Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Guru Guru - 1970 - UFO



"Guru Guru's debut album shows why the band, even if it never reached the levels of appreciation and influence the likes of Can or Neu! did, still maintained a healthy reputation over the moons for its early work. Opening number "Stone In" has a quite appropriate title for a starting track — it is wonderfully tripped out, to be sure, and if Manuel Gottsching was more of a guitar god, Genrich kicks up a lot of frazzled noise. The principle of the Trepte/Neumeier rhythm section seems to have been "find loud weird grooves and then play them, sometimes chaotically." Again, they aren't Can's wickedly effective combination of Holger Czukay and Jaki Leibezeit, but they're not just falling over themselves either. The title track is the most memorable song, almost entirely eschewing conventional rhythm for an inward collapse of feedback and noise that sounds either like the Stooges' "LA Blues" even more strung out or early Main with a conventional band lineup. "Girl Call" and "Next Time See You at the Dalai" (a classic example of a just-groansome enough Krautrock pun that only Germans seemed to love) makes for a good combination, the increasing freakiness of the one leading into the start-stop chug and explosion of the latter. Genrich really gets to show off a bit on both, demonstrating that there is such a thing as technical ability that doesn't equal pointless fret abuse. "Der LSD-Marsch" is actually the most conventional of the tracks — while a good-enough slow burn up to a freakout (mostly provided by Neumeier's drum solo), it's too short to be truly epic and not otherwise distinguishable from many similar songs by the likes of Amon Duul II, say. For all that, though, it ends this enjoyable effort well enough." ~ AMG

Mani Neumeier, percussion, drums, voice, tapes;
Uli Trepte, bass, sounds;
Ax Genrich, guitars

Tracklisting

01 Stone In Guru Guru 5:43
02 Girl Call Guru Guru 6:21
03 Next Time See You at the Dalai Lhama Guru Guru 5:59
04 UFO Guru Guru 10:25
05 Der LSD - Marsch Guru Guru 8:28