Unending Ascending track list:
- Tiny Galaxies
- My Guitar is a Spaceship
- Ship Of Ishtar
- O, Arcturus!
- All Clocks Reset
- Choose Your Goddess
- Lunar Invocation
- Asleep Do We Lay
Gong’s Unending Ascending will be available on CD / Black LP / Limited edition Green LP and Digitally
GONG NEW ALBUM ‘UNENDING ASCENDING’ OUT NOW
UK TOUR IN NOV 2023
Following the success of 2019’s ‘The Universe Also Collapses’, Gong’s intergalactic voyage has once more entered Earth’s orbit with their new album ‘Unending Ascending’.
Set for release on November 3rd, the new album promises to offer yet another mind-expanding set of songs. Opener ‘Tiny Galaxies’ crackles with the electricity of supercharged sixties psych-pop, while ‘My Guitar Is A Spaceship’ is as close to an anthem as anything Gong have previously recorded. This uptempo, single-riff stomper is already a live favourite, garnering a positive reaction from a crowd of 90,000 Blur fans at Wembley Stadium in July 2023 when Gong frontman Kavus Torabi dropped it into his DJ set before Paul Weller took to the stage.
‘Ship of Ishtar’ is a rapt cosmic hymn where Gong make time itself stand still. Jet streams of kaleidoscopic melodies envelop ‘O, Arcturus’, to be followed by the lively polyrhythmic angularity of ‘All Clocks Reset’. ‘Choose Your Goddess’, a surprisingly muscular slice of ritualistic trance rock, ratchets up the intensity yet further. On ‘Lunar Invocation’ the band summons the Moon deities of yore with ululating feedback and squalling cymbals before the post-credits of ‘Asleep Do We Lay’ lull lugubriously, gently beginning the cycle all over again.
Regarding the single Kavus Torabi had the following to say:
“‘Tiny Galaxies’ came together very quickly and we loved it so much we road tested it around the UK and Europe throughout the Summer of last year before we recorded it. The fantastic response we received playing it out made it the obvious choice as the first song to drop ahead of our new release. Pick the telescope up for a total headtrip through the cosmos in three and a half minutes, but, for all our sakes, don’t look down the other end.”
Accompanying the single and the announcement of the new album comes a video that brings the vibrant world of Gong to life. Created by Drain Hope, it’s the perfect visual representation to ‘Tiny Galaxies’.
Kavus Torabi continues:
“Once again Drain Hope has illuminated our theta waves into this beautifully kaleidoscopic vision.”
Gong will be appearing alongside Ozric Tentacles on a co-headline tour throughout the UK in November/December 2023 as well as ‘The Last Blast’ Tour in 2024.
OZRIC TENTACLES AND GONG TOUR 2023
- Friday 17 November – OXFORD, 02 Academy2
- Saturday 18 November – LONDON, O2 Forum
- with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown
- Sunday 19 November – MANCHESTER, O2 Ritz
- Monday 20 November – SHEFFIELD, 02 Academy2
- Tuesday 21 November – COLCHESTER, Arts Centre
- Thursday 23 November – NORTHAMPTON, Roadmender
- Friday 24 November - BRISTOL, O2 Academy
- Saturday 25 November – GLOUCESTER, Guildhall
- Sunday 26 November – BIRMINGHAM, 02 Academy2
- Tuesday 28 November – BRIGHTON, Chalk
- Wednesday 29 November – NORWICH, Epic Studios
- Thursday 30 November – BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy
- Friday 1 December – FROME, Cheese & Grain
- Saturday 2 December – LIVERPOOL, 02 Acedemy
THE LAST BLAST TOUR 2024
- Thu 7th March - EXETER - The Phoenix
- Fri 8th March - FALMOUTH - Princess Pavilion
- Sat 9th March LYME REGIS - Marine Theatre
- Sun 10th March - CARDIFF - The Globe
- Mon 11th March - SWANSEA - Patti Pavilion
- Wed 13th March - SOUTHAMPTON - The 1865
- Thu 14th March - MARGATE - Dreamland
- Fri 15th March - HULL - The Welly
- Sat 16th March - NOTTINGHAM - Rescue Rooms
- Sun 17th March - STOCKTON-ON-TEES - Georgian Theatre
- Mon 18th March - LINCOLN - Engine Shed
- Wed 20th March - LEEDS - Brudenell Social Club
- Thu 21st March - NEWCASTLE - University
- Fri 22nd March - GLASGOW - St Luke's
- Sat 23rd March - EDINBURGH - Summerhall
GONG + OZRICS TEAM UP FOR THE LAST BLAST TOUR
After the roaring success of their previous tour, Ozric Tentacles and Gong join forces once more, embarking a co-headline tour across the UK in November 2023. Regarded as one of the most influential bands to emerge from the UK’s festival scene, Ozric Tentacles returned after a long hiatus delivering their 2020 full length ‘Space For The Earth’.
