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Gong - New York Gong: About Time CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.26 | 72 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars More interesting by far than the Expresso II-based rut that Pierre Moerlen's Gong had worked themselves into by this point, About Time sees Daevid Allen team up with a new Gong lineup headed by Bill Laswell - once they and Allen parted ways this group would become legendary industrial/funk pioneers Material. On here, however, they're engaged with investing some exciting New Wave energy into Allen's songwriting. Allen tackles most of the usual hippy topics he's fond of - feminism, environmentalism and so on - but the New Wave mode sees him address them more directly and bluntly than he usually does.

In principle, this should have been a shot in the arm for Allen; however, perhaps because the impetus for forming the band came not from Allen himself but from Giorgio Gomelsky, who at the time was embarking on a doomed attempt to sell RIO-ish fusion acts like Magma and Henry Cow to an American audience via his New York "Zu Club", Allen doesn't quite seem to fit into this musical context and a lot of his lyrics here seem to recognise this. Ultimately, Allen and this new backing band would part ways, and Material's best days would come after the divorce when they were free to really spread their wings. Still, for those who are really interested in the history of the extended Gong family tree, this is a fascinating musical collaboration which set the stage for Bill Laswell's own groundbreaking career, as well as keeping Allen's ticking over.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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