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Guru Guru


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Guru Guru Känguru album cover
4.05 | 175 ratings | 16 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Oxymoron (10:33)
2. Immer Lustig (15:37)
3. Baby Cake Walk (10:57)
4. Ooga Booga (11:11)

Total Time: 48:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Ax Genrich / guitar, vocals
- Uli Trepte / bass, vocals
- Mani Neumeier / drums, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Heinz Dofflein with Guru Guru

LP Brain ‎- brain 1007 (1972, Germany)

CD Brain ‎- 511 737-2 (1992, Europe)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GURU GURU Känguru ratings distribution

(175 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

GURU GURU Känguru reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars You just knew this pun had to happen, didn't you? Third dose of this absolutely insane guitar power trio, presenting another pill of chaotic musical freedom, more or less under the same format (four lengthy 10-min+ tracks) but the length is even slightly longer this time,the album nearing the 50 minutes. Unlike its two, predecessor, Kanguru is not released on the legendary Ohr label (gone broke), but it is not really losing either as it was released on the just-as-legendary Brain-Metronome label. The trio does calm down a bit even if you still get the full double Guru madness (a little tamed, though), and the trend is respected: these tracks are now with a clear structure (sometimes ;-), and this costs them a bit as the production of the album is also slicker.

In fact, importing more structure to Guru Guru's music seems to be doing the opposing effect it was aiming at: it tames the beast and introduced some lengths and the album is definitely more repetitititititive than its predecessor. Both Oxymoron and Immer Lustig could easily loose a few minutes here and there: especially the later in the spacey nature bout that is rather uninteresting, at least in the studio recording, because most likely this must've been mind-blowing live.

On the other side of the album, Baby Cake Walk does bring back some of the noisy chaos that was so savoury on the first two albums, and this track is their best on this album, even if it brings nothing new to the trio. Ooga Booga is back to the more structured tracks of the album's flipside and holds fewer charms (even though the middle section reminds us of Jimi's Experience) but also some lengths.

After this album, Uli Trepte, the bassist a bit lost between those two other crazy nutheads, will leave for a studio career, and his departure will prove a bit detrimental to the group. But in retrospect, the double Guru was already starting its slow decline with this album, showing that organizing their musical chaos was taming the beasts inside themselves. Still good, but not as great as the previous two.

Review by diddy
4 stars If you are slightly interested in the german prog genre krautrock you will know who GURU GURU is. It's one of the best and most influential krautrock bands besides "Amon Düül II", "CAN" and "Faust".

Their third release "Känguru" is in principle composed of the same ingredients as their forerunners "Hinten" and "UFO" but the guitar isn't that dominant any longer and the tracks aren't as aggressive as on "UFO". Simultaneously they added the humorous component that was completely nonexistent on "UFO" yet. Examples would be the funny singing on "Oxymoron" or the spoken introduction to "Immer lustig".

"Oxymoron" is made of a dull rhythm, thereto Manni Neumaier sings strange lines with an even stranger voice. I'm sure that various types of drugs played pranks on them before or during the recording sessions. But that's kind of normal for krautrock bands and could be a possible reason for the experimental style of the whole genre. "Immer Lustig" wich, roughly speaking, means something like "always funny" commences with the mentioned introduction and proceeds with a kind of military marsh rythm but rapidly changes into a typical psychodelic rock track with some of krautrock characteristical free form sections. The next track "Baby cake walk" is structured relative similarly but is more reminiscent of "UFO" because of its harshness. The lyrics of the last track "ooga booga" are largely made up of these two words wich are presented in the typical funny Neumaier style. After a percussion commanding prelude it later on passes into the guitar dominated krautrock style.

