IAO Chant from the Cosmic Inferno. This CD has been out for a couple of months but I've only just caught up with it after all the hurly-burly of the Uncon(g). Destined to divide opinion among Gongsters right down the middle it's the Acid Mothers Temple homage to that classic Gong track 'Master Builder' - well homage to Steve's riff actually. I urge all Gongsters to at least try and hear it once - I think it's rather wonderful, sometimes overwhelming, but wonderful.
Theo's Flute Salad LP Surprise
Due at the beginning of February will be the highly intriguing 'Eleven Bowls of Acidophilus Flute Salad' by Theo Travis. It comprises of 11 live versions of his 'Flute Salad' improvisations recorded around the world (Philadelphia, Osaka, Hamburg, London, Vienna, Widnes, Oslo, etc) on the Gong Zero 2 Infinity Tour 2000-01. Mixed in with the very different versions are snippets of Daevid, Chris Taylor, Gwyo, and there is one improvised duo recording (Paris naturally) with Didier, which is super. Each improvisation is unique in character and dynamic and the album as a whole is thoroughly enjoyable.
This is a vinyl only release and is coming out in a very limited edition of 200 copies. The quality of the packaging from the dutch label, tonefloat records, is fantastic - heavy thick vinyl (probably clear or white), thick card sleeve, hand printed lettering with an insert on top of the range textured paper with an embossed seal on it of the label logo. Dead posh. If the release is successful there may be a further pressing of 100 more copies - but absolutely not a single copy more. There are no plans for a CD issue.
Some rather excellent and evocative images of last week's amazing event taken by 'Rock et Folk' photographer Pierre Terrasson have been posted in the gallery by Blaiddwyn. A four page spread in that long-lived French music magazine is planned for the near future. I'll try and find out when. Uncon 2005 Pics
Our good friend Luc Pilmeyer has also posted loads of good photographs from the Unconventional Gathering.
Gilli Smyth and Friends: www.pilmeyer.com/gong/glaston1e.html House of Thandoy: www.pilmeyer.com/gong/houseote.html Tim Blake et Steve Hillage: www.pilmeyer.com/gong/tbsh1e.html Uncon(G) Jam: www.pilmeyer.com/gong/jamucge.html
"Hi Jonny, I reformed the band take a look at: violeta de outono. It's in portuguese but you can see the pictures… Magic Mushroom Band style. We played last 11 Nov with Nektar here in Sâo Paulo. All the best, Fabio"
Some excellent and evocative images of last week's amazing event taken by 'Rock et Folk' photographer Pierre Terrasson… four page spread planned for the near future in that long-lived French music magazine.
With unchallengeable Green Planet timing the Unconventional Gathering Posters arrived about a week after the event… "Yes Mr Greene we will certainly get them to you by the 20th October"… Hmmmm! Anyway they are now available in the bazaar - free special spelling mistake with each one. There are about 150 copies available, so that should see us through to 2032. All rather fetching, designed by El Plazmo's Will Greenwood, and should you desire such a thing, the ideal souvenir.
While we are about it the last of the Planet Gong '91 promo posters are also now available in the posters section
Toolshed are the brainchild of 808 State's Graham Massey, and feature Graham Clark amongst a host of other experimental Mancunians. Their debut album, 'Toolshed' (TN66CD), is just about to be released. There is also a limited edition of 500 LP version as well, which I think includes the CD as well. Undoubtedly well worth investigation. Probably stocked in the bazaar soon.
"For anyone starved of genuinely experimental music, Toolshed is a haven. Seeing them feels like walking into a strange, post-nuclear sound world full of little green men with fabulous, unearthly tunes" - The Guardian
Soft Machine Book
A brilliant new hardback book on the history of the seminal Canterbury band, 'Soft Machine:Out-Bloody-Rageous' by Graham Bennett, has recently been published by SAF. It contains forewords by Daevid, Hugh Hopper and John Etheridge, who were also interviewed for the book along with every conceivable Soft associate. It is illustrated with over eighty photographs, posters and clippings and includes a full Soft Machine family tree, concert file, discography and sessionography. Blimey sounds like something definitive - well actually I know it is as I've just finished enjoying it. Totally illuminating and thoroughly recommended. Hunt it down and discover how it all began.
