Guru Guru
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Ufo , 6.5/10
Hinten , 6/10
Kanguru , 6/10
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Formed in 1968 by Swiss percussionist Marcus "Mani" Neumeier (who had played with jazz musicians Irene Schweizer and the Globe Unity Orchestra), bassist Uli Trepte and former Agitation Free guitarist Ax Genrich, the Guru Guru Groove Band (later shortened to Guru Guru) offered a surreal mixture of psychedelia, humour, improvisation and collage technique. It was different from what the most famous German bands of the period were offering, and perhaps less revolutionary. They were taking inspiration from Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa rather than inventing a whole new kind of electronic music. Their albums were played, recorded and organized in a sloppy manner. Ufo (Ohr, 1970) contains five lengthy free-form pieces, including their anthem, the 20-minute juggernaut Der LSD Marsch. The other tracks pale compared with this masterpiece: Stone In (5:43), Girl Call (6:21), Next Time See You At The Dalai Lhama (5:59), Ufo (10:25). Ax Genrich was not an academic guitarist, and he could make Hendrix turn in his grave, but he was a living hurricane, staging manic assaults to the brain.

The four jams on Hinten (Ohr, 1971) are less chaotic and less primitive, but, if possible, they are even more extreme, misunderstanding Jimi Hendrix and the Cream as a wall of noise that will be surpassed only by the Japanese bands of a few years later: Electric Junk (10:58), The Meaning Of Meaning (12:09), Bo Diddley (9:56), Space Ship (11:05).

Kanguru (Brain, 1972) may not be the most creative of Guru Guru's albums, but it is played in a more structured manner and produced in an almost professional manner. THe 15-minute Immer Lustig is a classic of space-rock. Oxymoron (10:33), Baby Cake Walk (10:57) and Ooga Booga (11:11) all have their share of brilliant brainscapes.

Der Elektrolurch (Brain, 1974) is an anthology. Space Ship is an anthology of their best years (1971-74).

As the line-up began changing, Neumeier remained the only constant member. Guru Guru (Brain, 1973), Don't Call Us (Atlantic, 1974), Dance of the Flames (Atlantic, 1974), Mani und Seine Freunde (Atlantic, 1975), Tango Fango (Brain, 1976), Gobetrotter (Brain, 1977), Sunband Hey Du (Brain, 1979) were variations on the same theme.

After a long hiatus, Guru Guru returned as a clone of Hawkwind with Mani in Germani (1982), Neue Streiche (1983), Jungle (Casino, 1987), Shake Well (1993), Wah Wah (Think Progressive, 1995), Moshi Moshi (Think Progressive, 1998), 2000 Gurus (Funfundvierzig, 2000).

Privat (Admission, 1993) is credited only to Neumeier and is an experimental drum album.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Nicolo`)

Formati nel 1968 dal percussionista svizzero Marcus “Mani” Naumeier (che aveva suonato con i musicisti jazz Irene Schweizer and the Globe Unity Orchestra), il bassista Uli Trepte e Ax Gernich, il primo chitarrista degli Agitation Free, la Guru Guru Groove band (poi rinominata più succintamente Guru Guru) offerse una surreale mistura di psichedelia, umorismo, improvvisazione e tecnica di collage. Era qualcosa di diverso da ciò che le più celebri formazioni tedesche del periodo stavano sfornando, ma meno rivoluzionario.

I Guru Guru s’ispiravano a Jimi Hendrix e Frank Zappa piuttosto che inventar un nuovo tipo di musica elettronica.

I loro album vennero suonati, registrati e organizzati sciattamente. UFO (Ohr, 1970) contiene cinque brani liberamente lunghi, includendo il loro inno, lo juggernaut di 20 minuti Der LSD Marsch. Le altre tracce sono scialbe se confrontate a questo capolavoro: Stone In (5:43), Girl  Call (6:21), Next Time See You At The Dalai Lama (5:59), Ufo (10:25). Ax Genrich non era un chitarrista accademico, e avrebbe potuto far rivoltare  Hendrix nella tomba, ma un uragano vivente, inscenando assalti maniaci al cervello.

 

Le quattro jams di Hinten (Ohr, 1971) sono meno caotiche e primitive, ma, se possibile, ancor più estreme, equivocando Jimi Hendrix e i Cream come un muro di rumore che sarà oltrepassato solo o qualche anno dopo dai complessi giapponesi: Electric Junk (10:58), The Meaning Of Meaning (12:09), Bo Diddley (9:56), Space Ship (11:05).

 

Kangaru (Brain, 1972) potrebbe non essere l’album più creativo dei Guru Guru, ma è suonato in maniera più strutturata e prodotto più professionalmente. Il pezzo di 15 minuti Immer Lusting è un classico dello space rock. Oxymoron (10:33), Baby Cake Walk (10:57) e Ooga Booga (11:11) si dimostrano brillanti capricci cerebrali.

 

Der Elektrolurch (Brain, 1974) è un’antologia. Space Ship è un’antologia dei loro anni migliori.

 

Quando la line-up comiciò a mutare, Neumeier rimase il solo membro costante. Guru Guru (Brain, 1973), Don't Call Us (Atlantic, 1974), Dance of the Flames (Atlantic, 1974), Mani und Seine Freunde (Atlantic, 1975), Tango Fango (Brain, 1976), Gobetrotter (Brain, 1977), Sunband Hey Du (Brain, 1979) sono variazioni sullo stesso tema.

 

Dopo un lungo iato, i Guru Guru tornarono come cloni degli Hawkwind con Mani in Germani (1982), Neue Streiche (1983), Jungle (Casino, 1987), Shake Well (1993), Wah Wah (Think Progressive, 1995), Moshi Moshi (Think Progressive, 1998), 2000 Gurus (Funfundvierzig, 2000).

 

Privat (Admission, 1993) è accreditato al solo Neumeir ed un album sperimentale per percussioni.

Guru Guru's guitarist Ax Genrich has released the solo albums Psychedelic Guitar (1994), Wave Cut (1995) and Spontaneous Combustion (2010). Neumeier and Genrich also formed a power-trio with bassist Dave Schmidt that released Psychedelic Monsterjam (2004) and The Intergalactic Travel Agency (2005). An evolution of this idea was Gurumaniax, another trio formed by Mani Neumeier and Ax Genrich, who recruited Univers Zero's bassist Guy Segers for the debut Gurumaniax (Bureau B, 2010). (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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