A free form jazz mentality, avoiding musical clichés and commercialism, has always characterized the music and philosophies of German freak 'n roll band Guru Guru who have categorically occupied their own special stage within the realms of modern music. From its LSD induced origins in the late '60s to its present day configuration which still rocks and grooves with intensity, countless personnel changes have occurred making it more of a succession of musical ventures and concepts under the moniker Guru Guru, which came about as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Beatles and their guru worshipping of the late '60s…
It’s Record Store Day announcement day #6 and we’re ecstatic to reveal this 2 x split-colour vinyl of psych- drone majesty from the other-worldly talents of Bardo Pond. This time they’ve teamed up with Japanese psych-experimentalists, Acid Mother’s Temple and Guru Guru for this fantastic collaboration.
"Hinten" is the sophomore album by Guru Guru which effectively confirms this power trio as a crucial item for the development of the krautrock movement that by 1971 had already become a melting pot of various sonic offerings converging on a common purpose of augmenting the language of rock and creating a peculiar edge to the avant-garde ideals that were being instilled in popular culture. This album is also famous (and infamous) for the cover photograph: a not too athletic male behind bearing a coarse tattoo that spreads on both buttocks. Well, the idea is clear in its intention to go against the two most recurrent trends in rock album sleeves: either a display of psychedelic figures based on a Modernistic approach or a manifestation of fantastic landscapes and characters where Surrealism and Romanticism unite. Not on this album sleeve, just that "lovingly" ugly image that I've already described and never will describe again.
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.
Born out of Mannheim outskirts, in Germany, Night Sun emulated with perfection British hard rock - influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep - blended with a delightful dose of psychedelia and schizophrenia typical of many German bands of those times. Mournin', their only and debut album, ranks itself as an excellent example of proto-metal, having particularly gone far beyond in originality matters if compared to bands like Lucifer's Friend. Sadly, Night Sun history is quite documented and the band only lasted for about three years followed by many line-up changes. Upon disbanding, shortly after the album release, bassist Bruno Schaab went on to join Guru Guru with whom he recorded 'Guru Guru' album in 1973, whilst keyboardist and trumpetist Knut Rössler founded Chameleon, his own jazz-fusion band.
The third album from the essential Krautrock power trio Guru Guru's early forays is as essential to the avant-rock collector as Faust's Faust Tapes, Can's Tago Mago, and the early experiments of Kraftwerk and Neu! Dating from 1972, it's an unprecedented display of drone-rock on the heavier, psychedelic side of the '70s German underground. Guru Guru's lineup changed periodically, and throughout the '70s, the project took contributions from Conny Plank and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, among others, and were tightly connected with the Kraftwerk off-shoot Harmonium. This album is undoubtedly one of their greater works, alongside UFO and Hinten recorded by the essential trio of Ax Genrich on guitar, Uli Trepte on bass, and leader Mani Neumeier on drums and keyboards.
Summer of 1976. The young German left found itself in a state of shock: Ulrike Meinhof, co-founder of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, had hanged herself in her cell at Stuttgart-Stammheim prison on 9 may. A temporary low-point in a political drama which ruled germany in the 1970s and also left its mark on culture and rock music…
With their 8th studio album GURU GURU continued to explore Latin/Fusion sound that they started on the previous efforts. The music is ever more complex with increasing use of assorted percussions, keyboards, synths and saxophones, courtesy mainly of multi- instrumentalist Rolland Schaeffer. However, this album is not very strong. With its frequent take on light samba/bossa nova sound, at times it is close to easy-listening Muzak. What keeps it back on track is omnipresent Mani's humour and satire, which reminds us that we are not listening to some Brazilian "riviera-style" samba/jazz. "L Torro" takes us back to the best moments of "Dance of the Flames", while the experimental "Das Lebendige Radio" is sort of a filler on this album..
Woodpecker's Dream, which pre-dates New Age Music and Sunrise is Everywhere, which set the stage for the more jazzier direction the band would follow. The bonus track From Another World was recorded live in 1974 at the Underground in Bonn. Mani Und Seine Freunde also features guitarist Klaus Walz from the legendary band, Epitaph. Mani Und Seine Freunde is released as deluxe edition digipak with enhanced booklet and has been digitally remastered by Eroc. Guru Guru are/were one of the wildest and most imaginative bands to emerge from the 1970`s Krautrock scene and gave definition to the term. Fuelled by a combination of LSD and loud raunchy experimental music, which may seem to be unstructured, it indeed incorporated many styles, from jazz to pop. These influences became more and more evident as the band’s career progressed.