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Guru Guru - Tango Fango CD (album) cover

TANGO FANGO

Guru Guru

 

Krautrock

3.21 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars By 76, Guru's music had nothing to do with the early experimental space rock, but rather it was heading to the jazz rock realm through heavy funk-ified and slicker shorter tunes. The album is still a bit the product of the Conny Veit (Popol Vuh) studio sessions (with members of Cluster, Karthago and Kraan) that provoked the reformation of the group and directly produced the Mani Und Seine Freunde. Which in turn led to this varied and unfocused album, Tango Fango (and its noticeable bottle cap artwork), the group has now one of its most important collaborator in the person of Roland Schaeffer on guitars and wind instruments, which to this day remains with the group and is now its second-most Guru-est member after the ineffable Mani Neumeir.

Ranging from the funky opener (reminiscent of Allman Brothers Band' Elizabeth Red track), through the Bossa workouts and other forms of jumpy-happy sounding tracks, making a joyous and light album with a strong Latin feel, mostly induced by guest Tom Goldscmitt's constant conga percussions. But we are far from Santana's kind of fusion (except in Torro), but more like an early hint of what weather Report, Klaus Doldinger's Passport and Spiro Gyra (not the Canterbury folk band) would do in a few years. Nothing tremendously exciting for the proghead (except for the excellent Nightbear and L Torro tracks), in spite of the enthralling and joyous, dancing feel that will now become one of Guru's musical traits. Banana Flip, the title track and Mortadella are all well executed (these guys rocked and played a mean instrument) but fail ultimately to arouse my interest long enough.

Although Guru's funky jazz-rock is rather appealing to progheads, the mid-70's albums also reserve some rather unpleasant (IMHO) surprises such as the strange Lebendige Radio finale ranging from yodelling and German cabaret music (with some Zappa-esque moments but not quite as good either), which really ruins the rest of the album. If you've heard AD II's Made In Germany, you'll see a bit more where I'm getting at. The bonus track is unfortunately of the later album rather than the earlier tracks.

I certainly would not say that this album is one of Guru's best albums; it has nothing to do with the essential and groundbreaking period of the early 70's. Definitely more for Passport fans than for Hendrix fans.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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