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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Daevid Allen & Euterpe - Good Morning

The power of Gong’s music may have been considered Pink Floyd’s little brother of Space Rock along with Hawkwind, if they were formed in the Canterbury scene throughout the Virgin Label of the Radio Gnome trilogy – and throughout the Gnome trilogy, I definitely mean; Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg, and the atmospheric psychedelic twist of You. For Daevid Allen, the frontman of Gong and former member of the Soft Machine, left Gong in 1975 to pursue a solo career in the Mallocra islands where he and formed a group of musicians from the Spanish island of Catalan, Valenica in which it became Euterpe. The album, Good Morning, has been considered a lost classic among Gong fans, but for Mark and Vicky Powell and the Esoteric family, they have done a great job re-mastering one of Daevid’s lost masterpiece.
Though it was a follow up to 1971’s Banana Moon while it was released in 1976 at the time that Punk was rising up the streams, it shows Allen’s songwriting methods of spoken words between the boundaries of what was left to be arranged between him and the members of Euterpe to created and be organized. Featuring Gong’s space whispers Gilli Smyth and the members of Euterpe; Pepe Milan on Mandolin, Guitar, and Glockenspiel, Ana Camps on vocals, Toni Pascal on Keyboards and Guitar, Toni Ares on contrabass, Toni Tree Fernandez on guitar, Peirre Moerlen on percussion, and Gong bassist Mike Howlett, the results on here are pliant and potent and at the same time ambient into a world beyond your craziest dreaming exhibiting the boundaries of Canterbury Jazz Space music.
There are nine centerpieces on Good Morning that it’s hard for me to pick throughout the songs that are just mind-boggling and crazy at the same time. The eerie acoustic folky crisp of the introduction dedicated to the Children of the New World is emotionally overwhelming while the bonus 9-minute track, Euterpe Gratitude Piece, which is actually the band doing an homage to Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd, has some spooky vocal backgrounds, haunting guitar sounds, a bell, and a keyboard flourishing the dead sea of the soldiers fighting for their bravery catches the listener’s ear by the tongue including some strange voices that sound very revolutionary and almost a tribute to the Radio Gnome trilogy. The Caribbean Rhythm upbeat tempo of the 11-minute lukewarm jazz fusion taste of Wise Man in your Heart is spellbinding as for the title track, which doesn’t have pretentious big keyboard solos, but more of a celtic experimental crossover, showing Daevid to be a writer of science-fiction with eerie storytelling of the 21st century. There’s also a spooky 15th century tribute to the Renaissance scene with the heavy strumming and fingerpicking along with a ghost-like synthesized moog part on Have You Seen My Friend?, plus the haunting piano ballad which was never been used before in Daevid’s career, but it works quite well on Songs of Satisfaction.
Through various line-ups and this being a spin-off version of Gong, even though they were way ahead of their time, Daevid Allen is now considered a cult hero along with the prog heroes from Catalan, Euterpe and of course the space rock sounds of the Canterbury scene, they could be doing a Gong convention somewhere right now in the 21st century. But for Good Morning here, you began to wonder whether they were stoned making this album or they were having a grand old time in the Islands writing music for Philip K. Dick. Although strange, it’s a must have for any Gong nut or Space Rock craze fanatic to sink their hands on to for the Pot Head Pixies in the Isle of Everywhere.

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