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Gong's 'Unending Ascending': A Spirited Voyage through Eclectic Soundscapes

In the wake of the loss of their pioneering spirit, Daevid Allen, Gong's tribute in 'Rejoice! I'm Dead!' in 2016 and their own distinct evolution with 'The Universe Also Collapses' in 2019, the group's artistic trajectory takes another spirited leap with the 2023 offering, 'Unending Ascending.'

This latest creation marks a shift towards more concise compositions, weaving together an eight-track tapestry that spans a range of emotions and themes, from the euphoric to the apocalyptic, from the introspective to the irresistibly catchy—often merging these within a single track.

Gong's odyssey commenced in 1969 with Allen's psychedelic epiphany. As a co-creator of the legendary Soft Machine, Allen poured his spiritual quest and esoteric musings into Gong, a band that would transcend traditional music groups to become a living mythos. Known for their fusion of rock, jazz, and psychedelia, infused with mysticism and surrealism, Gong communicated in varied and innovative ways—sometimes overt, sometimes enigmatic, always engaging.

The current ensemble, handpicked by Allen for his final studio album 'I See You,' upholds his vision for Gong as an enduring entity. 'Unending Ascending' is a testament to their unwavering resolve to reach new creative realms, fulfilling Allen's dream. The album embarks with "Tiny Galaxies," a track ablaze with the spirit of 60s psych-pop, and transitions into "My Guitar Is A Spaceship," a robust anthem that captivated 90,000 spectators when previewed by Gong’s frontman, Kavus Torabi. "Ship Of Ishtar" and "O, Arcturus" offer up cosmic reveries, while "All Clocks Reset" and "Choose Your Goddess" showcase Gong's rhythmic and sonic complexity. "Lunar Invocation" and "Asleep Do We Lay" round out the album, the latter bringing listeners full circle in this musical odyssey.

The line-up, featuring Torabi, Dave Sturt, Fabio Golfetti, Ian East, and Cheb Nettles, represents Gong’s most consistent formation to date, bringing stability and freshness to their craft post-Allen's era. Committed to honoring the band’s foundational roots while eschewing pure nostalgia, they propel their music and message into novel territories.

Torabi describes 'Unending Ascending' as a "curious glance through the cosmic lens, offering listeners a rhapsodic journey through stellar explosions and galactic demise." Gong in 2023 perseveres in their core principles—innovation, exploration, and mysticism—leading us on an unceasing ascension that stretches beyond the confines of space and time, capturing the immortal essence of Gong's enduring legacy.


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