"Känguru" for sure belongs to the most significant krautrock releases and maybe is more typical for this genre than "UFO". If you want to acquaint krautrock this is a good starting point because it shows clearly what this awesome genre is all about. I liked it right away and it belongs to my absolute favorites in the krautrock genre. For sure it is a bit strange if you listen to krautrock for the first time but I'm sure that you will enjoy this release. 4 Stars for a good and very representative krautrock album.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars When speaking about Krautrock, GURU GURU were often neglected and put in the "second division" of that music style, after the "big four": CAN, FAUST, NEU and AMON DUUL II. But, their third album "Kaenguru" is easily the best of their early, classic line-up trio of Neumeier, Trepte and Genrich. Filled with crazy and nonsense lyrics, extended space jams and druggy guitar solos, this album is a high point of their first phase, before going into more jazzy exploration on the subsequent albums. "Oxymoron" and "Ooga Booga" are a required portion of any self-esteemed Krautrock collection.
Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars Things have changed on GURU GURU's third album as they have made four fairly structured compositions.The experimental improvs are held in check (for the most part) for the first time. Mani is of course the undisputed leader and drummer of this band and he lays down some great rhythmic gooves as usual. Guitarist Ax Genrich continues with his Hendrix inspired guitar work. He mentions in the liner notes that everytime he thought he discovered something "new" with his guitar, he would later find Hendrix had already done it. Hendrix was obviously his hero. Conny Plank helped the band produce this album and added some keys and guitar as well.

"Oxymoron" takes a minute for this to really get going as vocals join in. The guitar before 3 minutes lights it up. It settles back at 4 1/2 minutes before some intensity returns before 6 minutes. The tempo continues to change. Check out the guitar and drums before 7 minutes ! The song ends as it began. "Immer Lustig" opens with spoken German words before the drums come pounding in with guitar and bass in tow. We're trippin' now after 1 1/2 minutes as it settles somewhat. Love the guitar 3 minutes in. Just a great sound overall. Psychedelic vocals after 5 1/2 minutes before a change in the sound follows. Nice bass. It calms right down until the beat stops completely after 9 minutes. Then it starts to rebuild with drums leading the way. Guitar comes in after 12 1/2 minutes and he starts to rip it up.

"Baby Cake Walk" has a nice heavy sound right away. Some great bass lines here. Vocals 2 minutes in. It changes after 4 1/2 minutes to a psychedelic calm. It kicks back in before 7 minutes. More excellent sounding guitar after 9 minutes. Big finish. "Ooga Booga" features percussion and vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. More energy before 3 1/2 minutes and the guitar is more prominant. Nice. Vocals and a change 5 1/2 minutes in.This is catchy. The guitar before 9 1/2 minutes is fantastic right to the end.

A very amazing band who have three very different sounding albums in "Ufo", "Kanguru" and "Dance Of The Flames" that are all must haves.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Third studio effort by Guru Guru and the last one with the original trio formation, "KänGuru" is, in my humble opinion, a masterful apex in the history of krautrock, an abrasive masterpiece in the context of 70s experimental rock from Germany. Truth is that this trio had managed to create amazing adventurous music from day one in a perfectly consistent way, only "KänGuru" happens to be a bit less dense than "UFO", more in the vein of the reasonably articulated trips that had shaped the excellence of "Hinten", with a more robust focus on teh development of the musica traves that take place throughout the tracklist. Guru Guru is, by now, generating a profile that gets closer to other most relevant jam-oriented bands in the kraut circle, such as Agitation Free, Amon Düül II and Ash Ra Tempel. 'Oxymoron' kicks off with a powerful bluesy vibe instiled in the main riff. While the jam evolves further, the lead guitar's florusihes, bass's ornaments and drum kit's inventive cadences state that sort of cerebral madness based on jazz-rock, heavy psychedelia Hendrix-style and "Ummagumma" spacey expansions, with some extra industrial sensitivity that makes itself noticeable in a few pulsating passages. Mani's occasional vocal deliveries add some humor to the fold, for good effect, not being really that abundant. As atractive as this opener is, it is in the remaining repertoire that the whole album will meet its highest expresions. 'Immer Lustig' is the album's longest piece, surpassing the 15 minute mark. The track beings with a military march and a burlesque speech, soon [&*!#]ing toward a harsh blues-rock motif. This one is quite catchy, actually, so the shift to a new motif may take the listener by surprise, but sure the sense of tension has been greatly achieved. This new motif add a touch of funk to the ever-recurring heavy psychedelia: Genrich's guitar is a definitive cornerstone in the band's trippy architecture, including those moments in which it fills a more subtle space. The next motif states a weird mixture of spacey moods and rockabilly phrasing, wrapped in effective lisergic layers. Later on, the section tha tstarts at the 12 ½ minute mark bears a Zeppelin trend, featuring a powerful guitar lead that takes the overall dynamics to a red-hot climax. 'Baby Cake Walk' opens up the album's second half picking up the explosive fireworks of 'Immer Lustig'. The starting heavy jam elaborates brief climaxes along the way, until the 5 minute mark brings a brief interlude dominated by ethereal moods. With this interlude ended, the trio indulges in yet another wild crescendo sustained ona cleverly syncopated rhythm pace: ultimately, the rhythm turns fuller and the band decides to elaborate an exercise on pure frenzy, which doen't hide the previaling sense of organization on the working. Last but not least, 'Ooga Booga' starts with an extroverted mood on a 5/4 tempo, paving the way for a rockier section on 6/8 whose Arabic nuances and exotically driven drumming. Then, a momentum starts to build up on teh basis of multilayered guitar leads that sound equally menacing and magical. By the way, the rhythm duo of Mani and Tripte is also magical. All in all, who knows, maybe this is the absolute peak of Guru Guru. Less sublime and more groovy, the next section lightens things up without losing an inch of power. The last passage is more mysterious, as if displaying a cacophonic portrait of the cosmos' greyish realms until it bursts into an inscrutabe chaos. This distrubing coda is a hell of a way to close down such an incendiary album - "KänGuru" is an absolute kraut gem, a golden testimony of Guru Guru's particular genius.

