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I was convinced I wouldn't like it but when I heard it, I was pleasantly surprised #1: Camenbert Electrique by Gong

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  • I was convinced I wouldn't like it but when I heard it, I was pleasantly surprised #1: Camenbert Electrique by Gong

    As I've mentioned before, I was given a record collection a while back, and I'm still finding LPs that I haven't got around to listening to yet.

    Camenbert Electrique by Gong was one of them, and I think I left that because I was convinced that I wasn't going to like it. On what basis, I'm not sure. I had an idea that it would all be silly trippy hippy noises without any substance.

    HOW WRONG CAN A PERSON BE?!?!?

    I doubt you could get any wronger.

    After listening to it twice from beginning to end, I have to say that I find it to be a solid LP packed with good tunes, great ideas and sonically very engaging.

    It made my brain tingle in all the right places, and was very enjoyable.

    Not sure that I'll want to listen to it again that much, but I'm very glad I gave it a chance.

    Please feel free to chime in with comments like "You incredible doofus. You were the only person in the world who didn't like that LP" and similar ... I'll be looking forward to those ...

    Foolish Turbo
    "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

  • #2
    Hello fellow Prog head. Woblays!
    All the Wolpertingers

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    • #3
      An absolute corker. One of my very earliest records so played to death back then because you only ever had a few records didn't you- especially if they were an LP. Around that time my collection went: First two Roxy Music LPs (given to me by my mum's boyfriend) Hunky Dory, Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold The World, with the cowboy sleeve, Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust, Diamond Dogs, Classics 100, and Camembert Electrique. Initially my taste was shaped by our babysitter and this is the sort of stuff he used to bring around to listen to when he came so thank you Robert Stubbs, wherever you are now.
      "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

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      • #4
        all the Gong albums sound different when your stond
        The Garden Facebook Blog

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        • #5
          The album that changed my life, musically. I cant put it into words how much that album means but I will say the drumming is absolutely bonkers and the riffs are unlike anything and so original. It's mad to think there is not one synth or keyboard on that album. Oh cant forget Daevid Allens guitar playing is utterly unique with or without the glissando part and the bassline to 'Fohat Digs Holes in Space' is just two notes an open e and e on the twelfth fret an octave up but the way they faff with that rhythm man boggles the mind. Ooops and they struck gold when they happened upon 'Didier Malherbe' living in a cave, a musical virtuoso without doubt.

          They are absolutely off their faces on mushrooms but it's brilliantly executed and put together and helps that they are excellent musicians steeped in jazz. 'Continental Circus; and 'Dashiell Hedyat - Obsolete' featuring the same band are worth checking out although they are much darker. The latter features a 'Christian Tritsch' bassline that if memory serves stretches over 17 bars, so well written it makes me weep.

          I met Daevid Allen after a solo gig when I was about 19. I don't know whether I was starstruck or that he was about 7 foot tall but he had a powerful aura that I felt run through me as he shook my hand. He signed my ticket on the reverse and drew a pot head pixie which I still have in the rear of my CD copy of 'Angels Egg'. I love everything he stood for and the birth of that can be heard loud and clear on 'Camembert Electrique', you only have to listen to the words of 'You Cant Kill Me'. I have his two autobiographies which are as much art as they are books but they are full of some bat shit crazy tales as he seemingly met anyone who was anyone during those times. I especially like his relationship with 'Jimi Hendrix' who was a huge encouragement to how he played guitar. Daevid was full of self doubt and Hendrix pretty much said it doesn't matter how good you are just be true to yourself.

          I saw Gong when they reformed throughout the 90's but the best time I saw them was at a little gig after they had toured America with Pierre Morlein for a year and they were as tight as they were in the 70's doing the 'You', 'Angels Egg' material. I never thought newer incarnations of Gong captured the anarchy of 'Camembert' or the loose jazziness of 'Flying Teapot' as they were so tripped out. The last incarnation had a good go at moving in that direction and then sadly Daevid passed and Gilly soon after. I've no doubt Gong will carry on as it already has in one form or another but I was hit hard when he died he was my musical hero.

