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can someone explain Gong

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Icarium View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: can someone explain Gong
    Posted: July 29 2010 at 09:00
I have recently bought a Gong complection/greatest hitrs, to get some clues of what this band is, and I like it and want to byu more (and I am fairly certain I know which one also) but can somebody trye to explain all this Planet, and flying teepot (sounds ike a Monty Python thing )  is this concept on all the albums or on just the three concept albums.
 
when and how did this concept come t life, whos idea is it, how do you grasp it
 
i wil uderstand this since concepts ae facinating 


Edited by aginor - July 29 2010 at 09:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 09:24
OK I cant be bothered repeating myself so read these reviews....
 
 
4 stars "Banana, nirvana, manana (who knows)" It doesn't get any more psychedelic than this!

"Then when you're receiving, Perceiving your telepathic powers, Who knows why the wind blows through this window, Why you believe in me, We believe in you..." What the heck is this? Oh, just the first track of the first part of the infamous Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, that's all. Only the most important Gong series of albums ever. This one was followed by the equally wonderful Angel's Egg and the masterpiece to end this You. The first album is a real trip introducing us to the 'invisible ideological empire' of Pot Head Pixies, Zero the Hero, The Octave Doctors and of course the Space Witch.

Gong are eternally surreal cosmic adventurers who always strive to produce the wackiest spaced out music on the planet. Gong were more than travelling Felini-esque circus, more than avant-garde musicians, more than cosmic clowns, or space rocking infidels, they were on another planet altogether. I read those thoughts somewhere but they are worth repeating.

Second track is as strange. The title track; "If you feel belief hi Pete, I got a story to tell you, Of a band of little green men, From a far away planet, If you want to know about love, Then ask the wee geezer, He can teach you telepathy, He can read your mind backwards, If you try to do the cat in You can only be a loser, Paranoia never touch him, He's got ways of laughter..." I don't know what else needs to be said. The music is worth mentioning consisting of a hyper psychedelic groove and very weird instrumentation. Daevid Allen is the guitarist, Francis Bacon plays VCS3 synth, electric & upright pianos, bass, Tim Blake plays the VCS3 synth, crystal machine, and Steve Hillage is the chief guitarist. He was the member that made the difference to the transition from underground pysch act to bonafide consummate professional Canterbury stars. Hillage's spacey glissando guitar is incredible, and he works in beautifully with the soundscape of Blakes keyboards creating an ethereal spacey quality that lifts each track to the stratosphere. He had a wonderful solo career after his stint with Gong, but he will always be remembered for this trilogy. The sax by Didier Malherbe is dreamy and surreal. As for Gilli Smyth... we will get to her later.

Next track, The Pot Head Pixies has tantalising sounds and lyrics to smoke a joint to, though I never indulged, "They got a Flying Teapot, don't need a taxi I am you are we are crazy! They're from the planet of love, the Pot Head Pixies, I am you are we are crazy! Ding dang dong, singing the song, it's pretty catchy..." It is really, a great catchy Gong sing-a-long song with a druggy philosophy. The sax is fun and disjointed sporadic drumming works along with those guitar swells. The way the women vocalise "crazy" is memorable and humorous. This may be their funniest song yet it is seriously well played instrumentally.

'The Octave Doctors And The Crystal Machine' is a short burst of sound, a spaced out instrumental, a synth soaked ambient queasy sound that hooks into you at a subconscious level. it has no time signature and is curiously cold and Tangerine Dream like compared to other Gong tracks. A nice transition to the next:

'Zero the Hero and the Witch's Spell' is very odd, the time sig is slow and the vocals are painful sustained cries; "I love your faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace, I love your spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace, I love your rays baby, And if you like I'll stay toniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!". The sax that follows is fractured, zany and off kilter, but you will like this if you are into psych prog. I heard this many times live on "Live Etc" and always felt this was one o f the best Gong moments. There is an extended surreal section with ghostly moans and a hypnotic creepy riff, free form anti music, dysfunctional music at its highest level, this has to be heard at least once.