(This review is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Uli Trepte).

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Guru Guru brings a playful take on krautrock. The combination of Jimi Hendrix inspired psychedelic blues jamming with silly vocals and upbeat rocking rhythms is similar to Amon Düül II, but it's simply much more fun.

Over the course of 4 extended jams, Känguru got it all. Inspired free-style jamming with a loose rocking structure, raw vocals, soaring guitars, imagination, a healthy dose of madness and an overdose of hash.

Känguru is a great album but it's just a tad below the vast amount of excellent albums in this scene. With its accessibility it could sure serve as an introduction in the style. So if you're hesitant to check out krautrock, this album can sure serve as an introduction.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars It would be an expression of the music character that this Trio exactly did and be opening of the idea to support an initial music character in the activity of this band. The expression of the band by the organization of Neumeier-Trepte-Genrich accomplishes the revolution from this album further as a result. The revolution will be able to be caught remarkably exactly by this album.

Directionality of the band and a mental part were told as a situation of the band as the revolution in the secession of Uli Trepte. As for the change, some guesses will be able to be done through this album. Situation in which it faces opening music character that Mani Neumeier cultivated. Or, it is partial where some humours are demonstrated by the music character. The divergence of the music character given between Uli Trepte that takes charge of a serious part for the music character of the band is expressed further through this album.

The member of "Faust" had made remarks in the interview in the past. It ..".. doesn't know the expression by the musician of the and others at all. "Thus, we like march" This remark might ..".. have an original viewpoint that catches a racial subjectivity including Guru Guru and Faust and music. A variety of music characters might be derived as a part that surrounded psychedelic and a social situation if the dawn and the situation were certainly confirmed in the item of Krautrock and it offer it to the listener. It guesses the music character introduced by other countries to be in the point to have already established as a part of Krautrock.

The vicinity of Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix as music that Krautrock is made a standard as some parts connected at the dawn of Krautrock It is likely to be able to enumerate it. However, if the remark by the member of above- mentioned Faust was unified, it is likely to have absorbed it as the introduction of simple psychedelic neither or Blues but an indeed original part.

Or, initial of Krautrock will be able to enumerate the expression of the rhythm by characterizing. The rhythm and Groove that Krautrock had established it can listen to the point to express from the angle besides the genre of other countries. This Guru Guru might be the one if it thinks about it as a part where the melody was also expressed. And, the music character of Guru Guru until Uli Trepte secedes the band is a part of the absorption of Heavy Rock and psychedelic. Or, it is partial of the introduction of Stoner Rock and Downer Music to express in this album. The expression of psychedelic and Blues that often did a certain seed Amon Duul and Can had been established. However, the revolution of Guru Guru might have been very fast the speed. Of course, this album might have become a very important album for them as a part and an expression to take those elements.

