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Gong - Camembert Electrique CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.80 | 385 ratings

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3 stars This album sat around on my computer for years, unappreciated. I first heard it when I was younger and couldn't appreciate its psychedelic absurdity. Now that I've gotten older and become more acquainted with the likes of Mr. Bungle and Frank Zappa, I can see that Camembert Electrique is a delightful dose of weirdness, if lacking in places and certainly not for everyone.

This is an album that seems to parse itself out between relatively "normal" songs and bouts of lunacy. For every straightforward jazz-rocker like "You Can't Kill Me"(the album's best track, btw) there is a crazed document of the band's experiences with substances("I've Been Stoned Before") or a moody, freaked out instrumental("Fohat Digs Holes In Space"). No matter what you're listening to, there's always a very strong jazz element running throughout the album, and it works to the album's advantage, since the presence of impromptu saxophone solos often put a nice cap on the mania of the album.

I can't recommend this to everyone, since there are stretches where the album does indeed become tiresome and the proto-RIO elements are hit and miss, but if you're in the mood for something tripped out and/or zany, this'll probably hit the spot just right. Recommended for fans of Frank Zappa, Mr. Bungle and Zeuhl, as it carries a similarly whimsical ethos.

40footwolf | 3/5 |


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