How does all this end? It doesn't really but the last track to finish the first part of the trilogy is delightful. 'Witch's Song/ I Am Your Pussy' stands out as do all of Smyth's contributions. Gilli Smyth plays the orgone accumulator er... orgone box, and of course is billed as the space whisperer. On this she sings the erotically charged 'I Am Your Pussy'. My cat likes this. The lyrics are orgasmically nasty; "I am your pussy, You are my tramp... Mioaw... mioaw... mioaw... You can be a cat too, Shadow tied to a tree, Sometimes I slide away To be free, Cover you with a warm dark mothering, Fill you with animal love..." . She is proud to be the space witch of the Planet Gong universe. She was heard on "Camembert Electrique" with 'I Am Your Animal' and will return on "Angel's Egg" with the 'Prostitute Poem'. She basically sings in sexy whispers and sounds quite intoxicating. "Be careful or I might scratch you" , Smyth whispers sardonically and this is followed by manic witchy laughter. You have to be in the mood, but its delirious disturbing fun.

So this is perhaps the weaker album of the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy but still excellent showing how good this trilogy is. The first part seems to descend to darker atmospherics as the album progresses. I have not done it yet, but I think to hear this trilogy end to end would be a stimulating experience. None of the parts of the trilogy are dispensable, all have equal value, and I think they are outstanding examples of Canterbury psychedelia at its best.

 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 09:25
and this is  the best of the radio Gnome Trilogy
5 stars You have to get Gong's 'You''

I have been wanting to get hold of this much esteemed, highly revered album in the weird world of prog for a long time; Gong's final part of the Radio Gnome Flying Teapot trilogy. After hearing the other two parts of the strange tale, 'You' hammers the final nail in the coffin for pot head pixies, octave doctor's, Zero the Hero and pussy witches everywhere. What were they on? From the very outset the album transports you into this drugged psychedelic universe where we land on planet Gong and experience dramatic shifts from accomplished musicianship to passionate flights into fantasy, where hallucinogenic drugs seem to take over.

'A PHP's advice' is simply weird, but it gets you in the right frame of mind and fires the imagination. "In case you don't remember this is what you do, get up out of bed... If you are a believer, what do you believe, why do you believe it.... let the Pot Head Pixies show them what to do.... if you've got a problem....remember you are me, I am you..." The lyrics are as quirky as ever, and almost non incidental, though inseparable from the musical ambience.

Gilli's space whispering is here again, on "Magick Mother Invocation" and those bizarre sound effects merge from the trees, and of course Daevid's idiosyncratic vocals that are pure Gong. The chanting Gregorian monks are unsettling but what more can any Gong addict ask for? Perhaps these aforementioned tracks are too peculiar or highly eccentric to be standouts on this album.

There are highlights here which have become part of Gong mythological folklore. These include 'A Sprinkling of Clouds', a lengthy but wonderful ambient mental instrumental, that is beautiful and haunting. A multi phased synthesizer pulsates and throbs along as spaced out effects echo. This is a bit like a vamped up version of Tangerine Dream in a sense. A very different approach from Gong, heavily reliant on keyboards, and fully instrumental. The icy glacial soundscapes transport us to another world with very effective ambient textures. Eventually a guitar lick locks in and a bass line that drives the track to its conclusion.

Also there is the compelling 'Master Builder'. This was segued from 'Magick..." and is like an alien tribal chant; a strange combination reminiscent of Magma meets Hawkwind. The spacey swooshes and piercing trills are off-kilter, and there is a pipe in their somewhere and a scorching saxophone solo. Glorious instrumental virtuosity with a wonderful bass line and off beat drumming keeping it all together. Then it stops and the birds are heard twittering in the trees as the track stops and starts, till it locks into a chant and phased guitar fret runs. The spacey effects are overkill at this point but its effective enough. Nonsensical lyrics propel it along and the sax builds to a climax.

