Monday, February 23, 2015

Guru Guru - 1971 - Hinten

Guru Guru

01. Electric Junk (10:58)
02. The Meaning Of Meaning (12:09)
03. Bo Diddley (9:56)
04. Space Ship (11:05)

- Uli Trepte / bass, radio
- Mani Neumeier / percussion, special effects
- Ax Genrich / guitar

Second album from this groundbreaking group, this album is almost better known for its buttocks artwork than the wild music on the vinyl. The almost instrumental trio (drummer Neumeier struts out some weird vocals once in a blue moon) is still just as crazy and free from all commercial considerations, and even if the music on the album has not aged well, the album's historical worth is certainly indisputable and the Konrad Plank production and its release on the legendary Ohr label adds even more to its legend .

This is more of a free jam with four tracks all around the 10min+ mark that have no real structure or constraint or restrictions (except the one of not having any ;-), so a good bunch of progheads will most likely frown at this album the ones that bookend it. But the double guru chose theirs and they clearly announce the colour by flashing their guitar power trio based on its ultimate form: the Jimi Hendrix Experience. But overall compared to their UFO debut album, this album is more structured (if you can call it that ;-), a tad less anarchic and a bit calmer. But don't be fooled: this still complete and utter chaos. YUMMMY!!!!!!!

Electric Junk (rather aptly titled is always on the verge of complete chaos while coming from pure mystic Hendrix-esque moments to a free jazz and utter spacey nightmares with feedbacks included. A pure joy to hear, if you ask me. And this apocalyptic atmosphere is only after the first track, and there are three left, so you'd better attach the safety belt and ask your buddies fasten the strap of your loony bin costume, cos you're in for a completely mind-boggling ride, starting with the meaningful Meaning Of Meaning. This 12-min freak out is probably one of the best examples to show what kind of freedom Guru Guru enjoyed during that blessed period of the very early 70's. with even less of a structure (if you except Mani Neumeier's incredible drum works) Genrish is free to go explore what good ol'Jimi was out to explore in some of his wildest jams.

On the next slice, the group visits another black guitar rock legend, Bo Diddley, and pay him an incredible tribute, even if I always wondered how the old master appreciated his works being trampled destroyed and rebuilt, not always successfully either, as this track is maybe the slightly weaker one, because there some evident lengths. The closing Spaceships starts out understandably on spacey sounds, which can be closer to Popol Vuh's Affenstunde or TD's Zeit period, even if they remained the guitar trio without synths or other keyboards. Rather impressive, slightly fascinating but definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Yes this album is clearly indebted to the great Jimi, but it is also a bit more than a glaring and blatant copy. One of those absolute statement on musical freedom, this is the type of album that had most parents and grandparents heaving in anguish for their offspring's sanity. And little did they know that they were fully right to be concerned, because no kid listening to this album would come out fully unscathed. All hail to the double Guru.



  2. Wow, this is heavy. I really like Guru Guru. Bo Diddley is real killer!