclaps' fellas.

Classique - This does possess a welcome bit of grunt about it but the same rhythmic phrase is repeated ad infinitum throughout and comes to resemble a flightless bird's increasingly desperate attempts at migration. Fusion appears to have hatched countless dodos like this critter.

Lacheur - Nice subtle swung sixteenths feel a la hip-hop but yet again the same modest idea is stretched to breaking point.

Blue Nuit - Someone appears to have tremulously asked for the directions to the suburbs of 'bombastic' on this number. Perhaps the most fully realised composition on offer as it has a clear statement, development and conclusion that most of the other tracks lack. Arkady Kuznetsov really steps up to the plate on this one with a fine and poignant fuzz guitar solo which even contains some lyrical ideas I can remember afterwards. On the downside it has an climactic ending that makes coitus interruptus seem elegant by comparison.

Judging by the welter of competing claims to the rich and varied Gong legacy, there are many out there who would say with some justification that this really ain't the 'real McGong' as the only founding member to hand is that of Pierre Moerlen. My knowledge of this group is admittedly extremely limited but they appear to oscillate between the polar opposites of dippy hippy tomfoolery and sterile anodyne conservatism. I probably need to explore their vast output some more as there must exist somewhere a much happier middle ground than that represented by Pentanine

Latest members reviews

3 stars Definitely underrated and sorely underheard. Of course the fusiony material of Pierre Moerlen's Gong is compared to the unfusiony space cadet Gong. Often, I find, in the negative. I love both and wish this ensemble would have put out more contemporary records. I acquired this beauty severa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1936931) | Posted by WFV | Sunday, June 3, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A good album of Pierre's Moerlen published in 2004. Although not common in predominantly psychedelic just Gong music, this album shows a musical maturity, that for many people, seems to reveal the more commercial side of this group. The xylophone adds a touch peculiar to this work, like other M ... (read more)

Report this review (#502036) | Posted by Joćo Paulo | Friday, August 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of GONG "Pentanine"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.