Review by friso
4 stars Guru Guru - Känguru (1972)

I my record collection I have a special place for new records. I listen to my new records for about 50% of the time and most of the time these records get listened to and reviewed within a month, before moving forward to the genre defined place in the collection. This third Guru Guru album has proven to be an exception, because I just didn't know what to do with it.

First of all, the band acquired some serious skills when comparing to their debut (the only other Guru Guru album I own). All three musicians are to be placed among the best of the progressive genre and the diversity of guitar-skills of Ax Genrich is almost unbelievable. The way he combines Gilmouresque slides and dreamy lines with Hendrix-like shreds and hard-rock vibes whilst still being able to find a place to showcase some classic rock'n roll techniques is really worth mentioning.

'Känguru' is a well recorded album with found compositions, all longer then ten minutes. The sound of Guru Guru is that of a krautrock band with much influences from Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix when it comes to the guitar sounds, reverbs, echoes and recording techniques. The drums and bass balance between rhythm and blues and heavier acid rock. What is to become a mind-blowing and spacy experience starts of pretty bleak and a bit un- interesting. 'Oxymoron' is a long low-paced track that fails to amaze me. The vocals are a bit strange, but that isn't the problem for me. 'Immer Lustig' continues these atmospheres that can't interest me to much, but it has many great guitar solo's and some heavy parts that do become interesting. The long drum and guitar-effects solo is only partly interesting, but the ending section is a great piece of spacey acid rock.

On side two Guru Guru makes a totally different impression on me. Both 'Baby cake walk' and 'Ooga Booga' are extremely brilliant takes on the spacey acid-rock sound of the band in this stage. They simple keep on throwing new themes and ideas and everything sounds simply amazing, the sound-scapes, the rhythms, the awkward vocals, the bombastic high- lights.. everything is highly original and must-have-listened-to-before-you-die.

Conclusion. I still don't know how to rate this album, but the second side is so impressing I won't give it lower then the four star rating. Perhaps this record needs even more time for me to grasp, but it the mean time I will recommend it to fans of krautrock, space rock and acid rock.

Perhaps some-one can send me some personal experiences on how to master this album?

Review by Warthur
4 stars Having found the previous two Guru Guru discs to be entirely too incoherent and sloppy for my tastes, I found Kanguru to be a refreshing change of pace, bringing more musicianship into the equation whilst still retaining a distinctive psychedelic and colourful atmosphere. By leashing their tendency towards endless noodling so comprehensively, Guru Guru manage to produce an album that is substantially more engaging and listenable than their previous jam-based efforts, and begin to distinguish themselves within the Krautrock crowd. In particular, Ax Genrich and Conrad Plank turn out to be downright excellent guitarists, with their chops really buoying up the music to the next level.
Review by admireArt
2 stars The fact that this 1972, 3th., GURU GURU album was "edited and produced" does not make it a "Jewel".

Really does it makes it so amazing that his "forced" previous experiments were raw, and this one not. Really? The fact that "GURU GURU" "plays" standard Jazz is so amazing?...BAHH, as if the Gods descended. A cult band that has more "attracted" followers than musical creativity. They play along the lines of their own countrymen "CAN" and other's, standard Prog oriented- JAZZ/Rock rendition's .... Come on guys we are talking about 1972 not 1922. The fact that they played in Germany neither makes this work inclusive, to be rated. At the time Hendrix was physically dead (with 3 albums as legacy), Zappa was more than already known, the "Krautrock" scene already established and PROG reached that year its pinnacle of perfection. Do you remember "Close to the Edge"?

Overrated, if you do not follow the band, and think this "discovery of "standards" of Jazz and Hendrix's renditions or "tributes" are better than the originals.

I paid good money for an overvalued album, because it was made in Germany. **2 PA stars, "for fans of the band" only project.

