Tim Blake
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Tim Blake was Gong's keyboardist from 1971 till 1975, and was responsible for writing a substantial part of the three Gong masterpieces. His mad synthesizer came to symbolize the opposite of the radio-friendly, catchy, classical synthesizer of Jean-Michel Jarre. The concerts collected on Crystal Machine (Egg, 1977), which date as far back as 1971 (i.e., predate Jean-Michel Jarre), delivered surreal pieces in that "freak" style: Midnight, Metro Logic, Last Ride Of The Boogie Child, Synthese Intemporelle, Crystal Presence. New Jerusalem (Egg, 1978) was ruined by the vocal parts and sounded a little too serious, but at least the suite New Jerusalem managed to change the role of the synthesizer in popular music. Blake played briefly with Hawkwind before retiring in a farm.

When he returned, new-age music (which he pioneered) had become a well-respected genre but Blake had lost any degree of madcap creativity. Magick (Voiceprint, 1992) is rescued by the space-rock epic The Strange Secret Of Ohm-Gliding but otherwise it is mostly tedious muzak.

After another long hiatus, Blake, who retired to a windmill in western France, returned with The Tide of the Century (Blueprint, 2000).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Gianluca Mantovan)

Tim Blake fu il tastierista dei Gong dal 1971 al 1975, quando scrisse parte considerevole di tre dei loro capolavori. Il suo folle synth simboleggio' l'opposto al radiofonico, trascinante, classico synth di Jean-Michel Jarre. I concerti raccolti su Crystal Machine (Egg, 1977), registrati nel 1971 (ovvero prima dell'arrivo di Jean-Michel Jarre), constano di piece surreali in quella vena "freak": Midnight, Metro Logic, Last Ride Of The Boogie Child, Synthese Intemporelle, Crystal Presence. New Jerusalem (Egg, 1978), rovinato dalle parti vocali e dal sound serioso, veniva riscattato dalla suite New Jerusalem, che cambio' il ruolo del synth nel pop. Blake suono' per un breve periodo negli Hawkwind prima di ritirarsi in una fattoria. Al suo ritorno, pur se la musica new-age (di cui fu pioniere) era divenuta un genere molto rispettato, aveva ormai perduto la creativita' del passato. Magick (Voiceprint, 1992) contiene l'epico space-rock The Strange Secret Of Ohm-Gliding e per il resto molesta muzak. Dopo un altro lungo iato, Blake, che si era ritirato in un mulino a vento nella Francia occidentale, torno' con The Tide of the Century (Blueprint, 2000).

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