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Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.14 | 716 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
5 stars With the intergalactic space whispers emerging from somewhere way out there or perhaps somewhere from a place well within, the seductive vocals of Shakti Yoni aka Gill Smyth in our dimension ushers in the next chapter of a mysterious green planet that is invisible to most but known to host Octave Doctors, magical pixies and the undetectable radio station that ultimately guides cast members such as Zero The Hero into mind-blowing, mind expansive musical journeys. Welcome to planet GONG! Magic is in the absurd and the mystery apparently is in the sax appeal and enchanting reverb.

The GONG mythology humorously continues its crazy cast of characters on the second installment of the RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE trilogy with Volume 2 - ANGELS EGG (note that the apostrophe did not exist upon first release.) Having grown ever more accustomed to the newly created universe where mythological creatures frolic in broad daylight and musical free form enlightenment has blossomed like a happy cookie expanding its tentacles into the mind's eye and making strawberry pie from those fields forever.

The star studded cast of Dingo Allen (Daevid Allen / vocals, guitar), Shakti Yoni (Gilli Smyth / vocals), Sub. Catp. Hillage (Steve Hillage / lewd guitars), Hi T. Moonweed (Tim Blake / VCS3 synth, lady voice), Bloomdido Bad De Grasse (Didier Malherbe / tenor & soprano saxes, flute, backing vocals), T. Being esq. (Mike Howlett / bass profundo), Pierre de Strasbourg (Pierre Moerlen / bread & batteur drums, vibes, marimba) and last but not least Mirielle de Strasbourg (Mireille Bauer / glockenspiel) conjures up new sonic realities with escapist vision and successfully ratchets up the trilogy a few notches beyond Planet GONG and into ultimate surreality.

ANGELS EGG was recorded at the Manor Mobile studio where GONG resided communally near Pavillon du Hay, Voisine, France surrounded by the wilds of a large forest where the flora and fauna offered their spiritual wisdom for the inspiration cast their way, all completely royalty free but with the castigating disapproval of the boar's head hanging from the wall. The residence was cleverly wired so each and every member's room was connected to the larger picture and when inspiration hit, it was recorded and sorted out later. A scheme that created one of progressive rock's most wickedly surreal and diverse albums that's not a Frank Zappa record!

International in scope, Allen brings his Aussie sensibilities to the table via the jazz-rock involvement of England's Canterbury scene whereas Hillage takes his psychedelic touches gleaned from Arzachel and Khan to freshly glisten the procedure with ample guitar echos and sonic vibes to eternity. Joining the crazy crew was Pierre Moerlen with his assemblage of percussion, vibraphones and marimbas, a feat so utterly divine that he would become the new leader once Allen decided to pack it up and shack up with some seductive female gnome he met during one of the many tea sipping parties. French elegance and Middle Eastern rhythms slink in and out and elf music joins the cast for a raucous jolly good time.

While the ANGELS EGG has not yet hatched, this crazy crew of musicians take turns incubating her with the warmth of a diverse roster of tracks that range from truly outside of reality psychedelic sound effects to French chansons, drinking songs, crazy jazzy fueled rock sessions and beyond. The second part of the RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE trilogy hops, skips and jumps randomly as if the dial to the station had somehow got set to search and on each stop, new cosmic wisdom is gleaned for later use in the eternal life journey like a magic backpack that carries with it all the essentials for true everlasting peace and hippiness.

To say ANGELS EGG is a trip would be an understatement. Psychedelic rock rarely goes to the lengths that the GONG universe unleashed onto an unsuspecting world. The original album actually contained an extensive booklet that defined the GONG mythology with lyrics, glossary of terms, profiles of characters and enchanting stories about band members. This is more like the soundtrack to "Alice In Wonderland" where after taking a puff with Chester and that caterpillar dude, you are somehow transported into an alternative reality where the unexpected lurks in forms of quirky off-kilter rhythms, zany lyrical escapades and jazzified trippiness magnified into a murky nebulous haze of philosophical nonsense that defies logic but somehow makes sense.

Everybody has their favorite episode of this trilogy and mine is without a doubt the nutter whack job nonconcentric oddball ANGELS EGG which sounds like an embryo hallucinating in a mushroom pixie patch. This album is tripper's paradise. An album so out of sync with just about every other musical paradigm before, during and after that it literally defies all rational explanation. A true album beamed down via the gnomes, unicorns and ETs or perhaps just a whispered through space channeling of lucid dreams. Let the tea be free as it pours into me but i can't imagine a better way to waste my day then listen to this one on perpetual replay because every time i take it for a spin it sounds like a different album to me. Indescribably brilliant. Masterpiece and "Ooby-Scooby Doomsday or The D-day DJ's Got the D.D.T. Blues." Yeah that.

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |


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