With the sounds of the Space Rock genre, Canterbury, and Jazz Fusion, a band like Gong can really take you up into the Flying Teapot’s and go into a world of the Pot Head Pixies and getting ready into the room in an Oily Way beat. Alongside Daevid Allen, he has been there since day one when Gong formed 46 years ago in France. That and their new album, I See You, released this year which is a follow up to their 2009 album, 2032, Gong is still getting back into the roots of their classic-era of the 1970s.
And listening to the album, I almost cried because it is almost as if they have now come in full circle and it is now complete. His space cadets that are on the Flying Teapot that is ready for take-off are; Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld/Guapo/Cardiacs) on Guitar, Orlando Allen on Drums, Dave Strut on Bass, Fabio Golfetti on Guitar, and Ian East on wind instruments. And not to mention Gilli Smyth who does the whispering on the vocals as a guest as well to lend Allen a helping hand and who has been there since day one.
Gilli’s voice of “Everywhere…..” will get listeners blown away of that voice as the swirling voyages jam between the essence of Prog and Funk combined into one, make it an excellent adventure into our solar systems with You See Me. Daevid Allen’s dystopian poem, This Revolution, is his homage to Gil Scott-Heron, Hunter S. Thompson, and The Last Poets as the music descends into the darker side of the modern world with spooky vocalizations and Floyd-sque guitar sounds resembling the Meddle-era.
Allen describes almost like speaking through the screens like an announcement about what has been going down in the corrupt modern world with; Capitalism, Politics, and MTV and you could tell that he is spot on throughout the poetry. Then, Gong goes into a doomy jazzy bass line done by Strut along with the metallic flute going through a fuzz tone along with the guitars going into a Crimson-like Fripp-sque vibe and Orland doing a styling of Elvin Jones and Billy Cobham on the drums and not to mention, the Trip-Hop psychedelic vibes on the ominous rhythm beat with When God Shakes Hands with the Devil.
Elsewhere on The Eternal Wheel Spins, it is Gong’s tribute and reminiscent to Space Rock heroes Hawkwind while the 10-minute epic, Thank You is a touching yet almost farewell piece. It starts off for the first three minutes as a bluesy psychedelic guitar jam session before it goes into a spaced out ultimate trip in a different universe and then it ascends to head back to Planet Gong as Daevid is giving his message to thank not just the music, but for the fans who have been there with him for the travel, adventure, the memories, and of course the music.
The last track, Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin is back to the sounds of the early Pink Floyd again and it’s the sliding guitar and Gilli Smyth’s soothing vocalizations that set the tone of the ambient/atmospheric adventure back home. Listening to this track, it is so beautiful and very touching at times and it feels like it was left off the sessions during the Ummagumma-era and it’s a perfect melodic and emotional way to close the album off.
I See You is one of Gong's touching and wonderful return and album I've listened to. And after listening about four times of Gong's return, it shows that they have show no sign of stopping and the Pot Head Pixies themselves have done an amazing job bringing the music waiting to see where the Flying Teapot would take them next into another adventure for them.