Daevid Allen

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Daevid Allen

Post by Musicgate on Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:24 am

Daevid Allen - Man from Gong: The Best of Daevid Allen (Charly) (2006)

Type: Compilation (best of)
Recording Date:
Release Date: March 13, 2006
Label: SNAP 264, Charly
Genre: Canterbury Scene, Neo-Psychedelia

About albume:
Spanning Nearly 20 Years of his Rich Recording Legacy, this Comprehensive Compilation Traces Chronologically Allen's Career from his Early Proto-psych Recordings with the Soft Machine Through to Solo Experimental Material Recorded in New York and Jamaica in the 1980s. The Album's Highlights Include the Fantastic Allen-penned, Early Soft Machine Song 'you Don't Remember', with Robert Wyatt on Vocals; 'banana Moon's Mad Cap 'stoned Innocent Frankenstein'; The Emblematic 'tried So Hard', from the Legendary Gong Debut 'camembert Electrique'; 'now is the Happiest Time of Your Life's Gentle 'only Make Love If You Want To'; The Terrific Punk-psych Energy of 'floatin' Anarchy' and 'too Old' and the Far Darker 'when' from the Disturbing Experimental Album Dividedalineplaybax 80.

Fred The Fish, The Castle On The Hill, Winter 2006
For over 40 years now the eccentric Australian singer, guitarist, poet and performer Daevid Allen has offered an alternative to contemporary music whilst maintaining a loyal following. Embracing jazz, psychedelia, punk and new technology Allen's philosophies have offered a bohemian counterview to generations of radicals, hippies, punks, squatters and new age thinkers.
Emerging in the summer of 1966 was perfect timing for Allen's first band of any significance, The Soft Machine. London was undergoing a cultural revolution with wild fashion, hallucinogenic drugs and psychedelic music becoming the norm. Through Allen and his long time connections the band landed a number of gigs at the emerging underground's most important events including 'The International Times' launch party in October 1966. Playing alongside The Pink Floyd the band went on to become regulars at the crux of psychedelia, The UFO Club. Their music, however, proved to be too "out there" for pop punters. During this time Allen's songs' "Fred The Fish" (which later resurfaced in Gong), the long forgotten "What's The Use" and other songs that were written with Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt appeared regularly in their early sets. Allen's influence on The Soft Machine has certainly been overlooked, and the Dadaist-tinged avant-garde band that The Soft Machine went onto become was definitely inspired by the experimental leanings of our eccentric Ozzie champion. London proved to be a less receptive home than the band had hoped and shortly after their memorable performance at legendary 14-Hour Technicolor Dream in April 1967 the South Of France became the band's base. Due to problems concerning his visa Allen was not allowed to return to England with the rest of the band after they tired of the heavenly delights of the South Of France. Left destitute, he picked up the musical pieces, even if it did take a few years.
Around late 1969 Jean Karakos (the owner of BYG records) advanced Allen the money to record three solo albums. 'Magick Brother' was the first. Although released as an "Allen & Gilli" album it has since become regarded as the first Gong record due to its musical and lyrical motifs. If The Soft Machine took the "heavier" Floyd vibe and ran forward with it, Allen/Gilli/Gong took Barrett's lighter "scarecrow and gnomes" whimsy and made it their own, although it must be said that the duo's imagery was far more nonsensical.
After the release of the album Karakos set up the Amougies Festival where, along with Blossom Toes, Captain Beefheart, The Soft Machine and Frank Zappa, a band billed as The David (sic) Allen Quartet also played. Of course, more than four people were in the riotous band and what ensued was a crazy and legendary performance. The first real gig of the Gong family!
Technically Allen still had to produce a further two albums for BYG and Karakos particularly wanted at least one ex-Soft to be involved on an album. Lots of beer and hash were consumed and Marquee studio in London was booked. A haphazard, but eventful alburn entitled 'Banana Moon' ensued. With jam-based musical backing from Robert Wyatt (The Soft Machine), Gary Wright (Spooky Tooth) and Maggie Bell (Stone The Crows) alongside members of Gong, the album not only highlights the same madcap approach to recording that Allen would continue to undertake with Gong, but also features some quality loose music. It was harder than Gong, in no part due to the lack of reeds and wind instrumentation, yet all the Gong ingredients were in place: whimsical surrealism ("Fred The Fish"), sexual fantasy ("Pretty Miss Titty"), and, of course, drugs ("Stoned Innocent Frankenstein"). Next an album entitled 'Continental Circus' was released in 1970 which Allen and Smyth had worked on around the time of the Paris 1968 uprising. Soon after this, Gong (now Allen, Gilli and the newly recruited Pip Pyle) backed up French Poet Dashiell Hedayt on his album 'Obsolete', and during the same month the group began what would become their first "official" album....
The mid-70s saw Gong receiving favourable press and selling a decent quantity of their Radio Gnome trilogy and becoming the critics' favourite hippy loons, but first came the group's finest effort. Supposedly recorded during the full moon phases of May, June and September 1971 at the Chateau Herouville in Normandy, 'Camembert Electrique' was a thoroughly Gaelic affair that furthered the Gong-ish elements that Allen had been airing since The Soft Machine. In combining his lysergic humour with a smattering of psychedelia, King Crimson-like prog-rock and a far heavier appreciation of the avant-garde, 'Camembert Electrique' not only worked as the template for the highy-regarded Radio Gnome trilogy, but was a classic album in its own right; if not Gong's best.