          I rarely listen to Gong these days as I've heard all the albums a zillion times especially 'Camembert Electrique' it's like they are just there.
          Last edited by amidar; 06-06-2018, 11:19 PM.
          Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

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          • #6
            Thanks for the replies, folks.
            Obviously this is a much loved LP for some.
            If this thread makes you remember as similar surprise when you found out how wrong you'd been to dismiss a band/album for no real reason, then let us all know!
            "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cacapo View Post
              Hello fellow Prog head. Woblays!
              I'll never be a prog head. For me prog is the epitome of twiddly doodle self-indulgent solos, of which this LP has none. It is SO lean.
              "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Head Gardener View Post
                all the Gong albums sound different when your stond
                I'm sure you're right. That would be interesting to try!
                "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shere Khan View Post
                  Initially my taste was shaped by our babysitter and this is the sort of stuff he used to bring around to listen to when he came
                  Wow! What a super cool baby sitter ...
                  "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by amidar View Post
                    They are absolutely off their faces on mushrooms but it's brilliantly executed and put together and helps that they are excellent musicians steeped in jazz. 'Continental Circus; and 'Dashiell Hedyat - Obsolete' featuring the same band are worth checking out although they are much darker. The latter features a 'Christian Tritsch' bassline that if memory serves stretches over 17 bars, so well written it makes me weep.
                    I think you'd have to be an excellent musician to be able to play so well off your face.

                    I'll be checking out the other ones you suggest.

                    Nice to still be getting big surprises at the age of 54. I hope they continue!
                    "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

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                    • #11
                      All the Gong albums from 'Magick Brother' through to 'You' are well worth hearing once at least. The later albums become more cocaine induced but the spirit is still there and the musicianship is off the scale. 'Finders Keepers' did a 45 of a couple of tacks from the 'Camembert' era, 'garcon ou fille' which was a live fave and another who's name escapes me. At least one or both can be found on a self released (by Gong) CD they put out in the 90's called 'Camembert Eclectique' which features a bunch of outakes from that period some of which verge on 'Faust' levels of darkness.

                      Originally posted by Turboellis View Post

                      I think you'd have to be an excellent musician to be able to play so well off your face.

                      I'll be checking out the other ones you suggest.

                      Nice to still be getting big surprises at the age of 54. I hope they continue!
                      Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

                      Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

                      Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

                      Latest Infant Project: https://soundcloud.com/bcmf

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by amidar View Post
                        I met Daevid Allen after a solo gig when I was about 19. I don't know whether I was starstruck or that he was about 7 foot tall but he had a powerful aura that I felt run through me as he shook my hand. He signed my ticket on the reverse and drew a pot head pixie which I still have in the rear of my CD copy of 'Angels Egg'. I love everything he stood for and the birth of that can be heard loud and clear on 'Camembert Electrique', you only have to listen to the words of 'You Cant Kill Me'.
                        I met Daevid in the 90s in Cleveland, Ohio. He was doing a co-headlining solo tour with Kevin Ayers. (Yeah, it was as great as it sounds.) I got to talk to Daevid post gig, and he was one of the nicest people I've ever met in the music game. Just a gem of a human being. Not flaky or spacy or anything like that. His passing was a loss.
                        https://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

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                        • #13
                          I saw him play with Kevin for the first time in decades as part of a reunion thing in London. Kevin was getting a bit frustrated as I don't think he'd played for a while at least some of the material they did but Daevid carried him through and the audience didn't care they were just happy to see it. I met him a few times after that and he always personally wrote back to you if you sent him a letter. A postcard would arrive a year or so later but it always did.

                          I went to see Gong in Stoke in the mid 90's and as we approached the venue you could see him from a distance cars beeping their horns at this tall, white haired old man in a jumpsuit waving back. When we got closer he recognised us and greeted us all individually. He was so laid back and plain nice. I wish I'd caught Kevin more in his later years I enjoyed the 'unfairground' album he did.

                          Originally posted by moecurlythanu View Post

                          I met Daevid in the 90s in Cleveland, Ohio. He was doing a co-headlining solo tour with Kevin Ayers. (Yeah, it was as great as it sounds.) I got to talk to Daevid post gig, and he was one of the nicest people I've ever met in the music game. Just a gem of a human being. Not flaky or spacy or anything like that. His passing was a loss.
                          Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

                          Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

                          Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

                          Latest Infant Project: https://soundcloud.com/bcmf

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