Stof Kovax has a new Psytrancetv site online now at: PsytranceTV And don't forget to check out his regular site NewOM where you can download his remix of 'Selene' and a great 'Gurujimi' track as well.
Mini Trilogy Returns
The 12th January sees the re-release of the Japanese mini-lp CD versions of Flying Teapot (VICP-63274), Angels Egg (VICP-63275) and You (VICP-63276). All very nice looking but they will almost certainly be using the Charly un-remastered audio (unless of course they 'borrow' the Virgin audio) and no doubt Flying Teapot will still use the horrible Charly cover. And of course no-one gets a single penny by any of the so called regular means.
Three other Gong/Canterbury related Japanese limited edition mini LP CDs. The first Soft Machine album (UICY-9687), 'June 1st, 1974' by Kevin Ayers/John Cale/ Eno/ Nico (UICY-9686), both released on 18th Jan, and Comus' 'To Keep From Crying' (WAS-1068), on which Didier briefly appears, which came out on 29th Nov.
While we're on the subject of no money, yet another 'Very Best of Gong' CD has recently been released. It contains the usual random un-remastered Camembert/Trilogy selection except that this time the editing of the tracks is at times dire - fading out 'Oily Way' before the guitar break, come on chaps at least put some thought and care into it. I won't be stocking the above releases.
Thom's Uncon(G) Poem
imagine if you will
that all those feuding factions
united for one glorious weekend
and played to their maximum spiritual capacity
to a hall filled with co-consenting imagineers
against all impossible logistical odds
the odd became even more even
and all was done well and efficiently
with fewer scandals than smiles
and a desire to recreate in Amsterdam
the UNconvention with the original daevid allen
know that you would feel proud and smiling
at that hillage known as steven
who weaved a magick generous and arcane
who threaded melodies and harmonies in GONG's sweet name
who played until the angels shared their wings
and Gilli(brilliant soundscapes)
with poems a plenty /backed by that power pulse Orlandoson
and Didiere Malherbe-with French companions
and so much documentation via video (Ric Dodderidge)
audio/cameraflash-that a splash of Light
emanated from that sweat sauna sacred spot
to shine brighter than before
all was more than well-it was healthy, hale and hearty
better that you hear this from others tongues
lest you regret ghost absence at yr own celebrations!
Jonny held it all together/Chris danced and cried with laughter
Dancers danced/bands played
better than you have ever seen or heard them
Something seriously shifted-even sunshine visited
and the word on everyone's lips was…
Thom Oct 23, 2005
New CD with daevid allen artwork
Elcetric violinist extrordinaire Cynde Lee Rule commissioned daevid allen for the cover artwork of her debut CD 'UFOsmosis'. You can see, hear and almost certainly order the result at Cyndee's web-site
daevid allen's own web-Site
Daevid now has his very own web-site www.daevidallen.net
The site designed to be clear, simple space purely to display what Daevid is up to right now. He will choose all the content. It won't deal with general Gong Family material and matters, have Forums, archives or any of the kind of stuff you find here. The content will change regularly and there are no plans to archive it. On the site at the moment there is a daevid performance poem, '#1 conscience strike', filmed recently in Australia by Stefanie Petrik, a film maker daevid has been working with for the past few months.
The site is maintained by our own faithful Luc Pilmeyer, who also looks after sites for Gilli, Didier and UofE. Without him we would be culturally and conectively much more poor.
Archives Revamped - Daevid Interviews - mp3s
Blaiddwyn has revamped, restyled and generally tidied up the Archive section of the site. Newly installed are two recent interviews with Daevid, one for Tim Tam magazine, and a particularly brilliant one by Udi Koomran. Both are rich in all manner of details of the past and present events as well as being very entertaining. Archives
The tireless Blaiddwyn has also added loads more mp3 samples throughout the bazaar. They're all marked with the little mp3 symbol.
A selection of t-shirts are available once more in small, medium, large, X-large and (for the first time on-line) XX-Large:- Daevid's crazy University of Errors (short sleeve), Glo in the dark Camembert Electrique (short or long sleeve), Glo in the dark Blue Gong Mandala (short sleeve)
T-shirt prices have not risen for many, many years but when the current stock has gone there will be an unavoidable slight rise in price. So if you want a Gong shirt at the 'old' price please order soon.
