Personnel: Bert Camembert, Daevid Allen (vocals, guitar); Gilli Smyth, Shakti Yoni (vocals); Blumdido Bad De Grass Ex Didier Malherbe (flute, saxophone, tenor saxophone); Eddy Louiss (piano); Submarine Captain Christian Tritsch (bass guitar); Pip Pyle (drums).
Audio Mixer: Francis Lindon.
Audio Remasterer: Nick Robbins.
Liner Note Author: Mark Paytress.
Recording information: Chez Michel Magne, Strawberry Studios, Herrouville, Nor (1971-05-??&1971-06-??&1971-).
Photographer: Phil Franks.
Unknown Contributor Role: Samuel Ellidge.
This 1971 release was the first "real" Gong album (1970's MAGICK BROTHER was really Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth with friends, recorded before the band's official debut). It's a psychedelic/space-rock classic, hinting at the conceptual/musical heights reached by the forthcoming "Radio Gnome Trilogy" but characterized by harder-edged riffing and fewer ethereal moments (Steve Hillage and Tim Blake had not yet come aboard).
Allen's underground-oriented psycho-sexual, beatnik lyrics are a winning combination of wisdom and whimsy, but it's the music that makes CAMEMBERT. Allen's patented "glissando guitar" style (a spacy, flowing sound achieved with delay effects and a slide) puts the band in early Pink Floyd territory, as do the long, atmospheric jams. There's also a distinct jazz influence in both Pip Pyle's bop-inspired drumming and Didier Malherbe's freaky sax. These elements combined with Gilli Smyth's ambient/erotic "space whisper" backing vocals and Allen's winning tunesmithery to create some of the least pretentious art-rock ever heard.