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Guru Guru - UFO CD (album) cover

UFO

Guru Guru

 

Krautrock

3.74 | 91 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "UFO" was the debut album for West Berliner band Guru Guru, which in its earlier stages was one of the most daring and implacable krautrock acts around. In fact, the large doses of rough energy, adventurous madness and visceral aggressiveness make it an undisputed classic in the rockier realms of krautrock. Each one of all three musicians was already a veteran in the local underground scene, with drummer Mani Neumei in his early thirties already. In many ways is Guru Guru's offering related to Ash Ra Tempel's rocky side and Tangerine Dream's first album, also showing clear influences from Hendrix at his wildest, and to a lesser degree, the most explosive facet of "Ummagumma"-era PF. The musicians' proficiency is well documented in the way in which they handle their robust improvisations in many passages of the album, bearing a sort of jazzy attitude in the way they perform their interactions, but the overall sound is heavily experimental psychedelic rock in form and structure. The unearthly explosive jams that continuously take place fit well the band's main focus: expressing streams of sound in a frontal energetic way. The first three numbers work partially on powerful interplays between the lead guitar and the rhythm section, creating somber yet captivating scenarios. 'Stone In' is such a great opener since it provides a straight statement of the band's musical ideology at the time in terms of ballsy psychedelia. 'Girl Call' kicks off in a more constrained manner, gradually building up to a Hendrix-esque climax that seems to set the atmosphere on fire. The aforesaid track's abrupt ending is segued into the ultra-explosive 'Next Time See You at the Dalai Lhama', which is the most metallic piece in the album. The guitar phrases and bass adornments bear some exotic, almost Arabic nuances, but the track is not constructed under the patterns of fusion or anything like it. This tracks serves mostly as a recapitulation of the first two with an enhanced energy. The album's second half is the most disturbing one: in 'UFO' and 'Der LSD-March' the trio take their music's lysergic potential to its most incendiary level. The 10-minute 'UFO' is an unquiet excursion in deconstruction and chaotic ambiences: it brings an aura of horror and mystery that portrays many hints to musique concrete, challenging structure with a robust conviction. The same goes for the first half of 'Der LSD-March', but in the second half, the display of energy is set into a more ordained frame, creating a powerful excursion similar to those of ART. The ordainment is not excempted of free-form. allowing room for improv and a drum solo. "UFO" is a solid gem of the krautrock realm. A masterpiece, indeed, it can only be recommended to avant-rock converted fans and stubborn lovers of experimental rock. Guru Guru made a hell of a debut with this one.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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