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Gong - Magick Brother CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.44 | 163 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars After Daevid Allen left Soft Machine he spent a few years continuing his beatnik lifestyle traveling around Europe and getting into mischief before finally recording his first album under the GONG moniker. Despite the band name this is more of an Allen album with equal billing given to Gilly Smyth who makes her debut on this first GONG album as the trippy poet and space whisperer who graced not only the GONG albums of the Allen era but also many of the solo offerings from band's members. MAGICK BROTHER has also been released as MAGICK BROTHER, MYSTIC SISTER and was released early in 1970. The album is really an accumulation of musical ideas that had been with Allen since leaving Soft Machine and since those years took place in the tumultuous late 60s it is no surprise that this album has its sound firmly rooted in 60s psychedelia and the lyrics in that same idealist Utopian vision of the hippie movement.

This is in fact an interesting crossroads for Allen's career where he finally got to put to tape all of those latent ideas that didn't make it into Soft Machine that fully embraced the most psychedelic aspects that rock had to offer at that time and the more progressive ideas that were finding their way into the world. This album came out after all those groundbreaking releases of 1969 and the musical landscape was changing quickly but Allen was finding away to keep those space rock sounds going and evolving them into the next phase. On MAGICK BROTHER you can hear hippie peace protest songs "Rational Anthem" next to fully fueled freakouts that sound more like something on a Krautrock album and would make contemporary trippers like Pink Floyd proud. My guess is that many mind-altering substances were consumed in the making of this one. You think?!!

The album is divided into two sides. The first is "Early Morning" and the second is "Late Night" but to be honest I can't really tell any difference between the two as they both contain hippie folk type songs and freaked out bizarreness. This is one that I wasn't impressed with upon first listen coming to it after all the better releases that followed but it has grown on me and is in fact an interesting little album in its own right. I would not recommend skipping this one since it has a charm all its own and provides a glimpse of GONG's origins. The only problem I have is some of the folkier songs are a little lackluster and could have used a little more fine tuning but overall it doesn't diminish my listening experience. 3.5 rounded up

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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