By the middle of the decade, however, inner-band problems led to some major changes: Allen quit his band leadership and returned to Majorca whilst the remaining members soldiered on for a few more years as a serious jazz-rock ensemble. The 1974 Virgin financed album 'Good Morning', on which Allen link up with local Spanish acoustic musicians Euterpe to produce a startlingly light counterpoint to the continuingly active Gong, was the first sign of a possible solo career. Recorded at Allen's home the result was a gentle album that recalled the laid back spirit of '60s hippiedom. Meanwhile, back in the UK Virgin were doing very well with recent signing Mike Oldfieid, whose 'Tubular Bells' was at the top of the charts. Staunch supporters of Gong, its label bosses decided to re-sign Allen as a solo performer and gave him another chance, funding the building of a proper studio in Deia, Majorca, which Allen christened the Banana Moon Observatory. After the release of one promo single ("Fred The Fish" I "It's The Time Of Your Life") the deal was halted. Nevertheless, Allen had managed to build a studio and was now already set up to record for a new contract established with old friend Jean Luc Young and his new Chariy label. The result of this deal, Allen's third solo album, 'Now Is The Time Of Your Life', was a remarkable achievement that evoked the similar themes of individual integration and confusion that had been handled in Gong, but without the complexity. The two Majorcan albums were a major shift in style for Allen and indicated a far happier individual.
The following few years saw Allen work as a producer for a number of Gong inspired European artists and return to the UK to play a tour with anarcho-squat band Here & Now under the Floating Anarchy 77 Planet Gong aegis. This unit released a live album that took the frazzled Gong ideology into the punk era. Here And Now, who had formed at Watchfield Free Festival earlier in the year and had begun to make a name for themselves, attracting people like Reebop Quaku Baah (ex Traffic) and Arthur Brown to jam sessions, provided Allen and Gilli with a riotous crash course in anarchy. They gave up drugs at Allen's insistence and plunged into a free tour of England. No fees were charged and the hat was passed round at every gig. Allen and Gilli hurled their forty-something bodies into a free concert tour of Britain, the Live Floating Anarchy tour, along with thinking-punks Alternative TV. The music (commemorated by the live disc) was a mix of punk and hippie-psychedelia. Allen unfortunately collapsed on the eve of the second tour from exhaustion...
Once again Allen's life took another U turn. Perhaps as a result of giving up all psychedelic stimulants the prosaic singer took to excessive alcohol consumption and his marriage with Gilli soured. Yet amongst all of this chaos Allen managed to record 'N' Existe Pas' (1979) which, if nothing else, was one of his most poignant albums. It was a radical plunge away from anything remotely fashionable and the only favourable reactions it got were from US reviewers. Unsurprisingly, the down at heel artist then moved to New York after his nasty marriage break-up, in search of a new scene.
Arriving in New York in 1979 Allen was greeted by a new world that focused around the CBGBs (the epicentre of post-punk artiness). The sound of his latest aggregation, New York Gong, loosely resembled the work of The League of Gentlemen and Talking Heads and featured the bass talents of Bill Laswell. A further extension of this project resulted in Allen's experimentation with tape cut ups. The 'Playbax 80' album was created by Allen working alone in a solo studio in his back garden in Willow, New York, using tape loops from the recordings made earlier with New York Gong.
The mini album/12" Alien In New York was also recorded during this period, but not released until 1983. The notable exception here was that it was recorded and cut in Kingston, Jamaica, supposedly funded by a black American soap star who was a huge fan of Gong. Featuring the same musicians as Allen's New York material, the four tracks range from the chirpy 'Bananareggae' to more experimental fare which featured Allen's earliest use of A2 looped rhythms.
Across the winter of 1979 and 1980 Allen took the Playbax material on tour as a solo show under the Divided Alien Clockworks Band name. Through his use of sampling, video playback and bizarre onstage costume this early diversion into multimedia performance art most certainly inspired like-minded performers Laurie Anderson and Genesis P. Orridge.
Returning to Australia after the darker side of his New York phase Allen once again mellowed, finding solace in the spirituality concerned with rebirth. The past few years had been tough and the demanding New York recordings reflect this. The glissando guitar style of old was still present, but other than that these were perhaps the hardest and most out of character sessions that Allen has ever recorded. They are also his most intriguing.
A lot of ground has been covered with this best of and throughout Allen's unique, world view changes style and mood to follow and track the curvature of his life. For a more coherent picture please track down our full-length reissues. Meanwhile, enjoy the madness.

