Cleopatra 2016

On a short leave to eternity, GONG commander delivers his final message and has a last laugh at reality.



It’s been a logical route from “Flying Teapot” to WEIRD BISCUIT TEATIME and to “Elevenses” now, the road that ended way too soon for Daevid Allen, yet he was on top of the situation to the very finale of it. “I hope for a huge construction site of optimism,” he’s reciting in the funky “Banana Construction” which wraps up this record and summarizes the gist of Chief Pixie’s nature: strange but always looking at the bright side of life, although there’s a good dose of cynicism in the fairground swirl and dada-Dylanism of “God’s New Deal” and a few other places. Just like Allen’s Balearic albums, the 13 pieces serve to remind one what a great guitarist Daevid was in terms of complementing his vision aurally, as gently stressed by “Secretary Of Lore,” and Don Falcone, the QUARTET co-founder, is the veteran’s perfect foil here, adding space daubs of keyboards to the pot-heady mix.

It’s a motorik ride, from the sparkling “TransloopThisMessage” on, yet some of the cuts – even the frenzied “The Latest Curfew Craze” – sound like backing tracks that didn’t receive a vocal treatment. Those that did are mischievously theatrical, and while “Kick That Habit Man” takes the clanging blues to the purgatory, “Imagicknation” has a playfully predatory pace to it, as its dynamic wave rises to mesmerize the listener. Same can be said of the multilayered, almost orchestral “Under The Yum Yum Tree Cafe” which is as delicate as its title suggests, and of “The Cold Stuffings Of November” where snippets of voice are buried under a thick, solemn stratum of organ, but not of the cinematic “Dim Sum In Alphabetical Order” and its bubbling surface.

Still, it’s this bubbling that’s emphasizes the album’s last word: “HUMAN” – that’s the core characteristic of Daevid Allen’s oeuvre. As cosmic as his work seemed to be, the artist belonged down here, and his presence is still felt on earth.


May 8, 2016

Category(s): Reviews
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