Exposé Online banner

Gong — I See You
(Snapper Music Mad Fish SMACD1023, 2014, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-01-13

I See You Cover art

The two geriatric pothead pixies Daevid Allen (age 76) and Gilli Smyth (81) are still going strong even though Daevid had some recent health issues. As it has been five years since the last Gong studio release 2032, I was looking forward to their new album with anticipation, but there is a definite shift in the music. I See You is not a continuing chapter in the Gong Mythos. This is a very uneven release. About half of the songs are bland, leaving me with a so-so impression: “I See You,” “Occupy,” “When God Shakes Hands with the Devil,” “Syllabub,” “You See Me,” and “This Revolution.” The whimsical spark of the earlier Gong is just missing. Although on “Syllabub” Daevid’s glissando guitar ends the song on a high note, rescuing an otherwise mediocre tune. “This Revolution” is an uninspired pseudo-political rant that seems very out of place, even with the tasteful sax accompaniment. Once you get beyond these tunes, there are many excellent songs that save the album and extend the Gong legacy: “The Eternal Wheel Spins,” “Zion My T-Shirt,” “Pixielation,” “Thank You,” and the album closer “Shakti Yoni and Dingo Virgin.” Gong is truly a family affair as Daevid and Gilli’s son Orlando Allen (aka Flamedog Alien) plays drums. And the band continues to use other pseudonyms: Unicorn Strut (Dave Sturt, bass and samples), Spiral K. Octoflash (The Cardiacs’ guitarist Kavus Torabi), Fabuloso Golfcart (Fabio Golfetti, guitar), Eastwinds (Ian East, sax and flute) and Dada Ali (Daevid Allen). I See You is not an album for the uninitiated listener, and it may not appeal to the Gong devotee either. And given both Daevid’s and Gilli’s ages, I See You could very well be their swan song. Perhaps it is time for them to hang up their guitars and costumes and enjoy their remaining years in relaxation.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Gilli Smyth / Mother Gong, Gong, Daevid Allen

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Steensland - The Simon Lonesome Combat Ensemble – Cutting-edge, unpretentious and imaginative are three adjectives that describe this offering by Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Simon Steensland. Mixing elements of rock, neo-classical,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues