Gong
Gazeuse! (Expresso)


4.0
excellent

Review

by OmairSh USER (13 Reviews)
July 18th, 2014 | 30 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pierre Moerlen’s Gong is born

Progressive rock fans will be aware of the Daevid Allen led band Gong. It had a strong presence in the psychedelic/progressive rock scene during the 70s, releasing a number of critically acclaimed albums. The French drummer and percussionist Pierre Moerlen was a member of the original Gong between 1973 and 1975 before the departure of several members eventually led him to lead his own iteration of the band. This incarnation of Gong is far removed from the psychedelic/progressive inclinations of the original version. Rather it is deeply entrenched in jazz fusion/progressive rock territory, with there being a considerable focus on percussions.

The album wastes no time introducing the listener to most of the elements that are present during its 40 minute length. The title track features the instantly recognizable lead guitar work of Allan Holdsworth mixed with energetic bass work, fluid drumming, and a flurry of percussions. The vibraphone, miramba, and glockenspiel in particular are very refreshing aspects of the music with their colourful and bright timbres complementing the more “standard” instruments rather well. This track is very enjoyable and its strength lies in the free flowing style and musicality, aspects that are sprinkled through a large portion of the album.

Tracks such as the title track, “Night Illusion”, and "Esnuria" are more in line with traditional jazz fusion, but it’s the remaining tracks where Pierre Moerlen’s other influences are brought to the fore. No track represents this more than the centre piece of the album “Percolations”. This is a 10 minute display of Moerlen’s more eclectic tastes and solely features him on various instruments. There is an absence of all string and wind instruments, and represents a change of pace for the album. It’s a very fascinating journey through the world of percussive music split into two parts of contrasting tempo and intensity. It’s different, and very good.

There are a host of instruments present on the album including the timpani, vibraphone, and numerous percussive instruments that add elements of flair to the music, even if only subtly. Other more recognisable instruments of the genre are also present including the saxophone and flute. Production is good and feels organic with the guitar shining the most, having several rich tones on offer. The drums sound a tad timid and had the bass and snare drums been slightly higher in the mix, there would be a better balance overall. With members including Allan Hordsworth and Pierre Moerlen you would expect the musicianship to do justice to the names, and indeed it does, with the chemistry between the musicians also evident.

Even with all these instruments present however, at times the music can seem stagnant and a little repetitive. This is where the album is let down. The novelty of the percussions wears out as the album progresses because they are used more or less in the same manner throughout the album, at the periphery of the music. A little more variety in the instrumentation would definitely be welcome. It’s also a shame that there are a lack guitar oriented hooks on the album since they add so much personality to the music. Night Illusion and Esnuria represent this very well, and make the relative absence of hooks on the rest of the album more apparent.

Gripes aside, this album certainly provides a refreshing listening experience in the context of jazz fusion music and should be explored by fans of the genre looking for a few novel elements.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeedsofNone
July 18th 2014


336 Comments


fuck yeah

OmairSh
July 18th 2014


11053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Esnuria's main riff is so damn catchy

@Fripp: you are efficient

Digging: Leprous - Coal

SeedsofNone
July 18th 2014


336 Comments


smh that edit

OmairSh
July 18th 2014


11053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was annoying me

SeedsofNone
July 18th 2014


336 Comments


oh okay it's all good

Frownland
July 18th 2014


30 Comments


the cover for Acid Motherhood :]

SeedsofNone
July 18th 2014


336 Comments


so fucking bad

Frownland
July 18th 2014


30 Comments


kinda made me laugh

OmairSh
July 18th 2014


11053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Makes me nauseous that one. I mean older women are cool and all but God damn not ones near expiry

Frownland
July 18th 2014


30 Comments


haha pretty much

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2014


10203 Comments


awesome awesome album

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

OmairSh
July 18th 2014


11053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pierre's dong, I mean Gong, needs more loving on sputnik.

That guitar melody at 2:55 of Expresso is just brilliant. It's a shame it doesn't last for longer



MrSirLordGentleman
July 18th 2014


4405 Comments


STILL HAVEN'T CHECK THIS BAAAAAAAAAND

Digging: Nina Simone - Pastel Blues

OmairSh
July 18th 2014


11053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get off of the site. Seriously though check it out mang. But this is a different version of the band, it's jazz fusion oriented compared to the psych/prog leanings of the original band.

MrSirLordGentleman
July 18th 2014


4405 Comments


I'm not a big fan of jazz fusion, so I think I'll start with their psych/prog albums, been wanting to download Teapot but I haven't had time

OmairSh
July 18th 2014


11053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You gotta make time for that shit dude

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2014


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, yes a lot different to the earlier canterbury stuff but still a great album

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

undertakerpt
July 18th 2014


1310 Comments


Holdsworth on here? Well you've just sold a brother a gong cd

Good idea - shampooing your hair

Bad idea - shampooing your eyes


TheBarber
July 18th 2014


1963 Comments


A bunch of years ago there used to be an advert selling shampoo that doesn't hurt the eyes, the consequences were pretty brutal where I lived

Digging: Animal Collective - Centipede Hz

KILL
July 18th 2014


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice one bro pretty good album can you review camembert next pretty plz

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes



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