Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, New Age, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Excellently produced jazz-rock, with a very low pixie count!
Gavin Wilson | 03/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To my ear, many early 70s albums by British prog groups (for instance, Caravan, Robert Wyatt, Hatfield & the North) sound tainted by quirky vocals. Gong, the anglo-French consortium, caught this foot-in-mouth disease right from the start. The earlier CAMEMBERT ELECTRIQUE has enough space pixies to last you a lifetime. Steve Hillage, with Miquette Giraudy, still had the bug when he recorded the solo L.Gong's creator, Daevid Allen, left the band in 75 -- he maintained he had been prevented from appearing on stage one night by a 'force field' of uncertain origin.This 1975 outing by Gong-sans-Allen was a revelation. A band that I'd written off as both lunatics and cheap -- it had been Richard Branson's idea to sell CAMEMBERT ELECTRIQUE for just 69p (around ...) -- suddenly demanded to be taken very seriously indeed. A very clean production (for the time) by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason created a very disciplined, democratic performance by the band.This album deserves to be much better known than it is. It's certainly in my top 50. My brother prefers the successor, GAZEUSE!, which has fewer vocals, and, having just read and been entranced by some of the amazon reviews of that album, I may well go buy that one."
Masterful Transition Album!
Carl Johnson | Detroit, MI United States | 02/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shamal is close to my favorite Gong records. Daevid had begged off the band completely and Steve plays on just two songs. The band masterfully begins to develop as a fusion unit. Wingful Of Eyes is a masterpiece in commercial fusion and flows fresh even today! Didier Malherbe executes some Bamboo flute solos on a lot of the record that are truly mystifying. Patrice Lemoine's keyboards are gracefully understated. Mireille Bauer brings the renowned vibes sound we associate the band with to a fuller fruition. It is a wonderful piece of prog rock art with a jazzy funky edge. Yet it is still spacey in the Gong tradition. Pierre Moerlen starts to take over but he hasn't completely done so on this record. His percussion is stupendous and yes, they were trying for some commercial sucess. Heck the legacies of the band had either split or sat in for a session or two. Fusion purist do not like this record because it is not instramental. The space cadets don't like it because it is not spacey enough. In is right inbetween! Perfect spin!"
Deep in the heart of Nowhere
loteq | Regensburg | 03/12/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Shamal" is an important transitional album in Gong's convoluted life-span. Founder Daevid Allen just had departed and Steve Hillage (who is only listed as a guest musician here) strove for a solo career after having commercial success with his first solo effort "Fish rising". Finally, Gong became the vehicle of Pierre Moerlen, who led the band into jazz-rock fields with 1976's "Gazeuse!". Although "Shamal" is produced by Nick Mason, the music bears very little resemblance to Pink Floyd. The sound is also quite a step from Gong's preceding, legendary "Radio Gnome Trilogy". The songs are shorter, better structured and more tuneful, coming up with jazzy bass lines, croaky saxophones, and pearling vibraphones. I particularly enjoy Mike Howlett's hesitant talk-singing on "Wingful of eyes", the beautiful, both funny and melancholic "Mandrake", and the Eastern flavor of "Bombouji". "Shamal" is not one of my favorite Gong albums (these are "Camembert electrique", "Downwind", "Shapeshifter", and the remix collection "You remixed"), but it is one of Gong's most accessible and well-thought efforts."