Review by Neu!mann
5 stars Studio album number three from Mani Neumeier and crew is now regarded as Guru Guru's career peak, and after my own late exposure to the unpolished charms of this early Krautrock power trio I'm not about to argue. Their previous LP ("Hinten", 1971) has been described elsewhere in these Archives as a diamond in the rough (and it was indeed very rough, in places), but here the same gemstone was given a not-unwelcome spit-shine, hardly resembling the same band at first exposure.

What happened, to make this session so different? Maybe producer Conny Plank was exerting a stronger than usual influence over the group, in effect transforming the crude trio into a more refined quartet. Certainly his (uncredited) keyboards and auxiliary guitar work enriched the Guru Guru sound considerably.

Or maybe the band decided to follow through on the epiphany of "Hinten", on which they discovered that a radical political mindset didn't have to lack a sense of humor. Look at the track titles here, and listen to the music: "Immer Lustig" roughly translates as "Always Funny", and they weren't kidding. The subterranean ganja riffing of the album opener "Oxymoron" isn't as oxymoronic as it sounds, and the extended thrash in the middle of "Ooga Booga" is one of the most joyful Krautrock power jams ever caught on vinyl.

The big difference was that the irritant factor of their first two LPs had all but disappeared. Ax Genrich (an awesome name for a rock guitarist, by the way) toned down his 10-penny nails-on- concrete playing style, while still managing to approximate the sound of a titan's dirty fingernails scraped down a cosmic chalkboard. The influence of Jimi Hendrix can still be heard ("He's my most important inspiration!" gushes Herr Genrich in the CD booklet notes). But I don't recall Hendrix ever straying quite so far from his blues roots, or singing in a style recalling Michael Palin portraying Mr. Gumby.

(...a quick digression. By openly acknowledging their debt to Hendrix the band contradicted the accepted Krautrock myth of musical isolation from English and American role models. In truth, without the good example set by Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, The Velvet Underground, and Jimi Hendrix, there would not have been any Faust, Ash Ra Tempel, Can, or Guru Guru...)

In awarding the album five stars I'm choosing to interpret the ProgArchives rating guidelines with latitude. "Känguru" may not be a classic of Progressive Rock, but it's classic Guru Guru, and arguably the apex of what would eventually become an absurdly prolific discography. The iconic cover art alone is worth an extra half-star, and anyone who disagrees can go take a Baby Cake Walk.

Review by ALotOfBottle
4 stars Guru Guru's third release is generally considered their most accomplished work. The band's previous album, UFO, was a trippy journey influenced by hallucinogen drug experience. In 1972, the group released Kanguru.

The album still relies strongly on improvisation. There are elements of ambient music, as well. Four tracks of this album give room to four different moods. The band often lays down a simple rhythmic and harmonic pattern, which they improvise on. However, there are also some electronic, dissonant work-outs to spice things up! Sometimes heavy, sometimes funky - Kanguru is a rewarding journey throughout! Although the album is not very innovative and a bit monotonous, it is evident that Guru Guru have mastered their instruments and are now proficient musicians.

All in all, Kanguru is a classic Krautrock album. Not only is this one of not all that many albums of the genre that I enjoy, it will be a perfect way to get into it. Recommended!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review #101! This album has a lot of the characteristics of Can, my comfort zone in terms of Krautrock. I love Can, and I honestly love this album. Like Can, Guru Guru has a vocalist with a distinct voice that recites weird and/or nonsensical lyrics. The two bands both have very experi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2924533) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Sunday, May 14, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Coherent Incoherence" should be the name of this LP. Striking drone rock collides with spacy atmospherics that has its fingerprints all over noise-rock, punk, even Industrial and metal. This is Guru Guru's star shining brightest, the culmination of their vision. 4 incoherent jams offer the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1085466) | Posted by Suedevanshoe | Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The third album sees Guru Guru come of age. The band has got a lot more technical abilities and is not afraid of flaunting it on this album instead of hiding their previous lack of abilities behind a haze of hazy trippy spaced out music. Guru Guru is so much more here on planet earth on this a ... (read more)

Report this review (#598158) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Guru Guru's third album relied much more on their skills and abilities as musicians and had much more structure to it although the music was still heavily influenced by illicit drug experiences. The tracks remained long and experimental but were more polished and no longer sounded like they were rec ... (read more)

Report this review (#28781) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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