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Gong - Downwind CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.50 | 169 ratings

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Zac M
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Both this album and the next one (Time is the Key), released by what was then know as Pierre Moerlen's Gong, are terribly underrated. While this may not be as good as Angel's Egg or Gazeuse, it is still an excellent album. Pierre Moerlen and crew decided to recruit Steve Winwood, Mike Oldfield, Didier Malherbe (former member of Gong), and a slew of other wonderful musicians to record this album. Also, Moerlen decides to add vocals back (including some on the cover of a Santana tune, Jin-Go-Lo-Ba) in to the compositions, which had not been done since Shamal.

Aeroplane starts out the album nicely and has the addition of vocals. It's a fairly short track, but is still good and catchy. Next comes Crosscureents. It is similar to the style developed on Gazeuse and Expresso II in that it features great mallet percussion. Downwind, the title track, is probably the best one on the album. It also starts out with mallet percussion, but this time also has a great funky bass line at the beginning as well, and a great sax solo by Didier Malherbe. The sounds of the mallets are so haunting and at the same time still relaxing. this track also features another nice guitar solo.

Jin-Go-Lo-Ba is a cover of a famous Santana tune. It's definitely one of the better covers I have heard. What You Know is another catchy vocal number with crunchy guitars. Emotions is another mallet-drenched piece, but this time is a nice violin accompaniment by the great Didier Lockwood. Things get toned down a bit for Xtasea. Again, mallets are the focus of this composition and also features another nice violin accompaniment. It's much jazzier than the previous tracks.

This album is really great. Most people will put it off because the original Gong lineup and focus is not there. Pierre Moerlen took charge of Gong and ressurrected it into a nice Jazz-Rock mallet-induced outfit. This album is recommended to fans of the earlier Moerlen albums or just nice jazz-rock as well. 4 stars, a truly great effort by the late, great Moerlen and crew.

Zac M | 4/5 |


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