Curiouser & Curiouser - Far East Teapot Cult
Thanks to Basil Brooks for this odd bit of BBC World News. And I thought we were the only Teapot cult.
New Moon Arrival! - Sacred Geometry II
This morning, just in time for the new moon (how do the pixies arrange that?), there was a knock at the office door. It was the carrier man with the second Micro Cosmic/Daevid Allen collaboration CD, 'Sacred Geometry II' - phew! So if you pre-ordered this release it will be sent out within the next 24 hours, thank you for your patience and thank you Selene.
It Was a Dark and Stormy night… a Damp Aussie Writes
The world just stopped!
I have just experienced a day of inundation unequalled in my experience here. It rained for three days & three nights with such intensity that the river opposite my house suddenly rose up, swallowed my garden & then rapidly climbed the wall of my two story house, swamping my garage & car below.
On the third day I awoke from a third dark & stormy night with an uneasy gut feeling. Such was the current of water rushing down from the hills that the field at the back of my house became a raging river that carried away everything around my house that was not securely moored…. Simultaneously the ocean just through the trees raged & breached the sand dunes adding extra currents to the chaos.
I was isolated safely above the water but for how long? The waters had entered the bottom of my house & were rising up the inside stairs. Stranded with no electricity I watched amazed as fish leapt out of the water beneath my balcony & birds took refuge beside me out of the pelting rain. Cars floated about on the road like boats & thunder & lightening pounded my ears with magnificent doomsday surroundsound.
I delved about in my powerless house & found a tiny portable radio & a couple of dubious batteries which let me tune in to local bay FM radio. I was listening for only a couple of minutes to a cheery voiced fremale talking about nearby Lismore being evacuated when they suddenly went off the air presumably due to power failures in Byron Bay.
Was this the end of the world as I know it?
The other wierd thing was that there were no signs of life from houses nearby. Had they all been evacuated in the night?
By now it was midday & the rain on the roof was deafening. My laptop? No luck, battery too old… I was starting to pine for a human sighting… the phone?? YES! I rang Gilli to find that her situation was even worse. The water was only two steps below her front door & was also pouring through the roof in the middle of the house. Her car was submerged up to the windows & she was generally more worried than I… in fact I felt much better to be the reassuring one.
I returned to the balcony to see a yellow inflatable rescue boat rushing up the river. Many of the single story houses must certainly have been washed through & their enhabitants would be in shock. Then more & more boats appeared. Also kayaks, canoos, surfskis & surfboards to the rescue. Helicopters fussed noisily overhead. Most of my near neighbors remained above the water line & those in danger had been safely extracted & taken up to the community centre.
Suddenly the rain stopped & it was party time. What else better to do?
A cheerful call from Gilli, told me she was safely back at work in the studio at the dry end of her house. Then Ynys rang from Turiya's place high up in the mountains intrigued by my predicament & unhappy not to be sharing it. As the sun set I opened a bottle of wine, lit every candle I could find & played my new acoustic guitar all night! After my first really peaceful sleep for days, I awoke this morning to find most of it had drained away. My car, though the water had risen just over the interior seats, miraculously still worked!
The garage was a chaos of sodden reel to reel tapes, wet clothes & ruined electrical stuff. Then the state premier landed in a helicopter on the new brighton oval & did a couple of prime time tv news spots outside the all but obliterated New Brighton store declaring us a national disaster & promising us all new bedding, washingmachines & more plastic stuff. Ahh politics!!
I wandered my neighbourhood finding mud & debris strewn everywhere with low lying houses in total confusion but also that generous atmosphere of jokey acceptance & togetherness that comes from surviving the vicisitudes of nature as a community.
daevid alien. new brighton. friday 1 july 05
Wed July 7 05: Never one to rest on his laurels (especially when soggy) - we now have daevid's 'It was a dark and stormy night…' - the poem. I now look forward to the Opera.
