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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Daevid Allen Weird Quartet

Elevenses

Review by Gary Hill

Daevid Allen is best known for his work in Gong. This was his final recording. Comparisons to Gong are obvious and appropriate, but this has a lot of other things going on, too. It’s a great set. Yes, it is a bit weird. It’s not so weird as to make it hard to appreciate, though. He’s joined on this set by a number of people including Don Falcone of Spirits Burning fame.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
TransloopThisMessage

The opening segment of this is a trippy, psychedelic excursion. It works out from there into more a dreamy, melodic space journey. This is only about a minute and a half long, though. There are some vocals, but they are basically non-lyrical.

Imagicknation
Bouncy psychedelia is combined with something a bit like early Pink Floyd. Perhaps a bit of a Hawkwind element is heard, too. This is more mainstream than the opener, but still suitably “weird.”
The Latest Curfew Craze
Working through some different segments, this is a great merging of psychedelia, fast paced space rock, trippy prog and more. This is an instrumental and a really crazed one at that.
Kick That Habit Man
To me some of this sounds like something King Crimson might do (think “ProzaKC Blues”). This is a rocking jam with a bluesy basis twisted into some psychedelic territory. It’s a great stuff for sure.
Secretary of Lore
This has a great soaring prog rock sound to it. Some of the guitar makes me think of David Gilmour’s work in the early days of Pink Floyd – particularly the Meddle album. This is one of the most mainstream pieces here. This is an instrumental.
Alchemy
Another cool instrumental, this has some great energized rocking. It’s psychedelic in a lot of ways. I love the wah sound on a lot of the guitar work. This is another jam that’s more on the mainstream end of the equation.
The Cold Stuffings Of November
Another instrumental, this has both a retro element and a modern one. It makes me think of things like Djam Karet, but also like the improvised space rock of acts like Oresund Space Collective.
Grasshopping
This high energy instrumental jam definitely makes me think of Hawkwind quite a bit. It’s a great tune with a prominent drum section and some cool space music over the top.
God's New Deal
This feels like a cross between old school Bob Dylan, some psychedelia and some carnival music. It’s weird, but also oddly compelling.
Dim Sum In Alphabetical Order
This instrumental is trippy, echoey space music. It seems quite freeform in a lot of ways. It also feels like early Pink Floyd at times.
Killer Honey
A bit noisy, this killer jam (okay, so honey isn't jam, but it's close)  is part Hawkwind, part King Crimson and all cool.
Under The YumYum Tree Café
I love the slightly weird soloing that we get over the top of parts of this cool instrumental. It’s perhaps more mainstream prog. That said, the space rock and other elements here move us into some rather psychedelic territory. By around the four minute mark it shifts out to a killer jazzy jam. That gets a shift more toward space as it works forward, though. This is one of the most dramatic pieces of music of the whole set, really.
Banana Construction
The first half of this features spoken vocals. That, combined with the space rock in that segment, makes it resemble some of the more freeform, experimental Hawkwind stuff. The closing jam has some Hawkwind harder rock mixed with early Pink Floyd. It’s a classy tune and a great closer.

 

 
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