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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gong: 2032

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Forty years have passed since Gong united in Paris, one of the cultural aftershocks of the city's student riots in May 1968. 2032 brings them back from the future and splashes them down in the instrumental jam-band scene that they originally helped create with their unique blend of progressive rock and jazz instrumentals, experimental electronics, eastern/western fusions, and self-depreciating humor. “2032 is the year that the Planet Gong makes full contact with the Planet Earth, and a major new chapter in the continually evolving Gong mythology," founding member Daevid Allen (sort of) explains.

The whimsical pot-head pixies and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gongzilla: Five Even

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Sometimes you've got to change to survive. Gongzilla--the offshoot of the late Pierre Moerlen's Gong that was an offshoot of the original Franglo group Gong--last released Live (Lolo) in 2001. Even more fusion-centric than Moerlen's Gong, that disc featured GZ co-founders Bon Lozaga (guitar), Hansford Rowe (bass) and Benoit Moerlen (vibes, xylophone) in the company of American power players Vic Stevens (drums) and David Fiuczynski (guitar). While there's no shortage of fusion chops on Five Even, GZ--sans Moerlen --moves into jamband territory, and introduces vocals for the first time.

Adding vocals to an instrumental group can ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville: Day 3 - May 19, 2007

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

With a festival as inherently risk-taking as the Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville (FIMAV), it's a given that some shows will work better than others. There may also be failed experiments, but it's to the festival's credit that it doesn't rely on the tried-and-true. Invariably, even the less-successful performances are, at the very least, worth checking out.

Day three of the 24th edition of FIMAV was all about operating without a safety net--and, as usual, within a wide array of musical contexts--with some of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pierre Moerlen's Gong: Pentanine

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French percussionist Pierre Moerlen, who passed away at the all-too-young age of 52, may never have garnered the attention he deserved, but amongst fans of the British Canterbury movement he was a renowned presence. If he'd done nothing more than play on the psychedelic jamband Gong's Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, he'd have been assured a place in the annals of progressive rock history.

The history of Gong is long and complicated, with a plethora of related projects, including most notably Planet Gong, You 'n' Gong, University of Errors, Acid Mother Gong and Gongzilla. The latter is perhaps the only offshoot ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gongzilla: East Village Sessions

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I remember very clearly checking out the band Gongzilla’s progenitor, Gong, many years ago during the heyday of the fusion movement. The artsy European album covers and sophisticated surnames listed on the jackets offered much promise. However, that band never quite cleared the hurdles, and so through its various and sundry incarnations over the years, I have ignored its output. But if East Village Sessions gives any indication as to what I may have been missing over the last two decades, perhaps I should revisit some of those earlier recordings and take a second listen. East Village ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gongzilla: Live

Americans Bon Lozaga (guitar) and Hansford Rowe (bass) and Frenchman Benoit Moerlen (vibes, xylophone) formed the nucleus of the fusion band Gongzilla in the mid 1990s, and recorded the studio CDs Suffer and Thrive with guest guitarists Allan Holdsworth and David Torn. The 2001 Gongzilla release Live was recorded direct to 2-track at a festival in Quebec City, Canada, on June 27, 1998, with drummer Vic Stevens, who played on the Gongzilla debut CD Suffer. In the Gongzilla tradition of innovative guest guitarists, this show also featured NYC guitarist and composer David Fiuczynski, who previously played with Stevens on a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gong: Live 2 Infinitea/Live In London

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In the age of digital precision, it’s a reassurance to know that the spontaneity of live recording is not extinct. And when the band in question has a sum total of over 100 years of professional experience it’s a tonic to hear the power of the record. The disc provides ample evidence that Gong both should and shouldn’t be included under the jazz rubric! The selection of 14 tracks includes 10 pieces from February’s funk-jazz inspired ZERO 2 INFINITY(SNA 824), featuring all 7 musicians on that CD in league with the same man behind the mixing console since 1973, Switch ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gongzilla: Suffer

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Yeah I now, this release is a bit on the older side of things but great fusion is ageless and a joyful listen no matter when it is discovered. The group Gong has mutated itself gladly through an endless morph of musicians. From deep in the way-back machine’s files we find You with Steve Hillage on axe to its days with fusion legend Allan Holdsworth on Expresso and with Bon Lozaga riffing it up on Time is the Key the spectrum is spanned. Out of Gong’s forehead doth sprout Gongzilla -- a delightful little fusion-critter of curious seeds.This ...



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