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BosephusOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: May 15, 2009 - 07:07 AM
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Krautrock is another area I'm keen to explore further. My friend gave me 6 DVDs containing an 11+ hour Krautrock marathon that ran on German TV a couple of years ago. Alot of Beat Club footage I'd never seen before and footage from other sources also. All in all a great presentation of some fantastic music!
 
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prancinghorseOffline
Post subject: Guru Guru - Ufo  PostPosted: Jul 14, 2009 - 09:00 AM
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Originally I was planning on reviewing a Dzyan album next but I have changed my mind, the development in the reviews was too straight forward and too logical to be dealing with Krautrock.

Guru Guru - Ufo


Released on
    - Ohr OMM 556.005 in 1970

Re-issues on
    - Think Progressive TSLP 1.603.005 in 1996 (Germany)
    - Wah-Wah Records LPS041 in 2007 (Spain)
    - Cleopatra CLP2039 in 2007 (US, just 300 copies)
    I am sure there are more LP re-issues around then these three versions

There are various CD versions of this album around for example on ZYX Music, Ohr, Spalax Music or Captain Trip Music (just to name a few labels, again I am sure there are more)

Originals on Ohr are pretty expensive again (around 80 to 100 Euros in NM) but re¬issues can be picked up for cheap (in the area of 15 Euros).

Line up for this album (their debut by the way):
    - Mani Neumeier (Drums, Voice)
    - Uli Trepte (Bass)
    - Ax Genrich (Guitar)
    I have no clue to whom the electronic gimmicks should be credited

To set the expectations straight: This album is absolutely no easy listening and it is hard to “swallow” – this is a “grower” which develops over time if you give it a chance.

“Stone in” is the opening track of the album and it sounds like it comes directly out of Jimi Hendrix’ realm, just seasoned with a little bit of Conny Planck’s electronic effects – the trio sounds like it is free jamming and can’t neglect some roots in free jazz. These roots with the psychedelic influence that Genrich brought in (former member of “Agitation Free”, another Krautrock legend) build a raw and dirty kind of heavy Kraut. The song fades into the “Girl Call” – here the guitar squeaks and irks supported by really good drumming by Mani (hard to believe if you ever saw him but this guy really knows his stuff) and dark and violent bass play – this girl is not calling it is shouting out an orgasm. Again the song fades into “Next time see you at the Dalai Lhama”, another repetitive and intense guitar driven song.
The second side of the album is the side where opinions widely differ: Some consider especially the title track “Ufo” a 10 minute conglomerate of chaos and noise, others consider this track one of the most experimental pieces of rock history – I tend to put it into the second category although it is hard to swallow on occasion (as pointed out in the beginning). Regarding the last song “Der LSD – Marsch” there is only one statement from my side: The title is program here as this song was clearly recorded under the influence of some not so legal substances.

Overall a very important and influential album that is one of the masterpieces of Krautrock in my eyes – issued by a band which never took themselves too serious and converted live shows often into some kind of happening with a lot of comedy and entertainment.

Guru Guru is still active after 40 years, last year they published two new albums called “Live on Tour 2008” and “Psy” where the list guest musicians read like the who is who of Krautrock with Chris Karrer (Amon Düül), Helmut Hattler (Kraan), Dieter Moebius (Cluster).. The only musician who was always member of Guru Guru was indeed Mani Neumeier.

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fromphilly1247Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 14, 2009 - 10:00 AM
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Great review, Peter. I have an original of this on Ohr and it's definitely a favorite.

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TakbolehOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 14, 2009 - 12:50 PM
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Nice review,Prancinghorse
You're right on "It's hard to swallow" part for Guru Guru stuffs.But your review got me interested especially on the opening track "stone in" review.Oh by the way what's the meaning of "Guru Guru" ? Thanks
 
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prancinghorseOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 - 11:07 AM
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To be honest I have no clue what Guru Guru actually means - the original name of the band was btw Guru Guru Grove..

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metrognome
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 16, 2009 - 08:27 PM
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Thanks for this review, Peter. I always enjoy your perspective on these unique albums. I have a feeling this record is not quite my cup of tea, but I'd sure like to hear it at least once. I have heard part of "Dance of the Flames," but I know that the two records are quite different.
 
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prancinghorseOffline
Post subject: Annexus Quam - Osmose  PostPosted: Dec 17, 2009 - 11:01 AM
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I think it is time to continue the crusade to make people more familiar with Krautrock – from Guru Guru
    Annexus Quam – Osmose

is only a logical step. This album was originally released on
    - Ohr OMM 56.007 in 1970

Reissues are available on
    - ZYX (1999) and
    - Wah Wah LPS049 (2008)

Again there are various CD versions around for example on Spalax CD 14881 (1995), ZYX Music OHR 70004-2 (1999), Ohr (2005) and Captain Trip CTCD-628 (2008) – I am sure there are far more other versions out there.

Originals on Ohr are very expensive (in the area of US$ 400 and up) especially if the gimmix cover in fully intact – the front side of the jacket carries four triangular flaps that open up into some kind of pyramid (I hope the picture gives some kind of impression of this fact).

Line-up for this album (again a debut) was the following:
    - Uwe Bick (singer, vocals, percussion)
    - Jürgen Jonuschies (bass, vocals, percussion)
    - Werner Hostermann (clarinet, vocals, percussion, organ)
    - Peter Werner (guitar, vocals, percussion)
    - Hans Kämper (guitar, vocals, percussion, trombone)
    - Ove Volquartz (saxophone)
    - Harald Klemm (flute, vocals, percussion, trumpet)

The high number of wind instruments might bring one to the idea that there is a certain Jazz influence in this album and surprise suprise, this really is an interesting and inventive mix of Spacerock and Jazz that generates their interpretation of Krautrock.

The first track "Osmose I" opens with the wind instruments before guitar and organ join the "battle". I would call this track a typical Kraut Spacerock track which on occasion reminds of "classical" Pink Floyd (especially "Welcome to the Machine" from "Wish you were here" album comes to mind). "Osmose II" then is more percussive with even some Latin influence at the very beginning. Then the organ joins and the entire thing is spiced with some psychedelic vocals - unluckily the songs fades out after a mere 3+ minutes. The third track "Osmose III" (what a surprise he he) starts at a very slow tempo with psychedelic organ loops and contrasting wind instruments - a bit like a jam session of Amon Düül II and Soft Machine's wind section! Over the cours eof time the tempo picks up and the typical Kraut guitar is joined by a fantastic flute. "Osmose IV" (creative naming uh?) is sidelong and by far the most diversified and best track of this album. After having started with a slow piano intro the track meanders between psychedelic guitar solos, lyric flute driven sections, gregorian vocals and free style sounds, the wind section always setting jazzy accentuation.

In 1972 Annexus Quam released anthor album ("Beziehungen") and then we loose track - what remains is the legacy of two very interesting albums which were very important for the development of Krautrock as a genre.

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fromphilly1247Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Dec 17, 2009 - 12:00 PM
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Thanks for continuing with this, Peter. I really enjoy these reviews and always eem to add a few more things to the want list after reading them.

Keep it up.

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metrognome
Post subject:   PostPosted: Dec 17, 2009 - 07:04 PM
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That settles it. I'm going to have to get this (on CD).

Thanks, Peter.
 
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fromphilly1247Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Dec 17, 2009 - 09:07 PM
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metrognome wrote:
I'm going to have to get this (on CD).



Traitor.

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Close your eyes and let the thought pass

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