Co-headliners and seminal psych-rockers Gong, released their studio album ‘The Universe Also Collapses’ also via Kscope in 2019, followed by live album ‘Pulsing Signals’ in 2022. Their 2022 joint tour was the first Ozric Tentacles full-band outing in eight years and the very first time that both Gong and Ozric Tentacles had toured together.
Fruit Salad Lights, long-time visual collaborator with both bands, will accompany their performances throughout the tours with a stunning light show and mind-expanding projections.
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown will also be appearing as a special guest at London’s November 18th performance at O2 Forum.
Says Ozrics Tentacles multi-instrumentalist Ed Wynne regarding the announcement:
“It looks like we're heading out on tour once again this autumn. We had a great time last year with our label mates GONG and it was fun to take a full band out on the road after such a long hiatus. Brandi Wynne is back on bass, and we introduced our fantastic new drummer, Tim Wallander. So, here we go for round two – up, up and away!”
Gong frontman Kavus Torabi also had the following to say:
“We knew the first tour we did last year with Ozric Tentacles was going to be good, but I don’t think either band realised just how good. As mind-blowing as it may have been for the audience, it was as beautiful for both bands off stage.” Kavus continues
“Perhaps many people have always associated Gong with Ozrics but what became apparent in 2022 when we toured together was just how stylistically different yet completely compatible both bands were. Two very unique sides of the same psychedelic coin. Make no mistake, regardless of which band plays first or last, this is an unforgettable show, a full-on sensory assault with both bands absolutely tapping into the eternal. We would have been fools not to repeat it.”
As co-headliners, the bands will alternate the running order each night.
Pulsing Signals (Live Album)
Iconic British band Gong have announced their new live album ‘Pulsing Signals’ will be released on Kscope in February 2022. Recorded live across three shows at The Wardrobe in Leeds, The Cluny in Newcastle and Rescue Rooms in Nottingham in 2019 as the band toured their acclaimed album ‘The Universe Also Collapses’, this live record finds the group in spirited form as they undertake, unbeknownst to them, their final tour before the global pandemic took charge.
Formed in 1969 by Daevid Allen, one of the founding members of Soft Machine, classic albums such as Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot and You established Gong as one of the most unique, innovative and experimental rock groups of the Seventies.
Before he sadly passed away in 2015, Allen laid out his hopes for a future Gong, that it should be uplifting, exploratory and a positive force. Kavus Torabi, Fabio Golfetti, Ian East, Dave Sturt and Cheb Nettles, chosen by him, continue his vision.
Owing to Gong being an international band, lockdown and restrictions on travel made it impossible to convene and work on new music. The band received many requests by fans to release a live album and fortunately enough, the band had multitrack recordings of several shows from the 2019 tour. Bassist Dave Sturt went through all the master tapes and selected the best performances which became Pulsing Signals.
The album was recorded by Pete Wibrew and mixed by Frank Byng, while mastering was handled by Andy Jackson. The stylish artwork was designed by Steve Mitchell, who has worked closely with the band since 2016’s Rejoice I’m Dead.
To mark the announcement, Gong have shared ‘My Sawwtooth Wake’ from the album. Taken from 2019’s ‘The Universe Also Collapses’, the sprawling near 13 minute epic captures the band on top form with an appropriately mind bending video to match.
With touring now set to recommence and bookings going long into 2022 and beyond, Daevid Allen’s vision for the future looks set to be fulfilled.
Pulsing Signals will be available on 2CD & digitally on 18th February and 2LP on 22nd March - all formats are available now.
The Universe Also Collapses
The vanguards of 20th and 21st Century psychedelic music lead the way with their new studio album
Gong is more than a band. It’s an idea. A way of life. A continuum that exists in all times, in all places, everywhere.
Gong’s new album, The Universe Also Collapses, their first for Kscope, is the latest shining point on that continuum, a masterpiece of visionary 21st century psychedelia, a celebration of the magick of science, a journey both internal and external, bridging the worlds of lysergic exploration and quantum physics, equal parts Terence McKenna and Stephen Hawking.
“We wanted to make what we thought of as the ultimate psychedelic rock album,” says Gong’s singer and guitarist Kavus Torabi of The Universe Also Collapses. “The word ‘psychedelic’ gets bandied around a lot, and a great deal of the stuff that gets called psychedelic nowadays doesn’t match up to the description. I want to hear music that makes me feel like I’m on drugs.”
The Universe Also Collapses is all of that, but it’s much more too. This is the second album since the death in 2015 of Daevid Allen, the maverick genius who founded Gong more than 50 years ago in a flash of LSD-fuelled inspiration. If 2016’s Rejoice! I’m Dead! was a tribute of sorts to the band’s departed talisman, then The Universe Also Collapses marks the dawning of a new chapter.Read More
“Gong has always been a force for propulsive, forward-thinking open-mindedness,” says Kavus. “The last album was partly us paying tribute to Daevid, but I think maybe Daevid would have seen that as a bit too sentimental. He was more ‘Fuck that you guys, do your own thing.’”
