Forty years into their musical journey, and Gong is still resonating adventure and impact. Core remaining member Daevid Allen is at 75/76 still leading the line with a psychedelic and jazz baton that flourishes across twelve excellent tracks. It is overall quite melodic although also necessarily loud here and there, and the progrock orchestrations remind often of King Crimson, down to the Fripp-esque guitar work on the stand-out song The Eternal Wheel Spins. There is a spoken word with background jazz saxophone interlude in The Revolution, name-checking and echoing Gill Scott-Heron, reminding us that political preoccupations have not withered over time either: I presume the raucous Occupy – and its hint of VDGG – invokes the demonstrations against global greed. This is a furious track, Ian East ‘Wind’ blowing up a horn-storm.The musical whimsey for which Gong is historically well known [and by those more closely following over that time than me] is supplied on ninth track Pixielation and is a bright and breezy example.
As I begin to think about the best albums of 2014, I'm sure this is going to be near the top of the list.