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Guru Guru - Tango Fango CD (album) cover


Guru Guru


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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With their 8th studio album GURU GURU continued to explore Latin/Fusion sound that they started on the previous efforts. The music is ever more complex with increasing use of assorted percussions, keyboards, synths and saxophones, courtesy mainly of multi- instrumentalist Rolland Schaeffer. However, this album is not very strong. With its frequent take on light samba/bossa nova sound, at times it is close to easy-listening Muzak. What keeps it back on track is omnipresent Mani's humour and satire, which reminds us that we are not listening to some Brazilian "riviera-style" samba/jazz. "L Torro" takes us back to the best moments of "Dance of the Flames", while the experimental "Das Lebendige Radio" is sort of a filler on this album, although I (with my limited German language skills) assume the satiric view of "Madagascaran accordion players helping bring Deutsche Demokratische Republik and West Germany back together again" was really funny at those times of divided Germany. GURU GURU made "Tango Fango" sound close to Frank Zappa/Mothers' fusion instrumentation with hilarious lyrics and it even reminds me of a unique ex-Yugoslav/Slovenian avant band BULDOZER, who also mocked their Alpine/Mittel-European legacy. "Tango Fango" is surely recommended to give it a listen, but overall mark cannot pass over three stars.
Report this review (#79413)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Tango Fango may not be your typical prog album, and Guru Guru is not your typical prog band. Tango Fango is a sun filled fusion album with just the right amounts of Guru humor. This album is a must have for any true Guru Guru fan. The recording and musicianship is stellar on most of the tracks. This is a fun album that will get you groovin'. This album contains some of Guru Guru's most melodic and catchy riffs, backed with good composition. This one is for lovers of progressive music with a tropical flare.
Report this review (#81257)
Posted Friday, June 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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.

Report this review (#115674)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink

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