Exposé Online banner

Gong — Camembert Electrique
(Charly SNIP 405 CD, 1971/2003, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-09-28

Camembert Electrique Cover art

Camembert... camembert... It's easy to forget that some of the great moments on Gong albums were created by some of Daevid Allen's studio wizardry or musique concrète effects. He always managed to replicate the psychedelic states so perfectly, that sense of the bizarre and sublime with a laugh about to ring out, vocals turned into radio gnomes, that two-sided coin that always seemed deadly serious and extremely funny at once. For me this is really the first true Gong album, somewhat reflective of the writing that would make up the first Soft Machine and earlier but with Allen's psychedelic-spiritual vision starting to come to fruition. It had the anthemic "You Can't Kill Me," the development of one of the great feminists of the 70s in Gilli Smyth, who wrote some of the most important lyrics of the era, and perhaps one of the first true space rock pieces with "Fohat Digs Holes in Space" (a title also reminiscent of how theosophy and other 20th century spiritualities were so influential on the story). The guitars were sharp sometimes and glissed at others, and all along there was a spirit of invention that could have only come out of this time period. It was the first of four classics, all of which are favorite albums of mine. But this one seems like a tropical fish to me...


Filed under: Reissues, 2003 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Gong, Daevid Allen, Pip Pyle

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hereward Kaye - Golden Mile – Singer/songwriter Hereward Kaye is something of a mystery even in his homeland, the UK. The artist has crafted thirteen pieces somewhat reminiscent of Elton John's renaissance era with a style...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues