By: Wolfgang Merx
Daevid Allen Weird Quartet | facebook |
Psychedelic mastermind Daevid Allen (Gong) left this planet on March 13 2015. Less than a year later his last solo album is released: Elevenses under the name Daevid Allen Weird Quartet. And the band’s name already hints at the music.
Basically, Allen presents psychedelic music on such a high level (pun not intended) that his music overcomes obvious genres like rock or jazz. There are a lot of electric guitars, synthesizers and electronic swirls as well as Ginger-Baker-esque drums and a nicely grooving Hammond organ and all of these instruments and sounds are in balanced roles, luckily, supporting each other as if the quartet was a classic jazz band. Often the songs sound like jams, although they are rather short, ranging from three to five minutes most of the time without losing their structures. Speaking about the sound of the album, its mix is rather simple, more or less capturing the quartet’s studio performance.
Even though no song is like the other, the album has a very special yet constant atmosphere. In a way, the music sounds old or rather classic, yet at the same time there is a modern sound created by the strange turns within the songs themselves. Of course the electronic elements play a great role there, creating a contrast to the rhythm section which has a certain 60s vibe throughout the whole album. As hinted at before, the drums remind me of Ginger Baker playing a Motorik beat (known from krautrock bands like Neu!). These combinations of different elements during each song make the album so special without making it sound too experimental – and this just adds to the high quality of the album.
There are so many connections within the music, ranging from Gong (obviously), Hawkwind in their quieter moments and early Pink Floyd to Ozric Tentacles and the Flaming Lips. Yet still, this is Allen’s own universe of sound. It is such a treat to listen to! But what a loss Allen’s death is. Rest in Peace, Daevid Allen!