23 December 2010

Daevid Allen - 1976 - Good Morning

Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

This solo album from Gong luminary Daevid Allen date from about the time that he originally left that band. Unlike the earlier solo album Banana Moon, this album has more of a stylistic consistency, focusing on a kind of pastoral space folk-rock. Granted that description has enough adjectives to make listening to this worth anyone's attention, and as usual Allen does make a few detours. Gillie Smyth of course contributes some vocals, and I'm pretty sure percussion whiz Pierre Moerlin is artfully banging around on the vibraphone at a few spots.

The opening duo of tracks does a phenomenal job of establishing the space folk groove. Allen does sound a little reigned in here, and the atmosphere reminds me a bit of the quieter tracks from Pink Floyd's Meddle. "Spirit" starts out sounding like an outtake from the Beach Boys' Smile before shifting into another section that features some entertainingly menacing vocals from Allen. "Have You Seen My Friend" and "French Garden" return to more pastoral fields, but this time with a healthy dose of freaky 70's analog synthesis. "Wise Man In Your Heart" goes for the epic vibe of the more relaxed extended tracks on Gong's You. It's not as good as those classic tracks, but very few psychedelic prog songs are. After a brief slough through music hall kitsch on "She Doesn't She...," we get CD bonus track "Euterpe Gratitude Piece." It's a foray into Berlin School electronics that doesn't quite fit with the rest of the album, but I like it and it does provide a nice sonic mindbath to close things out on.

Although Gong's early to mid 70's albums are the main event for fans of Caterbury psych-prog, Daevid Allen did a fine job of staking out a little patch of personal sonic space on his solo albums. Good Morning is no exception. There's no doubt that this is the same man that fronted Gong during their golden years, but it's definitely not the same thing.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks as ever, Doc! Your blog turned me onto Daevid c/o Gong, which is sublime music. It's wonderful to hear (about) his solo stuff as well.
Happy holidays, and my undying gratitude for your continued efforts at the garage.

dRes said...

Thanks! Direct to my holliday car!