Studio Report : Gong
From page 13 of Classic Rock Magazine January 2000
0 ong, the idiosyncratic hippy collective, release a new album called 'Zero To Infinity' through Gas/Snapper on February 21. Produced by bassist Mike Howlett with input from the rest of the band at The Moat Studios in London, it features four original members Howlett, Daevid Allen (guitar/glissando guitar/vocals/piano), Gilli Smyth (vocals/spacewhisper) and Didier Malherbe (alto sax/bamboo flute/duduk) plus newcomers Chris Taylor (drums, ex-Soul ll Soul/Roachford) and Theo Travers (sax/flute/keyboards).
"Chris is very much a feel drummer with a funk background," says Howlett, "and that suits me perfectly, because my background was very much Motown and funk."
As usual, the album has a very conceptual feel, one that Allen describes as "based in the innerspace adventures of the Gong global family's prodigal son named Zero."
"It relates the story of Zero's continuing enlightenment in his own universe," adds Howlett. "We also introduce a few new characters into the story, including the Gongolope, who is a hugely intelligent creature from the Planet Gong, The Mad Monk and Professor Paradox."
Although at the time of going to press, the full track listing hadn't been confirmed, it is expected to include the following: 'Foolfare', 'Time Currency Zero', 'Third Eye Temple', 'Damaged Man', 'Yo', 'Mad Monk', 'Wise Man In Your Heart', 'Bodhi Lingus', 'Yoni On Mars', 'Tali's Birthday Song' and How does the album sound? "It has the unmistakably harmonic feel of the '70s Gong bands, but with a modern funky 'fin de siecle' rhythmic feel. Very fresh, very millenium," says Allen. That's as clear as mud, then.