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Guru Guru


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3 stars A very honest album which should be called a Mani Nuemier solo album. Nevertheless. Extremely interesting with many combinations of musicians. I would call this more of an experiment than anything else, but then again Guru Guru was (and is) an ongoing experiment. The album is full of suprises and everyone from Champion Jack Dupree to Roedelius (whom Nuemeir would collaborate with in the future) join Mani on this musical expedition. Even former bandmate guitarist Ax Grenich get's an invitation.The listener will experience everything from blues to Mani's wierd sense of humour tracks in the form of Chicken Rock and Walking Eating My Hotdog. More serious tracks come in the introductory From Another World as well as Woodpecker's Dream which pre-date New Age Music. Sunrise is Everywere set the stage for the more jazzier direction the band was going to follow. A transition album and not for everyone. Don' expect consistency here but if you're feeling adventurous go for this one.
Report this review (#28792)
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album was released in 1975 and although it bears the name of GURU GURU, it is actually more of a Mani Neumeier's solo effort. Even the title "Mani and his Friends" suggests so. The drummer, percussionist and singer and the only constant member of the band gathered a group of collaborators, including some former and future GURU GURU members. The music style is quite different from the well-known Kraut experimentation of the previous albums, and it is ever closer to pure jazz-rock territory. Typical nonsensical humour is still present, however, like that in "Chicken Rock". The first half of the album is an excellent jazz-rock rendition filled with funky bass, guitars, lively percussions and saxophones. The second half is more ambient and experimental in nature with another unexpected humoresque "Woodpecker's Dream". The only obvious mistake is the closing "1, 2, 3, 4 Marsch'n' Rock" - a total filler with unneeded take on a rock'n'roll sample sounding like taken from radio. It reminds of the weakest moments of the album "Guru Guru"... Still, this is very good album in spite of some minor inconsistencies. 4 stars!
Report this review (#78598)
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
4 stars The incredible German band Guru Guru have put out lots of interesting albums in the 70's, this one is no exception, even though it's basically Mani Neumeier and friends - members from Karthago, Harmonia and Kraan. All compositions on the first side of the record are by various Kraan members, who brought along their brand of jazz-rock and, at least to these ears, sounds very much like a missing Kraan album : Sunrise is Everywhere is an up-tempo jazzy-pop track, Chicken Rock is a very Kraan-like tune, complete with goofy humour, It's Your Turn is a lengthy instrumental jam with a laid-back mood, and wonderful Moog- playing from Ingo Bischof. Walking, Eating my Hot Dog is again a kind of jazzy-pop tune with goofy lyrics and a memorable riff and finishing side 1 is a brief jam entitled Fly Easy, and as it's title suggests, lounge-jazz smoothness. Side 2 is where we get to the highly inspired imagination of Mani with 'From Another World', which is, well, from another world - very spacey intro, then an almost tribal section with various hand percussion, piccolo and chanting, back into space for a mellow jam with great synth sounds. Clocking in at 9:25, the track is adventurous and sure to please. Next up is the novelty track, Woodpecker's Dream. During it's near 9 minute duration we go through a kind of dreamy, lullaby section with forest noises and cuckoo, running water etc. Then another native percussion section, followed by an amusing segment which can only be described as a conversation between 2 woodpeckers (!), then more spaciness. Fantastic !! The last 2 short pieces are quirky and round off this wonderfully eclectic and experimental album in good spirit.
Report this review (#89358)
Posted Saturday, September 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars As I was listening to this for the final time (before review) on my way to work I said to myself "I needed this". I had a bad day yesterday at work and there were other issues as well heaped upon me making it a day to forget. From the cover of this album with Manni on the front to the music inside, it's all about making one forget about life for a while.This is fun. Mani was at a crisis point when it came to the existance of GURU GURU. Ax the guitarist had left the year before and the temporary live lineup had disbanded. Hellmut the legendary bassist for KRAAN suggested to Mani that he should make a solo album and that KRAAN would help him make it. And man this sounds more like KRAAN than it does GURU GURU, well the first half of it especially. It was released after the fusiony "Dance Of The Flames" and they continued along that same path really only they added some silliness. Lots of guests helping out, hence the album title.The two guys from CLUSTER, three members of KRAAN, a Blues pianist and even Conrad Plank adds some guitar and keyboards as this was recorded in his studio. EROC remastered this at the Ranch. So yes there is a strong KRAAN flavour here and this was released the same year they released "Let It Out".

"Sunrise Is Everywhere" has this catchy beat as the vocals join in.This sounds exactly like KRAAN. Sax a minute in and the guitar that follows is so uplifting. Great track ! "Chicken Rock" opens with the sounds of a chicken (can't remember saying that before) as almost spoken vocals come in. This is funny stuff. "Give your cock a chance and set your chicken free" is the main lyric. Words to live by. It sounds like a cross between Zappa and WIGWAM. Nice guitar solo 1 1/2 minutes in. "It's Your Turn" has some great sounding bass from Hattler in this funky intro. It then settles with guitar into a KRAAN-like mode. Love the guitar, bass and drums in this instrumental tune. Fantastic ! "Walking, Eating My Hotdog" is catchy with vocals. Sounds like a good party tune in the KRAAN style. "Fly Easy" is a short instrumental with sax, bass, keyboards and drums standing out.

"From Another World" is experimental and dark to open. Nature sounds arrive 1 1/2 minutes in as it brightens. Percussion then flute follows. Chanting is next in this tribal-like section. It changes before 6 minutes as the beat stops and it turns dark and experimental again. It kicks back in before 7 minutes to a KRAAN-like soundscape. "Woodpecker's Dream" opens with church bells and nature sounds while the mellow music joins in.The nature sounds of birds singing continues pretty much throughout. We get some spoken voices around 5 minutes as this dream gets stranger.Yes the woodpecker is talking. It ends with a guy saying "Oh, it was just a dream". Cool tune. "1234 Marsch'n Rock" is a short piece with spoken words and drums then someone looking for the right radio channel and finally getting a Chuck Berry tune. "Drink Wine" is a funny live clip.

A definite 4 star album for me considering i'm such a KRAAN and GURU GURU fan. Just don't expect much music in the GURU GURU style.

Report this review (#401490)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Guru Guru - Mani und seine Freunde (1975)

Already on the second Guru Guru album you can hear that Mani Neumeier is one of the more talented drummers of his generation. A beautiful sound, a great pinch and some great fusion chops. On this album Mani Neumeier takes the lead through a run of funky fusion tunes with some ethnic, some Zappaesque and minor progressive influences. The vocals are often silly, be don't be fooled, this is top notch funk jazz and the production quality of the album is impressive as well.

The first run of five tracks is really enjoyable. Funk, rock, jazz, crazy vocals. 'From Another World' has a psychedelic intro, an enthic middle section and a fusion/progressive ending section and is therefore interesting for listeners of progressive rock. The ten minute track 'Woodpecker's Dream' has a nice intro song with cute German vocals, but after the first few minutes the birdsounds, spoken words and small percussions are meaningless. The last short track also sounds as filler material to my ears. This is too bad, because otherwise this would have been a four star album for me.

Conclusion. If you cut out the last two tracks from your playlist you're left with a great funky psychedelic EP-lenght album with a ehtnic progressive finale. Three and halve stars for that. Recommended to listeners of fusion, people interested in drums taking the lead, krautrock and fans of Kraan.

Report this review (#1378393)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink

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