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Guru Guru - Shake Well CD (album) cover

SHAKE WELL

Guru Guru

Krautrock


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4 stars One of the lesser known Guru Guru albums originally released in `93 and re-issued in `07 on revisited records with remastering by none other than ex-Grobschnitt drummer EROC.

Well you can`t go wrong with the technical improvements as well as the one thing which is garuanteed with every Guru Guru album from Mani Nuemeier & Co: A wacked out musical experience with diversity and relentless energy. Divided roughly between vocal tracks and instrumentals, " Shake Well " contains a heavy dose of high energy energy tracks which can sound like everything from Tom Waits experiments to full-out pop songs, albeit spiced up with that wonderfully weird Guru Guru flavour.

All tracks are based on Nuemeier`s very musical and highly immaginative drumming and percussion effects. A drum solo is featured on the bonus track, a 1993 live performance of Ooga Booga, one of their signature pieces which dates back to the 1972 Kanguru LP which is introduced by a pretty wild psychedelic guitar freak out by Luigi Archetti. Other tracks also revisit the early psych elements of the band such as the tripped out Space Baby and Time, What Time. Travelling even further back in history are two quirky cover versions of Early Elvis Presley songs, Mystery Train and Teddy Bear. Vocalist/bass player Razem Rubel could have easily walked away with first prize at an Elvis impersonator contest with these renditions. His voice has the twang and echo Elvis`voice had back during the Sun Sessions of the early `50s. Those familiar with the Eddie Cochran classics Guru Guru did back in `73 will find that these are closer than the Elvis originals and not as spaced out as the `73 Cochran reproductions.

Nuemeier refers to the music on this album as " Ethno Rock" and one can see why with all the ethereal electronic effects which are integrated throughout. Cool simulated marimba and steel drum sounds on Monkey`s Dance and Mimpi Manis paint primordial sonic images but don`t expect to find " Shake Well" in the World Beat section in your local record store anytime soon. Straight blues/rock and even rockabilly elements also find their way into the labyrinth of styles found on this appropriately titled album.

Recorded more or less straight with only the electronic effects being added later Guru Guru really grooves through this very bright sounding album. Both new listeners and those familiar with their drugged out early seventies material will glean much from this highly experimental recording from a band which has always gone against musical convention. Play LOUD!

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Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink

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