Commission a daevid allen illustration
Design your 12" LP cover with your own virtual Gong band starring - YOU! Find out more & see the four of the completed commissions
massage from daevid alien 18.05.05
ART WORK COMMISSIONS OPPORTUNITea.
you too can help service:
1 grand daughter
3 step grand daughters
3 step great grandsons
1 recording studio
i will illustrate in b/w your own 12" gong lp cover to yr specs starring your name for you for £111.11 or equivalent.
this will be part of a limited series which will be exhibited on completion in the g&ULP; GALLERY on the gong website. tally ho chapettes & chaps, we are skin driven things!
cum work with me one of these… contact jonny for further details
Gilli Smyth website updated
There are some updates on Gilli's website www.gillismyth.com, and a new page on the debut Gong Matrices CD 'Parade'. There's a sample mp3 (1.35MB) with some nice flash animation. And while you're about it, why not have a look at Luc's 'Battle of the Birds' mp3 sample (1.4MB) with flash, which I think is the perfect little advert for that slightly overlooked, but very fine CD.
daevid allen interview in Portugese
If Portugese is your mother tongue there's a new Daevid interview at Mofo, and a page on the history of Soft Machine, also in the language at Mofo.
CD News Roundup
New titles : We are just about to enter another hectic flurry of Gong & related releases. First up is Gilli's Gong Matrice 'Parade' (now in stock). Daevid and Gilli's Fairy Tales-like 'Short Tales & Tall' was to be released on the same day, 20th June, but apparently the masters have been mislaid by the record company and a new set is coming from Australia. I would guess a mid-July release now. It remains available to pre-order in the bazaar.
Snapper Charly Reissues : On the 27th June Snapper released two more of Charly back Gong catalogue didigi-pak reissues (both are in stock in the bazaar already), Daevid's 'Banana Moon' and 'Playbax 80/Alien in New York'. Of the Charly back catalogue I think that only leaves Daevid's 'Now Happiest Time of Your Life' and New York Gong's 'About Time' un-digipak-ized by them. Sad to say, as with all Charly related Gong titles, if you buy them anywhere else but here there is no benefit at all to any museos.
GAS releases : I hope the forthcoming exclusive GAS releases 'Sacred Geometry II' and 'Live Floating Anarchy '91' will arrive before the end of the month.
Hadouk : The French distributors Melodie, who handled Didier's Hadouk and Shamanimal CD releases, went bust last week. I currently only have a few of Hadouk's 'Live @ FiP' double CD in stock and once they have gone there is bound to be quite a delay before we see any of the titles again. Bloom tells me that the band are in discussion with another label, who are funding some Hadouk recording sessions right now, and this company may take up the option of releasing his back catalogue, but this is not certain at the moment. So if you want the stunning 'Live @ FiP' double CD grab it while it's around.
July/August : Slightly further ahead at the end of July we can expect the intriguingly titled 'DJDDAY' by Weird Biscuit Teatime, which is a Don 'Spirit's Burning' Falcone production rich with new Daevid recordings. And perhaps some of the next of the Bananamoon Obscura releases, although I've no definitive word on that yet.
On the horizon Is new album from Steve & Miquette, 'Mirror System' (AAWCD011) - release date Sept 26th, which is their new chillout/downtempo project.
Battle of the Beanfield Book
It's 20 years since the ambush of the travellers on their way to Stonehenge to celebrate the Midsummer Solstice. Here is a link to a newly published book on the events of that terrible day. Wherever and however you celebrate Solstice, celebrate the folks that were there that day as well. Have a good one.
I have uploaded an updated [5 page] version of my retrospective article on Pierre from 1995 (in French) on the Big Bang website. I hope it serves as a fitting tribute to this great musician. - Aymeric
Hugely detailed and almost certainly definitive overview of Pierre's wide-ranging career. [archive]
Get Well Pip
Pip Pyle is laid up at home in France recovering from a major back operation. Trapped nerves gained by the years of use and mis-use were starting to effect the sensation and movement in one of his legs - serious stuff. However I'm very pleased to report that the operation seems to have been a success and a few weeks increasingly pain-free rest should do the trick. Send your good thoughts and feelings to aid a speedy recovery. Oh drummers, what can you do with them, even an unstoppable Aries like Pip need a bit more care these days.
Daevid's Pierre Poem
I was exploding
Gong was imploding
In walked the ginger boy
I'm yr new drummer said he
Out of the frying pan
Into the hot wires
We surfed the new co-ordinates
Virgin was a label
Our star was a blazing rock &
Phoenix was a gal from Sun City.
A reborn headhunter,
He burned too ferociously;
Stoked by Howlett
Enflamed by Hillage
Crazed when erased by glissando space creatures
with synthi sized ears & rhythms of lace,
Bewildered by angels whispering in space
& the intentions of aliens from
Too perfect his Chalice,
Percussion his solace.
