Sunday, 25 January 2009

Mother of Invention

The first solo album from the Gong matriarch and adorner of magical hats is what any Gong head would have expected and hoped for: that kind of spooky yet sexy space whisper; cosmic ambience; a fusion of rock, jazz, psyche and folk, and lyrics and poetry that move, provoke and conjure up all manner of worlds and images that makes your brain wonder whether something or other may have been slipped into that last cup of tea you recently imbibed.

Mother has a split personality.
Some tracks evoke, unsurprisingly, the Gong band in full flight; with many of the planet’s inhabitants taking up residence on 'Shakti Yoni', 'Time of the Goddess', and 'OK, Man, This is Your World'.

'Prostitute Poem' has Gilli going back to her performance roots and reciting poetry over a trippy, ambient soundscape.
As a piece of poetry I really do consider it to be up there amongst those by Rossetti, Plath and Atwood; and the additional psychedelic accompaniment takes the feminist discourse into another dimension.

'Next Time Ragtime' is a series of gags about reincarnation: this time, next time kind of thing, allowing Smyth and her collaborator and lover Daevid Allen to have a giggle; but as soon as they draw you in and you begin to relax, Smyth performs one of those just stumbled across a corpse like screams, which rattles every neuron.

If you are feeling a little sensitive or angsty, I recommend only listening to this album if you’re somewhat masochistic in your hedonistic pursuits.

There are some dazzling pieces of ambient music here and some of it distinctly creepy, well able to raise a hair or two.
The multi-tracked baby cries heard on 'Back to the Womb' very nearly start me lactating!

But it does have a happy ending; finishing with the telling of a story, 'Taliesin', a fairy tale.
Could it be played to the little ones?
Of course it should.
Maybe if kids were encouraged or allowed to engage with magical narratives a little more in school, rather than being confronted with such tosh as I’ve Got a New Daddy or Mummy’s Got to have an Operation, they may remain being kids a bit longer.

And as for us old folk.
Well, put the cans on, lean back, close your eyes, and allow Gilli Smyth’s wonderful words and voice to really take you out of yourself.

You know you’re worth it.

Gilli Smyth - Mother (1978)

I am a Fool
Back to the Womb
Shakti Yoni
Keep the Children Free
Prostitute Poem
OK, Man, This is Your World
Next Time Ragtime
Time of the Goddess

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
If burning, remove pauses for best effect.
Mother yourself here


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Rather reminiscent of Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy (think Gilli may have been space whisperin' on that one).


Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to have this odd little gem on tape in the early to mid eighties and used to listen to it whilst altering my states of consciousness - I took it to work on the building site I was at the time and played it to some workmates their reaction was one of puzzlement then shocked disgust - priceless.

Great to be able to play this again.



roy rocket said...

Beats Kiss FM I guess...

Anonymous said...

beats kiss fm, that' witty, thanks for this and the daevid allen.. still trying to track down hitmen one he did with kramer used to have, strange album, from around this time, but a true classic!

Anonymous said...

Sound like: Lady June –Linguistic Leprosy 74
try it if you like this upload:
have a nice trip
Dr FrAnkein$ounD

roy rocket said...

'Lady Jane', my goodness, now there's an album I haven't heard for a while.
I was never a big fan of Kevin Ayres, but may grab this for a little nostalgic trip.
Thanks for the links and the reminder.
Regards, roy