Torabi and bandmates Fabio Golfetti (guitar), Dave Sturt (bass), Ian East (saxophone) and Cheb Nettles (drums) have taken that unspoken instruction to heart on The Universe Also Collapses. Where Gong’s wilfully erratic path has stopped off at pulsing space rock, pot-headed whimsy, needle-sharp fusion and all points in between, the new album is an undiluted psychedelic experience.
“We wanted to put Gong back at the heart of being an absolutely psychedelic band,” says Kavus. “From the start we wanted to make delirious, psychedelic, head music that you could actually dance to! It’s not a prog record, it's not a jazz fusion record – it’s a psychedelic record.”
It’s no coincidence that The Universe Also Collapses feels like a trip, in the true sense. Its four tracks ebb and flow, bend and warp, fold in on themselves then open out in a dazzling display of sound and imagery. This is the lysergic experience recreated in musical form.
“We consciously wanted it to sound like a big musical revelation. Let it have everything: the build-up, the bliss, the dark voyage of the soul, the epiphany,” explains Kavus.
This approach is embodied in opening track, “Forever Reoccurring”, an epic 20-minute song-come-sonic exploration that consciously upends conventional notions of time and space.
“That song started off with this one riff,” explains Kavus. “One thing Gong is good at is stretching a riff out, so we did that for a while, and we thought, ‘What if this just grew and grew? This might make a brilliant opening song.’”
That same instinctive approach shaped the other tracks that make up the album. Gong had amassed more than 30 potential songs, but they decided to focus on the very first three they’d written: the jagged yet spiralling “If Never I’m And Ever You”, the alternately turbulent and blissful 13-minute mindscape “My Sawtooth Wake”, and the revelatory finale “The Elemental”.
“As the Buddha says, ‘Where there is choice there is misery, where there is clarity there is no choice.’ We said, ‘Let’s just take the first three and develop them,’” explains Kavus.
The Universes Also Collapses isn’t a concept album (“That suggests there’s a narrative,” says Kavus) but there is an over-arching theme that binds it together, best expressed in one of the opening track’s key lines: “All the moments that make up a life/Forever at once reoccurring. The idea stems from a realisation I had that everything is happening at once,” says Kavus. “Our experiences of time as a linear thing is merely because we’re trapped in these funny bodies that experience it that way. But everything is happening at once – there’s no such thing as time. It’s an illusion. The idea is that the Big Bang and the inevitable collapse of the universe is all happening in the same instant – the here and now,” he continues. “All we have is this single moment, and everything that has happened or ever will happen is happening within it.”
This theme flickers through The Universe Also Collapses’ three other tracks like tracer lines. Lyrical and musical moments reappear, reflecting an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of experience. “Like an acid trip, themes keep coming back,” says Kavus.
Throughout their career, Gong have simultaneously been a reflection of, and a reaction to, the real world. The Universe Also Collapses doesn’t so much provide solace from these crazy times as put them in a proper perspective – one that makes them look very, very insignificant.
“Post-internet, post-social media, I don’t know what the real world is,” says Kavus. “I'm with the author Robert Anton Wilson - the real world is only your own reality tunnel. Everybody might be projecting their reality tunnel, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it's mine or yours or whatever. My reality tunnel is Gong, and it is psychedelic music. That's the world I want to live in, and it’s a great world to live in. But Daevid saw Gong as a radical force for good. I'm always aware of that.”
Even four years after his death, Daevid Allen’s presence is inextricably bound up with Gong. But where Rejoice! I’m Dead! was undeniably a tribute to their departed colleague, The Universe Also Collapses marks a new chapter.
“Gong was Daevid’s vision, but he didn't want his vision to be buried with him in the grave,” says Kavus. “He always wanted it to carry on, with him or without him. Daevid always said that Gong is a ship that you get on and off and it’s up to whoever is on the ship to take it wherever they want to.
“With this one it was very much, Let's make the record that we want to make. No guests or anything. We're legitimately Gong, let's make our album’,” he continues “If there's stuff on there that doesn't sound like what people think Gong is, well, we're not going to pretend we're in 1974, this is 2019. This is very much us going, ‘If we're following Daevid's idea, then we are Gong and we have made this on our own terms.’ We are Gong and this is what Gong is.”
Gong have never been a spiritual band in the glib sense of the word. But wherever Daevid Allen is now, he would be proud of the latest evolutionary step being taken by the entity that he helped will into being.
“He just wanted Gong to carry on. That his idea wouldn't die with his body.” says Kavus emphatically. “And he would love that it's gone back to being really psychedelic again.”
But then Daevid Allen isn’t really gone. Like Gong - like everyone who has ever listened or ever will listen to them – he exists at all points, everywhere, at the same time. As the mantra-like closing words of The Universe Also Collapses’ final track, “The Elemental”, put it: “Remember, there is only now…”