But for any Gong Pot Head Pixie the quintessential tracks are 'The Isle of Everywhere' and the epic 'You Never blow Yr Trip Forever'. Both these tracks are arguably the best of Gong with spacey guitars and ethereal soundscapes that only Gong could create in their own inimitable style. 'The Isle of Everywhere' is quintessential Gong and is featured on all the best Gongompilations. 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever' features Daevid's wild jabbering and a quirky time sig and musical effects that sound childishly playful but like all Gong there is a dark undertone prevalent throughout, like a little innocent sweet girl in pigtails wielding a knife behind her back. This is as bizarre as you like Gong to be, beautiful flute and an ethereal keyboard create a feeling of morbid dread. The track plunges into an atonal shift into psychedelia "the more you know the more you don't know..." Daevid muses, and we are reintroduced to Zero the Hero, and the lyrics chatter about "the hole in the morning, dawning, ....around and round and round and round, ..maybe you like and maybe you won't and it's all the same it's all in the name... but you don't have to give up hope..." After this infantile but highly amusing section, we hear a narrative voice ending this bizarre trilogy, "Well there goes Zero The Hero turning around, and meanwhile all the characters of Planet Gong have to leave you now," they are farewelled, each one, and then Daevid asks the simple question and his farewell speech is basically "why don't you, why don't you, why don't you try, why don't you try, to try, oh why don't you tr-y-y-y-y-y-iyayiyi, why, why, don't you try". But there are no answers; the trilogy is over.

OK, It is not for all tastes certainly, perhaps too strange, off beat and downright unsettling, according to how jaded your sensibilities are, but if you allow it, Gong have an ability to captivate and finally entrance like no other. 'You' remains perhaps Gong's finest achievement along with the enthralling 'Angel's Egg' and mesmirising 'Flying Teapot'. Together they are the infamous and indispensable Flying Teapot Radio Gnome Invisible saga that every prog fan should experience at least once. A solid 5 stars. *****



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - July 29 2010 at 09:26
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 09:41
The 3 albums....Flying Teapot, Angels Egg, and You are the most impressive from Gong. This is your Radio Gnome Trilogy story in 3 parts however, this all started on Majick Brother and Camembert Electrique. C.B. was an early introduction to the story but is not exacting to the 3 part trilogy. The very start of the ideas turned up on M.B....it feels like a pre-Gong searching for a new sound. A couple of tracks from Continental Circus were originally derived from the writing on the C.B. sessions or written prior to that.
The early Gong is my favorite....70' TO 74'....I am not a fan of the later Gong which continues a style they developed during the Gong trilogy but adding all that modern sound. Which sometimes I dislike. Try finding a live concert with the prime line up. And good luck because Bataclan 73' is hard to come by. We need a official release of the prime line up. A show from start to finish.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 12:50
thanks for the wonderfull explenation this realy is a facinating band, and I will start to colect their albums, I ls probably start with the trilogee, and some other later work
 
and why arent Gong an own genere like Magma they sound astonishingly unique, and are so out their that they can't be compared to anyone (even if they got the tag canterbury)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote himtroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 13:15
If you like the Trilogy you should most certainly get Steve Hillage-Fish Rising.  It's Steve Hillage leading basically the exact same band, minus Daevid Allen and with Dave Stewart (which is a worthy trade in my mind even though I love Allen).  Similar music, lots of jamming.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 13:45
you should also like the albums "Shapeshifter" and "2032"; they continue the story of the trilogy.

Mother Gong have a trilogy of their own, the "Robot Woman" trilogy. unfortunately only the first two parts of it are really good, in my opinion; the third album of the trilogy suffers from the use of drum machine instead of a real drummer, a fad a lot of people fell for at that time, including Peter Hammill

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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 13:55
Originally posted by aginor

thanks for the wonderfull explenation this realy is a facinating band, and I will start to colect their albums, I ls probably start with the trilogee, and some other later work
 
and why arent Gong an own genere like Magma they sound astonishingly unique, and are so out their that they can't be compared to anyone (even if they got the tag canterbury)
I do remember following various space rock bands in the early 70's. Gong, Can, Hawkwind, Amon Duul, Guru, Guru, were all lumped together for he American listener.  Many of these bands toured the same bill or many all appeared at the same festivals. The reputation of the Gong band was seen through the eyes of young teenage Space rock fans. Gong displayed a jazz style before any of the others did.  When Gong were touring and recording albums like Flying Teapot and Angel's Egg,(which contain jazz/fusion mentality), Guru, Guru, were still playing a rock style with a progressive edge. Kanguru...for example. There are a couple of jam sections off Hatfield and the North that are very Gong trilogy period sounding.