Tracks info:
1. You Don't Remember - Soft Machine, Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen, R. Wyatt) (3:44)
2. Chainstore Chant & Pretty Miss Titty - Gong, Daevid Allen (4:47)
3. Stoned Innocent Frankenstein - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (3:30)
4. Fred the Fish - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (2:32)
5. White Neck Blooze/Codein Coda - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (5:46)
6. Tried So Hard - Gong, Daevid Allen (4:41)
7. Floatin' Anarchy - Daevid Allen, Planet Gong (5:13)
8. Opium for the People - Daevid Allen, Planet Gong (4:26)
9. Why Do We Treat Ourselves Like We Do! - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (6:52)
10. Only Make Love If You Want To - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (5:33)
11. Poet for Sale - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (3:28)
12. It's a Fine Air for Fliss - Daevid Allen (3:38)
13. No Other Than My Mother Is the Song - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (3:39)
14. Much Too Old - Daevid Allen, New York Gong ((D.B. Allen) (2:46)
15. Strong Woman - Daevid Allen, New York Gong (D.B. Allen) (4:31)
16. Pearls - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen)(2:41)
17. Bananareggae - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (4:23)
18. Are You Ready - Daevid Allen (D.B. Allen) (3:31)

Chart & Awards info:
rateyourmusic.com - Rating 4.00 from 4 ratings

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Last edited by Musicgate on Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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New York Gong - About Time - 1980

Post by Musicgate on Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:25 am

Release Date: 1980
Label: SNAP 275 CD, Charly, 2006
Genre: Experimental Rock, Canterbury Scene

Ripped - Uploaded by: Musicgate

About performer:

About albume:


About Time is a 1979 album by Daevid Allen and New York Gong.

"Much Too Old" / "I Am A Freud" was issued as a 1979 7" single (Charly, CYS 1056), and "Jungle Window" / "Much too Old" / "Materialism" as a 1980 10" EP.

Allen also released the 1982 album Divided Alien Playbax 80 which featured tracks recorded during these sessions. A further album, Daevid Allen and the Divided Alien Clockwork Band was released in 1997 (Blueprint, BP 269) of a live performance from the Squat Theatre, New York, August 1980 which featured tape loops from the Divided Alien Playbax 80 album. The Daevid Allen 1983 Alien in New York EP (Charly Records, CYZ 10) featured two tracks which were also based on tapes loops from these sessions.

Gong gone punk. About Time documents Daevid Allen's 1979 New York trip to partake of the then-happenin' CBGB's scene. The new sound is an odd hybrid of psychedelia ("Preface"), new wave ("I Am a Freud") and punk ("Much Too Old"), with a lyrical sentiment reminiscent of early-'70s Gong ("Jungle Window"). The CD opens with an effects
-laden recording of Allen reciting his "trippy" poetry. Some of the compositions, like "I Am a Freud," bleed quirky rhythms and melodies resembling the work of the League of Gentlemen and Talking Heads. "Materialism" and "Strong Woman" feature Allen's glissando guitar, which seems a forerunner to the sound Fripp and Belew employed on their early-'80s King Crimson projects. "Materialism," penned by Laswell, is a standout with its dominating bass driving home the groove. Another highlight is "Jungle Window," the most Gong-like piece in the set, featuring Gary Windo's jagged sax and Laswell's popping bass. About Time is a solid CD which pleasantly expands Allen's repertoire. ~ David Ross Smith,

Tracks info:
1. Preface (Allen/Beinhiorn) (1:28)
2. Much Too Old (Allen/Laswell) (2:43)
3. Black September (Allen/Cultreri) (4:03)
4. Materialism (Laswell/Cultreri) (3:12)
5. Strong Woman (Allen/Bacon) (4:30)
6. I Am A Freud (Allen) (1:46)
7. My Photograph (Allen) (9:10)
8. Jungle Windo(w) (Allen) (6:19)
9. Hours Gone (Allen) (4:05)

Personel info:
Bill LASWELL - bass guitar
Bill BACON - dms (except 7)
Fred MAHER - dms (except 3)
Cliff CULTRERl - guit Solo except 1, 5, 8, 9
Gary WINDO - tenorsax on 8
Michael BEINHORN - synthi on 1
Don DAVIS - аlto sax on 6
Mark KRAMER - cheap organ on 9
Daevid ALLEN - guitar
glissando guitar on 7, 4, 5 and vocals

Releases info:

1980 LP Charly CRL-5021
CD Charly 1267
1994 Griffin Music 261
1995 CD Decal 73
2001 LP Get Back 589

Chart & Awards info:
Progarchives - 3.73 | 7 ratings | 14% 5 stars


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