Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New York Gong "About Time"

Daevid Allen decided to go to New York in 1979 and moreover he formed New York Gong: his "Gong" band influenced with punk and psychedelia, a mix he did with influences of the CBGB scene.
The text written next to these words was taken from the booklet that's included in this CD:
"Arriving in New York, he [Daevid] was greeted there by a new world that focused around the CBGB's, the epicentre of post-punk artiness. Emotionally fragile, unsure of where he fitted in, Daevid found this unobtrusive collective of artists, actors and freeform musicians welcoming. It was a creative hotspot where anyone on the fringes of artistic society fitted in, and a perfect place for Daevid to rekindle, and update, his Gong mythology.
Old time cohort and manager Giorgio Gomelsky was running a rather strange and beguiling event in New York called The Zu Manifestival. Daevid, sensing a minor revolution, got involved. It was through this assortment of odd-ball jazzers and free spirits that Daevid met Bill Laswell (...).
Together, Maher, Laswell and Beinhorn became the axis of Gomelsky's all-purpose Zu Band, backing up Daevid Allen at the Zu Manifestival and embarking on a ten-city tour. Even at this stage, the Material-to-be group was already playing musical chairs. As well as playing together at the Zu Band, Laswell played with the other three groups on the tour, Maher with two and Beinhorn with one another. (...)
The result of the riotous amalgamation of Allen-goes-Stateside was the 1979 album "About Time". Reflecting their chaotic live performances, it's 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 album opens with an effects-laden recording of Allen reciting his "trippy" poetry. Some of the compositions, like "I Am a Freud," bleed quickly rhythms and melodies resembling the work of the League of Gentlemen and Talking Heads whilst "Materialism"and "Strong Woman" feature Allen's glissando guitar, which sounds pretty much a forerunner to the sound Fripp and Belew were to employ on their early-'80s King Crimson Projects. "Materialism", penned by Laswell, is the album's standout track, with its dominating bass relentlessly driving home to the groove.
Daevid stayed in New York for another year, experimenting with cut ups, electronic music and performance art, all of which culminated in his 'Divided Alien Playbax' album and its accompanying live shoes. Throughout this period he revelled in uncommercial creativity, heightened by his sense of the absurd and anti-capitalist politics and succesfully avoided becoming an ageing hippy."
These excerpts let us have a good vision of how New York Gong was formed and what it actually is. I haven't listened to Gong actually, so I can't compare them with New York Gong.
However, I admire this "About Time" album, which is quite fine and is original in its own way.

If you want to download the album click here or click over the cover.

Next follows a link to one of their songs on this album (although it's not my favourite, you should hear it before downloading the album):


  1. Quem gosta de NEW YORK GONG só pode ter um excelente blog- Também já os referi no meu blog.............

  2. Vou se é que posso blogar o teu blog


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