He burned at both ends
landed in a snow drift
tried to time shift
but accidentally sniffed
the stained fiver
with a lover snuffed on former stuff
make you shiver
it's a consumate buzz
I bet you that fiver that there's
no accidents in show biz
then down the back stage tunnel
to the bedsit under the graveyard watch.
a tunnel channel
taken by the many
emprisoned by imperatives
& short-rent money.
They dance with the shadows of an ancient alchemy
head office in a high rise on the Costa Plenti.
Surrendering their skins to a chemical sun that
will bring you undone
from the final first flash
til yr walking stunned,
loading the gun,
looking down over the balcony…
But now my brother
you've crossed the sands
deflated the lungs
collapsed the glands
popped your clogs
& dropped off the clay
hey… you always were the first to leave the band
I bet yr playing with
someone groovy now eh…
Pierre Moerlen 1952-2005
Pierre Moerlen died unexpectedly in his sleep in the early hours of 3rd May in the mountains near Strasbourg. He was in the middle of rehearsal sessions for a new Pierre Moerlen's Gong Band, which were going well and with which he was very happy. Pierre's funeral took place on Monday 9th May, in Colmar, Alsace-Lorraine, the town of his birth. [tributes]
A handful of less expensive copies of two of the Italian Get Back vinyl reissues have turned up. New York Gong's 'About Time' and 'Aquariana' by Burton Greene, originally a BYG LP featuring Didier.
Death Ritual Review
"Entering down a long narrow, darkened, rubbish strewn and graffiti bombed hallway one emerged into a room sparsely littered with an array of different people converging on a bizarre psychedelic multi-media anti-spectacle. Was this an underground meeting place for aliens to pass out coded passwords to insurgents or was there a flip side to the Pope's own death? In any case, I had the sensation of encountering upon a deeply private and ancient ritual, devoid of any dogma, extravagantly illicit and not shy of provocation…."
The function of art is to make that understood which in the form of argument would be incomprehensible.
No matter how bad things get you got to go on living, even if it kills you.
We do not stop playing because we grow old
we grow old because we stop playing.
thang you and goodnight
aka: jesu ali om
endgame two:rebirth and endgame three will take place in the near future - more news as and when.
As the 2005 Glast-bash tickets go on sale very soon perhaps this timely reminder of what it once was, news of which arrived yesterday, is the required antidote. Photographer and Spirit healer Paul Misso has just launched a lovely website full of his work. Not only are there more than 150 photographs of the '71 Glastonbury Fayre, most of which have never been seen before, but there are also some very evocative pictures of trip he made in 1972 to see the Master Musicians of Jajouka in Morocco. www.c-image.com/paulmisso/ [defunct]
While you're there, if you feel like it, you could also go on to www.healing-spirit.com [defunct] and buy Paul's rather wonderful, high-quality '71 Glastonbury 'Pyramid of Light' poster, which I can whole-heartedly recommend, and support an original generous spirit.
Udi's Gong Show
Udi Koomran, our man in Israel, has been working on three 6 hour programs on daevid and Gong. Udi's Gong Show programs which I think include some interviews, are downloadable via the Israeli ProgFreaks hub.
Graham Clark & Mark Feldman on BBC Radio
Friday, Feb 4th, Graham can be heard on BBC Radio 3's 'Mixing It' playing in a stunning improvised violin duo with leading American jazz violinist Mark Feldman (who has played with John Abbercrombie, John Zorn among many others).
The sessions, which were recorded at the end of September last year just before the Gong Un-convention, (maybe why Graham was the star of that event?), simply should not be missed. Graham had a CD of the recording on his visit to me back then, and I can testify that they are quite wonderful and totally engrossing, probably one of the very best things he has ever been involved with.
Hatfield and the North
Good to see the current Hatfield and the North buzz continuing with a new website dedicated to the band at:- hatfieldandthenorth.co.uk.
It contains exciting news on the 'Hatwise Choice' CD of previously un-released archive recordings by the original line-up, including John Peel sessions.
There are also, wonder of wonders, some Hatfield gigs in the pipeline.
Howard Scarr aka Gwyo zepix of Gong, Zorch and alot more besides has created his very own website. Find out out all about him and his synthi-eyed worldview here H.Scarr Esq.