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The enduring legend that is Gong – multi-National, multi-dimensional Psychedelic combo – entered yet another new phase on their four-decades-plus journey with ‘I See You’, originally released on Madfish in November 2014 and now reissued on sister label Kscope. ‘I See You’ was the last album they released before vocalist/lyricist Daevid Allen sadly passed away, and on this album, he radiated incandescent creativity, the original anarchic vibe that was born out of the counter-culture revolution in the Paris Commune in 1968.
His co-conspirators on ‘I See You’ comprised Orlando Allen on drums, new guitarist and current frontman Kavus Torabi (formerly of The Cardiacs) and the latest guitar incumbent in a band whose ranks have included the likes of Steve Hillage and Mark Hewins, horn player Ian East ‘Wind’, sinuous bass propulsion provided by Dave Sturt (the sonic manipulator), and Brazilian Fabio Golfetti who weaved his own lysergic patterns on guitar. This collective created an impressive, multi-layered and irrepressible sound that created its own world and then populated it with a series of dazzling musical gems, melodically-rich, lyrically engaging and musically refreshed.
‘I See You’ is both timeless and timely, a welcome antidote to an increasingly homogenised musical mainstream. Tracks such as ‘This Revolution’, a spoken piece which name-checks Gil Scott-Heron and picks up on the vibe of his ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised', articulates the kind of concerns and theories that have always inspired Daevid Allen and informed the Gong worldview, contrasts with the ferocious inter-stellar Funk of ‘You See Me’, which has been live favourite since its release. ‘Thank You’ is a heavy slab of Psychedelic Blues, whilst ‘Shakti Yoni Dingo Virgin’ is a moody, melodic instrumental piece that serves to illustrate the immense musical firepower and musical diversity of Gong.
This double LP edition of ‘I See You’ is presented in a wide spine sleeve. The current line-up of Gong is enjoying the success of 2019 album ‘The Universe Also Collapses’ following up with their second UK tour this year with previous Gong guitarist Steve Hillage in November including dates in Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands.
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