I think maybe Soft Machine tried blending jazz with what would have been defined then as Space Rock,...a few years before Gong. Gong were not obviously singled out for their musicanship enough to place them in the Magma legions. You are right. Fans of progressive music are not as extreme about Gong as they seem to be with Magma. Maybe it's because Gong made their landmark in the Space Rock genre and that first impression which most times pigeon holes a band is forever lasting. I have over 15 Ozric Tentacles cd's. People in the past have said and I quote......Ozric is the instrumental Hawkwind but more complex and jazzy. I think they sound lke GONG.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 14:08
Originally posted by BaldJean

you should also like the albums "Shapeshifter" and "2032"; they continue the story of the trilogy.

Mother Gong have a trilogy of their own, the "Robot Woman" trilogy. unfortunately only the first two parts of it are really good, in my opinion; the third album of the trilogy suffers from the use of drum machine instead of a real drummer, a fad a lot of people fell for at that time, including Peter Hammill

I thought Zero To Infinity was also a continuation of the trilogy...

By the way, I can explain Gong with one word: drugs.


Edited by Slartibartfast - July 29 2010 at 15:54
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 15:48
I will sure you that I will get the Radio Gnome Triolgy, the albums before that, and after, and some of their more jazz-fusion stuff and then their later stuff as well, very cool band, feels like the logical step to go if you like Van Der Graaf Generator and Gentle Giant, (they sort of sound like an Eclectic prog band), frantic, crazy bizzare, humourius, adventorus.
 
actualy Gong also sound abit like early Roxy Music (or is it the other way), like Roxys two first albums, (their is a glam rock sound to Gong which i can't seem to think of)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 15:51
I'm more of a fan of their stuff without Daevid, but I like that stuff, too.  By the way, I read somewhere that Daevid doesn't consider the albums without him as not being real Gong. Big smile

And by the way, if you like the non-Daevid stuff, be sure and check out Gongzilla, also Moerlen's last Gong, Pentanine.  No one in the band from previous Gongs except for Pierre.  All the other musicians are Russians, who I don't know, but it's a fine album.


Edited by Slartibartfast - July 29 2010 at 15:54
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Post Options Post Options   Quote android Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 16:01
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

I'm more of a fan of their stuff without Daevid, but I like that stuff, too.  By the way, I read somewhere that Daevid doesn't consider the albums without him as not being real Gong. Big smile


I'm not too big a fan of the PM Gong material after Expresso II - just didn't do anything for me.  Stuff like Gazeuse! is fantastic though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 16:13
listening to the first chapte of the the Gnome thrilogy on the Tube (yeah im sacreligeus) it is great love it, i think it is fine that some willing souls are (illigaly ) putting out samples and full track  list on Tube so you can listen fully to bands before you buy the record an play it on the stereo.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote akamaisondufromage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 16:25

All versions of GonG are GonG if that's not stating the bleeding obvious.  I very much like GonG with DA and the immediate Post Allen GonG and you should really investigate the PM GonG notGonG if you know what I mean? 

I always recommend Live Etc but its generally not available and I got told off cos the versions from Live Bataclan are cut short - still good though.  It has great versions of pretrilogy , trilogy, and post Allen.  Live Bataclan is excellent and available as a download Shocked on itunes so that's how I aquired it
 
The new album is quality - and I won't mention the Trilogy cos.......... damn I mentioned  them.   
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 16:29
^thanks I'm of to planet gong with a teapot to vissit my friends the tea-pot-pixis, and drink some....chai-tea
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Post Options Post Options   Quote akamaisondufromage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 16:37
You'l need a TeaPotTaxi mind you.  Look out for the PHPs
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2010 at 16:48
ok, I will, how much costs those Tea pot taxis
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