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Guru Guru - Hinten CD (album) cover


Guru Guru



3.61 | 89 ratings

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4 stars The butt-ugly cover of Guru Guru's sophomore album is entirely appropriate: this is the ass-end of classic Krautrock, slightly more refined than the band's earlier "UFO" but no less primitive in its unclothed, lo-fi squalor. The raw garage band sound was deliberate, and it fits. Engineer/ producer/ Krautrock guru Conny Plank always tailored his method to fit the music instead of the other way around, and the music of early Guru Guru was a lot closer to earth than the Kosmische Rock of other German bands at the time.

Symphonic-minded Progheads should therefore take heed. This album is so unpolished it could easily be mistaken for a loose clump of musical dirt, instead of the diamond-in-the-rough it actually is. But there's a crude playfulness here too, as the unflattering cover art makes all-too explicitly clear. I suppose when you're fighting The Establishment using radical politics, psychedelic drugs, and over-amped guitar feedback, it helps to also have a sense of humor.

And the trio was beginning to listen to each other, allowing a little more light and air into their music. The Jimi Hendrix influence is strongest in the perfectly-titled album opener "Electric Junk", albeit strangely skewed when filtered through the usual cross-cultural Krautrock translation. But the soundstage widens considerably for "The Meaning of Meaning", a slowburn freak-fest showpiece for guitarist Ax Genrich. Ditto "Bo Diddley", in which the band gets downright goofy. Is that Mani Neumeier himself, shouting out the name of the legendary R&B pioneer in a succession of Monty Python-like voices? (The credits include "Sounding Being" and "Zonk Machine" among his other esoteric instruments.)

Needless to say, it's a long way from anything resembling musical sophistication. But the album was still miles ahead of the band's 1970 debut. And today it remains a valuable artifact from the Stone Age (pun intended) of power rock rebellion.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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