Monday, December 24, 2007
Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible 1 - Flying Teapot (1973)
This is the first installment of Gong's three-part Radio Gnome Invisible series. Gong was formed in the late 60s by Australian guitarist Daevid Allen (ex-Softmachine) and his wife Gilli Smith.
The group released three records prior to this series. According to allmusic.com, the Radio Gnome Invisible series is about Zero the Hero, who "is a space traveler from Earth who gets lost and finds the Planet Gong, is taught the ways of that world by the gnomes, (pothead) pixies, and Octave Doctors and is sent back to Earth to spread the word about this mystical planet." I really haven't taken the time to venture into this lyrical realm and probably never will. The music is good though, so who cares about that weird shit. Flying Teapot is considered prog-rock but I'm sure most people will find it far more idiosyncratic and goofy than the majority of prog-rock
(I think the cover makes this pretty clear). It has a rich sound through the use of a variety of instrumentation, including saxophone, piano, synth, and space guitar courtesy of Steve Hillage. Hillage's guitar playing is often reminiscent of Hawkwind and I suspect that he influenced the likes of Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple. The vocals are one of the biggest highlights. Allen and Smith deliver their mythic space tales through whispers, howls, cackles, sexually explicit ramblings, and yeah, singing too. Flying Teapot is an interesting album to say the least.
Download Radio Gnome Invisible 1 - Flying Teapot