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I SEE YOU

Gong

Canterbury Scene


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Gong I See You album cover
3.97 | 149 ratings | 5 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I See You (3:33)
2. Occupy (2:54)
3. When God Shakes Hands with the Devil (5:40)
4. The Eternal Wheel Spins (7:04)
5. Syllabub (4:32)
6. This Revolution (3:50)
7. You See Me (2:40)
8. Zion My T-shirt (6:18)
9. Pixielation (4:42)
10. A Brew of Special Tea (1:22)
11. Thank You (10:35)
12. Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin (9:30)

Total Time: 62:40

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Daevid Allen / glissando guitar, vocals, co-producer
- Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld) / guitar
- Fabio Golfetti / guitar
- Ian East / soprano, alto & tenor saxes, flute, whistle
- Dave Sturt / bass, computer samples, co-producer
- Orlando Allen / drums, vocals (4), co-producer

With:
- Gilli Smyth / vocals
- Mark Robson / keyboards (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Daevid Allen

2LP Madfish - SMALP1024 (2014, UK)

CD Madfish - SMACD1023 (2014, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GONG I See You ratings distribution


3.97
(149 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

GONG I See You reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by LearsFool
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars Well, past the three "Expresso" era albums, there has been a steady trickle of albums by various bands part of the Gong collective, and for the longest time none were better than decent. Imagine my surprise at the release of "I See You", where in 2014 we have a new Gong masterpiece. The Divided Alien has brought together old friends and new for a new record that is able to stand near the six classics of the Gong Mythos. The album is excellent, psycadelic leaning Canterbury goodness lasting a whole blissful hour. The music sounds like the band picking back up on the Radio Gnome era sound right off of the fusion leaning trilogy, handing us a soup of grooves and jokes as if it was 1973 all over again. There isn't too much more to say, as these aren't so much groundbreaking or retreading, just high quality tracks that take the style we all have nostalgia for and putting it into new songs. More than worth a listen, this is Allen's and Gong's homecoming tea party.
Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4,5 stars. There have been rumours that this will be GONG's last album, at least with Daevid Allen involved. If that is so they went out on a high(haha). This might be my favourite release by them, i'm just so blown away by how innovative this is and i'm surprised at the variety as well. I can hear pieces that remind me of their glory years and also things that i've never heard from this band before. It's really cool that Kavus Tobabi(KNIFEWORLD) is part of this band playing guitar. The album cover is very classy as well.

"I See You" opens with spoken words and cymbals as the drums and bass join in then it kicks into a full sound before a minute. This is catchy stuff with a spacey ending. "Occupy" is urgent and uptempo to start as the vocals come and go. It settles back just before a minute with the sax standing out then it kicks back in. I really like the contrasts. "When God Shakes Hands With The Devil" has almost spoken vocals and I love the guitar tone and style. I have to comment on the excellent drum work here and throughout this album. The flute is a nice touch as well. Such a cool track. Strangely i'm reminded of GENESIS during the mellow sections. There's a surreal and hazy mood on those lighter pieces.

"The Eternal Wheel Spins" has the drummer on vocals and I can't help but think of their "Continental Circus" record here with that driving rhythm and spacey atmosphere. Again the guitar sounds great. The sax after 2 minutes plays over top. Check out the Gliss guitar after 4 minutes then the other guitar is back to the fore a minute later. "Syllabub" is another track with some cool contrasts including a section that reminds me of their trilogy. Check out the dreamy psychedelia led by the sax starting 2 1/2 minutes in.

"This Revolution" has this melancholic and spacey atmosphere as Daevid speaks the lyrics even mentioning Gil Scott- Heron's classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". "You See Me" is catchy with sax and some killer drum work. There's almost a VDGG-like feel after a minute. An excellent instrumental. "Zion My T-Shirt" opens with children singing then before a minute they stop as the guitar cries out in a spacey vibe. Reserved vocals join in as well. So freaking good. A change in the mood 2 1/2 minutes in but it's brief as the previous sound returns. It picks up 4 minutes inwith spacey flute and it's very spacey late to end it. "Pixielation" sounds like it could have been off one of the trilogy albums both lyrically and instrumentally. It turns very spacey a minute in but it's brief as themes are repeated.

"A Brew Of Special Tea" is a short piece that is also very spacey with spoken words bringing "Continental Circus" to mind. "Thank You" sure sounds like a farewell song from Daevid. A lazy summertime mood to this one to start then it changes before 4 minutes as the vocals stop and it settles right down. Back to that earlier sound though before 8 minutes with vocals. "Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin" sounds like it could have been done by THE INVISIBLE OPERA COMPANY OF TIBET a GONG off-shoot. This is extremely spacey with space whispers from Gilli Smyth. Just a gorgeous piece that is almost 10 minutes long. I will say also that this is Daevid's creative piece on what it will be like passing on to the other side.

