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Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

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Kanguru Dreaming album cover
3.47 | 17 ratings | 3 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ras Lila (12:39)
2. Waves of Aquarius (9:53)
3. Kanara Prakar (12:21)
4. Invitation to Dance (9:39)

Total Time 44:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Guy Madigan / pakhawaj, tambura
- Keith Manning / tabla, flute, percussion
- Cleis Pearce / electric viola
- Paul Gibson / 12-string guitar, didgeridoo, sarode, vocals
- Ashia White / vocals

Releases information

LP Ranger Recordings - RRCS-2497, Larrikin Records - LRB096

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KANGURU Dreaming ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KANGURU Dreaming reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Spacey dreamy tribal music ... this obscure Australian combo KANGURU have launched completely different soundscape from progressive rock for us, that can be felt as, for example, an Indo-tasted folksy ambience.

Electric sitar or tabla assertions everywhere in the first track "Ras Lila" might make us comfortable, as if we drank very fruitful, very strong alcoholic beverage or ate a magic mushroom. Able easily to imagine what appearance they had played with. Mysterious, mystic incantation created with their tribalism would hang over our brain. "Kanara Prakar" is another theatrical floating particles story-told via multiple ethnic instruments by a strongly unified music commune ... uncomplicated but dramatically alternative sound kaleidoscope, that should be calculated strictly, will take the audience to a trip for another dimensional inner space, not Australia, their nation.

"Waves Of Aquarius" is a stuff where heartwarming percussion and flexible viola plays are pretty impressive. This atmospheric "sur la mer" phenomenon reminds me of the same vein like one of Japanese New Age pioneers Kitaro (ex-Far East Family Band). The colourful mixture of all instruments sounds wonderfully of quiet but magnificent water flow. Expansive acoustic guitar gives evident inspiration of rough, violent water turbulence to such a river whisper ... excellent is this sound contrast. In the last "Invitation To Dance", superbly solemn, magical flute initiation is too attractive for us to avoid dancing. Enthusiastic percussion in the middle part drives us crazy, but please don't overdance to death, yes we can get treated, relieved via the last warm, massive-minded, hearty flute ground.

Honest to say, I cannot understand the reason this ultraobscure tribal folk combo be called as an Indo Prog / Raga-Rock one (YET!) indeed, but on the contrary, can realize they have thrown an important gemstone titled "Dreaming" into the scene. Not bad they are here.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Welcome to roo paradise! Yeah, the Australian KANGURU may have adopted its name from the famous German band Guru Guru's Krautrock epic album but this quintet that featured Ashia White (vocals), Guy Madigan [aka Koalananda] (pakhawaj, tanpura), Paul Gibson [aka Sri Wombat] (sarod, vocals, [14-string] guitar, didgeridoo), Cleis Pearce [aka Clear Light] ([electric] viola) and Keith Manning [aka Professor] (tabla, flute, percussion) was Australia's answer to the raga rock craze that swept the world throughout the latter half of the 1960s and the 1970s.

This band that emerged from Nimbin just south of Brisbane didn't stick around for long and only managed to release its sole album DREAMING before the musical tastes for such occidental meets oriental musical fusion had waned a bit but what a beautiful album these fine musicians left behind! By the latter half of the 1970s John McLaughlin with Shakti had pretty much stolen the show for anything remotely jazz / raga fusion but this band from Australia did an excellent job at crafting beautiful pastoral soundscapes that live up to the album title.

While Shakti delivers an incessant bombast of jazz-raga fusion, KANGURU focused on a more intricate fusion of Indian sounds that included the the sarod, pakhavaj and tabla with other non-indian ethnic instruments such as the the indigenous Australian didgeridoo. Add to that some gypsy folk sounds of the electric viola as well as some lush flute sounds and acoustic guitar occasionally accompanied by vocals and what you get is an interesting interpretation of the raga rock scene from a part of the planet not usually associated with these fertile hybrids.

Cited as a hippie band that is certainly evident in the few lyrics on board with themes of being a rainbow and a moonbeam however this is a mostly instrumental affair and really does evoke a dream state with doesn't really rely too heavily on any particular style of ethnic music. There are definitely some Mahavishnu Orchestra vibes that would evolve in the Shakti universe but the album seems to incorporate various ethnic influences ranging from Indonesian folk music to homegrown aboriginal sounds into a unique tapestry of raga influenced majesty. The sounds experienced on DREAMING are perfectly in line with the om symbol featured on the cover art. The music is non-linear and features some interesting transitions and stylistic differentiations that incorporate jazz and Western classical as well as the Indian and other ethnic sounds.

As far as i'm concerned albums of raga rock nature need to take the listener on a spiritual journey and in the case of KANGURU on DREAMING, that is exactly what transpires through a unique procession of musical motifs that never remain static for too long. While the meditative and transcendental aspects of the album are clearly in tact, so too are those moments of imploring action and promoting periods of growth that eschew stagnation. What makes this sound most like Shakti is the electric viola performed by Cleis Pierce of the progressive jazz-rock outfit MacKenzie Theory that released one album in 1973 however this album really stands on its own two feet and a gem of the Australian underground. As far as i'm concerned this one is extremely successful in crafting a seamless fusion of various ethnic sounds and one of the highlights in all of the so-called raga rock scene of the era.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I don't know much about this "Indo-Prog" genre, but I'm guessing cultural authenticity is not an especially high priority. Otherwise, you wouldn't record 12 minutes of a sarod player improvising freely using European modal scales while a tabla player pounds away in 4/4 time, and call it a 'raga'. If ... (read more)

Report this review (#722276) | Posted by sl75 | Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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