GONG’S MESMERIZING 1969 DEBUT ALBUM TRIPPY & SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS PSYCHEDELIC ROCK OF THE HIGHEST ORDER

Having been part of the fabled ‘Canterbury scene’ along with luminaries such as Robert Wyatt and Pip Pyle the irrepressible Australian guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Daevid Allen formed Gong with Welsh vocalist Gilli Smyth in Paris at the end of the ‘60s as France was in state of ferment. The pair actually had to exit France and take refuge in Majorca after falling foul of the authorities and finding themselves subject to an arrest warrant.  

Following their return to Paris in the summer of 1969 at the instigation of film director Jérome Laperrousaz, for whom they cut a soundtrack, Allen and Smyth were asked to record once again by Jean Karakos of BYG, the label formed by himself, Jean-Luc Young and Fernand Boruso. With the addition of French saxophonist Didier Malherbe, bass guitarist Christian Tritsch and drummer Rachid Houari Gong was born in earnest and waxed Magick Brother before going on to make an appearance at the Actuel festival in Amougies, Belgium. Although Tritsch couldn’t make the studio session, jazz double bassists Barre Phillips and Earl Freeman and pianist Burton Greene – all of whom released fine albums on BYG – contributed to several tracks.

The A side of the disc is Early Morning and the B is Side Of The Late Night. These sub-headings reflect a clearly stated premise.

That isn’t to say that the music can’t be enjoyed outside of the prescribed hours but the contrasts of mood that the musicians set out to create from one stage of the album to the next are noteworthy. The piercing voices and hissing guitars that greet the listener on side A are almost like a burst of energy at dawn, the moment when things stir from slumber as the first rays of the sun hit eyes that have been hitherto shut tight. These initially harsh sounds slope off into the distance and a gentle flute wafts into earshot over light yet resonant strains of bowed bass. A beautifully delivered melody, carried by acoustic guitar and sensual sotto voce, sets out Gong’s rich stylistic identity as well as its ability to create atmospheres found somewhere that is far from earth.

Magick Brother introduced Gong as one of the great oddities of the psychedelic and space rock age. The nucleus of Allen, Smyth and Malherbe was able to create a musical vocabulary very much of its own all the while searching for essential metaphysical truths.

“The band made strong political statements that comes through loud and clear on this re-mastered version of Gong’s debut album...” Kevin Le Gendre

 

Side 1
1. Mystic Sister - Magick Brother
2. Change The World
3. Glad To Sad To Say
4. Chain Store Chant - Pretty Miss Titty
5. Fredfish - Hope You
 Feel OK

Side 2
1. Ego
2. Gong Song
3. Princess Dreaming
4. 5 & 20 Schoolgirls
5. Cos You've Got Green Hair

Bonus Tracks (exclusive to CD)
Est-Ce Que Je Suis ?
Hip Hypnotise You

MAGICK BROTHER

MAGICK BROTHER

Gong

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LP Information

- Limited edition
- Original 1969 BYG Records album
- 180-gram black vinyl LP
- In deluxe gatefold sleeve matte laminate varnish
- Insert featuring liner notes by Kevin Le Gendre
- Mastered to vinyl by Nick Robbins, lacquers cut by Cicely Balston at Air Studios

CD Information

- Original 1969 album
- Expanded with the Gong single "Est-Ce Que Je Suis ?
Hip Hypnotise You", originally released by BYG in 1970
- Deluxe gatefold digi-sleeve with matte laminate varnish
- 16-page booklet featuring sleeve notes by Kevin Le Gendre
- Digitally mastered by Nick Robbins

View full details
  1. Mystic Sister [Magick Brother]
  2. Change The World
  3. Glad To Sad To Say
  4. Chain Store Chant [Pretty Miss Titty]
  5. Fredfish [Hope You Feel OK]
  6. Ego
  7. Gong Song
  8. Princess Dreaming
  9. 5 and 20 Schoolgirls
  10. Cos You've Got Green Hair
  11. Est-Ce Que Je Suis ?
  12. Hip Hypnotise You

GONG’S MESMERIZING 1969 DEBUT ALBUM TRIPPY & SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS PSYCHEDELIC ROCK OF THE HIGHEST ORDER

Having been part of the fabled ‘Canterbury scene’ along with luminaries such as Robert Wyatt and Pip Pyle the irrepressible Australian guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Daevid Allen formed Gong with Welsh vocalist Gilli Smyth in Paris at the end of the ‘60s as France was in state of ferment. The pair actually had to exit France and take refuge in Majorca after falling foul of the authorities and finding themselves subject to an arrest warrant.  

Following their return to Paris in the summer of 1969 at the instigation of film director Jérome Laperrousaz, for whom they cut a soundtrack, Allen and Smyth were asked to record once again by Jean Karakos of BYG, the label formed by himself, Jean-Luc Young and Fernand Boruso. With the addition of French saxophonist Didier Malherbe, bass guitarist Christian Tritsch and drummer Rachid Houari Gong was born in earnest and waxed Magick Brother before going on to make an appearance at the Actuel festival in Amougies, Belgium. Although Tritsch couldn’t make the studio session, jazz double bassists Barre Phillips and Earl Freeman and pianist Burton Greene – all of whom released fine albums on BYG – contributed to several tracks.

The A side of the disc is Early Morning and the B is Side Of The Late Night. These sub-headings reflect a clearly stated premise.

That isn’t to say that the music can’t be enjoyed outside of the prescribed hours but the contrasts of mood that the musicians set out to create from one stage of the album to the next are noteworthy. The piercing voices and hissing guitars that greet the listener on side A are almost like a burst of energy at dawn, the moment when things stir from slumber as the first rays of the sun hit eyes that have been hitherto shut tight. These initially harsh sounds slope off into the distance and a gentle flute wafts into earshot over light yet resonant strains of bowed bass. A beautifully delivered melody, carried by acoustic guitar and sensual sotto voce, sets out Gong’s rich stylistic identity as well as its ability to create atmospheres found somewhere that is far from earth.

Magick Brother introduced Gong as one of the great oddities of the psychedelic and space rock age. The nucleus of Allen, Smyth and Malherbe was able to create a musical vocabulary very much of its own all the while searching for essential metaphysical truths.

“The band made strong political statements that comes through loud and clear on this re-mastered version of Gong’s debut album...” Kevin Le Gendre

 

Side 1
1. Mystic Sister - Magick Brother
2. Change The World
3. Glad To Sad To Say
4. Chain Store Chant - Pretty Miss Titty
5. Fredfish - Hope You
 Feel OK

Side 2
1. Ego
2. Gong Song
3. Princess Dreaming
4. 5 & 20 Schoolgirls
5. Cos You've Got Green Hair

Bonus Tracks (exclusive to CD)
Est-Ce Que Je Suis ?
Hip Hypnotise You

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