I'm very shocked at how amazing this record is, I mean what band who began life in the seventies makes albums this good in 2015? I don't know of any. P.S. Daevid Allen has passed away less than a week after this review, very sad. It's his son Orlando playing the drums on this record and he's amazing plus he's a huge fan of GONG's classic period. Kavus mentioned that Daevid simply asked him to play on this album and when Kavus said "You haven't heard me play?". Daevid said he didn't need to and that he hired Mike Howlett back in the day without hearing him play, he just knew both were right for the band.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Daevid Allen (aka Dada Ali for this release) comes full circle in his GONG universe and dishes out his brilliant last gift to the musical world in the form of the retro-Canterbury introspective litany and slickly packaged I SEE YOU, sounding like a true throwback to the 70s and the logical conclusion of the Radio Gnome Triology evoking the best psychedelic Canterbury that the classic era of progressive rock had to offer. In a sub genre that seems to have fizzled out somewhere incrementally during the 20th century and waned into a new golden era, Allen has rustled up yet another stellar team of gifted musicians to bring his final musical statement as well as proving that the Canterbury sound can still sound fresh and exciting while evoking the best of his heyday.

Right from the very first glance of the band lined up against a wall in the beautifully packaged gatefold digipak, it is apparent that the whimsical playful spirit of 70s GONG is alive and well with a new cast of characters. Most prominently in the fashionable and stylistic apparel of the Grand Poobah of musical mischief, Mr Daevid Allen with his styling striped spandex pants gracing his 77 year old body and a T-shirt boldly stating that "NOBODY KNOWS I'M A LESBIAN." Apparently the cancerous tumors and endless surgical operations that had been plaguing his health hadn't dampened his spirit and his love light shines through on this musical goodbye to the world in his most passionate display of musical mojo since 1974's "YOU."

The cast includes a veritable smorgasbord of seasoned musicians including Allen's own son Orland (aka Flamedog Alien) who kicks, beats and crashes on the percussion but also handled the engineering, mixing and production duties at his Flamedog Records Studios back in the original Allen stomping grounds of Australia. Other musicians called to duty are bassist Dave Sturt (aka Unicorn Strut who has been associated with various artists including Steve Hillage and Jade Warrior), guitarist Fabio Golfetti (aka Fabuloso Golfcart associated with Violeta De Outono, Invisible Opera Country, Zero), saxist and flautist Ian East (aka Eastwinds i.e. Windows) and crunch box and scythe guitarist Kavus Torabi (aka Spiral K. Octoflash associated with a gazillion acts most notably for Knifeworld, Cardiacs, Monsoon Bassoon, Chrome Hoof, Guapo etc.). Torabi is purported to be the successor in the GONG family personally chosen by Allen to carry the torch into the next incarnation of the band after Allen's musical and Earthly retirement. And i could hardly forget our favorite 70s sprinkled space whisperer Gilli Smyth who rejoins the GONG team to haunt us with her angelic and ethereal vocal talents as well as contributing the final farewell track "Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin."

I SEE YOU is just chock full of classic GONG-isms and relevant contemporary ideas. From the very first words "I SEE YOU" on the opening title track we instantly get that Canterbury jazzy funfest that shows Allen's playful nature fully unfurl and instantly brings back the Gnome Radio Trilogy days in a good way. The psychedelic rock married with jazz-fusion and satirical whimsy is firing on all cylinders once again and after the initial first spin which had me instantly addicted it was like finally hearing the long lost archival audio files that was supposed to be inserted where "Shamal" appeared in the discography, but the truth be told this was a current band effort where each member channeled the best aspect of the Radio Gnome 70s and added a newly energized take on it. For example, on the second track "Occupy" we get an extremely heavy guitar riff that could possibly qualify as metal accompanied by sizzling sax solos but still with that nary-a-care free spirit nature that Allen always brings to the table.

The tracks vary quite a lot with some like "When God Shakes Hands With The Devil" which brings the rapping vocal antics of Daevid Allen in cahoots with a slap happy bass, sax and flute attack while the hypnotic and totally spaced out "The Eternal Wheel" showcasing Gilli Smyth's psychedelic siren skills complements it and one of the most classic sounding GONG tracks on board here with "Syllabub" which has all those wonderful musical gymnastic sessions with time signatures flying off of trapezes, stylistic changes, whimsical instrumental exchanges and of course Allen's spaced out lyrics about wanting to go far away like to the moon or something! "The Revolution" is a veritable spoken word sermon accompanied by spaced out ethereal sounds with Allen elucidating the evolution of the 60s revolution and how it has become an invisible force that guides us on a subliminal level. Other mentionable tracks include my favorite track of the lot "Pixielation" which has one of the coolest hooks ever! The track celebrates the nature of pixies and nature spirits but has the absolute coolest bouncy flute riff with the rest of the band weaving their magic around it as the backbone of the track. Allen's neo-Pagan lyrics are profound and celebratory with fun time signature changes, spastic bursts of energy and just chock filled with everything that makes progressive rock so much fun!

