Acid Mothers Guru Guru - 'Psychedelic Navigator' (Important
Catalog no: imprec160
From Aural Innovations #38 (Jan 2008)
As some of you know, just this last September, Guru Guru founder, drummer and main player Mani Neumeier had come to the states to do a two week tour with a couple of members of everyone's favorite Japanese space rock henchmen we know as the Acid Mothers Temple - Kawabata Makoto and Atsushi Tsuyama. So, this five track audio document was apparently recorded sometime when the trio had done some live dates in Japan the previous year. I was amazed at how outrageously good this CD turned out to be. Begins with the very tripping "Stonerrock Socks", as this particular cut reminds me of a hard-to-find five track Jimi Hendrix EP, titled ' Early Instrumentals'. Might be tough to locate on the Internet, but keep looking - as you'll find some listing for it. Almost worth the price of admission alone. Next up is the twenty minute epic "Bayangobi" which is similar to a couple of vintage Guru Guru songs I can think of - like perhaps "LSD Marsch" or Electric Junk", including some ethnic-like vocals. Extremely well done, I thought. After that is a two minute cut "For Bunka-San" where Neumeier steps out from behind his drum set and places a dozen pots, pans and cymbals to randomly hit on each piece of metal to create some over-the-top experimental sounds. Look around on You Tube, as you should easily be able to locate a video clip of this routine. Then, yet another fantastic twenty-minute track the title cut "Psychedelic Navigator" with an almost Avant Garde vibe to it, features Gong-like flute work as well as some neatly performed tribal vocals. I could just kick myself for not at least trying to make their concert in Chicago this most recent time. Last but not least, the 1971 Guru Guru concert staple, the foot-stomping "Bo Diddley" which was a bit different than their traditional version. Never thought I'd say this, but with Acid Mothers Guru Guru, a drummer really can 'make' the band. As far as I'm concerned, this was 'essentially' a Guru Guru show. Line-up: Mani Neumeier - drums, editor and vocals, Kawabata Makoto - guitar and vocals and Atsushi Tsuyama - bass, flute and vocals. Many great trips can be had with this CD. I spoke with an employee of Important Records recently and I was informed this disc is close to if not already sold-out. At first, I had a hard time believing it but after listening to this CD as numerous times as I now have, I can see why. An absolute must-have. A true keeper.
Check out the band web site at: http://www.acidmothers.com
Check out the record label web site at: www.importantrecords.com
Reviewed by Mike Reed