I have to state firstly that i did not first hear this album until after Allen had passed which occurred just a few months after its release and that obviously changes perspective dramatically regarding the depths and meaning of the lyrics as it is clear now that the album was designed to be a final farewell to the world of GONG and all those involved who jumped on the bandwagon decades earlier. No more is this apparent than on the final two closing tracks. "Thank You" is a heartfelt gesture of musical gratitude where Allen emphatically sends out his love under the guise of a steady rock riff, spaced out effects and interpolated progressive touches. After this nice steady jazzified rocker which gradually disintegrates towards the end into a more chaotic feel we reach the final track "Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin" which is a collaboration by Allen and Gilli Smyth creating one of the most haunting of sonic send offs of glissando guitar and vocally eerified pieces of music ever created which is perfect for bidding of farewells to Daevid Allen who would soon not only retire from one of the most famous collaborative band efforts in history but would pass away only a few months later after I SEE YOU's release thus transitioning from the "Angel's Egg" and being awarded that magic "Flying Teapot" in the sky. Not only is this album simply brilliant lyrically and musically but i can't think of a better tribute album to the career of one of the most unique visionaries in the musical world. This one only keeps growing on me upon every listen and am very stunned that this one has gone unnoticed by the larger prog world as it is one of the few contemporary examples of reviving that classic 70s sound and breathing new life into it all the while a legend is on the precipice of his last days as a carbon-based life form. A modern unknown classic here.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars What an inspiration both Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth proved to be on their final Gong work together, 2014's `I See You'. The fact that they were able to contribute to an album during oncoming health issues is admirable enough, but the fact that it's a superb work almost on the same level of their defining Seventies discs is a very welcome miracle! Hardly some sad `old-man' retro excursion, `I See You' lovingly embraces all the classic Pothead Pixie-era elements that Gong-ladites love about the band, but roots it firmly in a modern sound delivered by a younger collection of musicians behind the older yet ageless Gong figureheads, and the results sound completely inspired and a band more focused and alive than ever.

So much to love about the classic Gong era permeates the self-titled opener, racing through everything from a loopy and playful Daevid Allen vocal so full of mischievous spirit, gnarling guitar twists, mysterious drifting voices to eerie glissando guitar tendrils. `Occupy' is a breakneck punk-rocking blast that cuts in and out of Ian East's dreamy sax wafts, and the psychedelic `God and the Devil Shake Hands' is lyrically cheeky and damning as it moves around reprising spiralling dirty flute and sax themes, Allen purring an almost rapping drowsy drawled vocal, and there's just a trace of King Crimson-esque metallic danger towards the end! Gilli's ethereal space whisper floats gracefully throughout the deep space-rock atmospheres of `The Eternal Wheel Spins', both Kavus Torabi and Fabio Golfetti's guitars moving between drifting ambient drones, urgent spasms, manic eastern flavoured motifs and Ozric Tentacles-like shimmerings.

`Syllabub' is a Zappa-inspired impish romp with a whimsical jazzy backing (just dig that supremely spacey instrumental break in the middle though!), `This Revolution' a political-themed spoken-word poetry interlude, and `You See Me' a spacey reprised improvisation highlighted by jagged guitars, Orlando Allen's skittering drumming and Dave Sturt's pumping bass. `Zion my T-Shirt' then proves to be a welcome come-down of reflective verses, darkness and sadness tinged spoken-word passages, murmuring bass ruminations and crystalline ambient caresses, with parts of the piece reminding of both Porcupine Tree's `Don't Hate Me' (which had its Gong-like elements as well) and the introspective thoughtfulness of `Wise Man in Your Heart' off Gong's superb 2000 album `Zero to Infinity'. The eccentric and joyful `Pixielation' jumps between bouncing Daevid loopiness and a range of cool instrumental interludes, and `A Brew of Special Tea' is a hypnotic and disorientating cut up tape- loop sound collage.

To end the disc, `Thank You' shambles with a delicious bluesy lurch and is a fond farewell to everyone ever involved with Gong and those who've embraced the spirit of the group over the decades, and `Shakto Yoni and Dingo Virgin' a final celestial glissando and wordless sighing voice drone that reaches the highest heavens. These two pieces could not make for a more dignified and appropriate send-off from both Daevid and Gilli, and it closes this era of Gong perfectly.

One of the absolute strongest releases to appear under the Gong tag since probably `You', and definitely the best Allen/Gong related work since `Zero 2 Infinity', `I See You' has all the psychedelic strangeness, satirical lyrics and unpredictable direction changes you could want to find on a Gong album, and the younger musicians (well, younger than Allen!) here proved to be the perfect musical contributors to support the stalwarts of the group. It's hard to think of a better farewell than this to Allen and Smyth (both who passed relatively soon after its release), and fans of the `Magick Brother' through to `You' era of the band that haven't looked into the group since those works should absolutely give this a shot.

Five flying teapots for a modern classic, and truly a work for Gong fans to treasure.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Gong is a very different band. Their music is surely unique and something unlike other formations of musicians you can think about. Earlier this year one of the brightest brains in the band and the band's leader Daevid Allen died 77 years old and "I see you" from 2014 became his last Gong record ... (read more)

Report this review (#1386230) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Monday, March 23, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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