Exposé Online banner

Guru Guru — Rotate!
(TranceMusic, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-18

Rotate! Cover art

My history with Guru Guru is somewhat unfortunate. Back in the late 70s, their album Globetrotter showed up as a bargain item in the Jem import catalog, and I’d heard they were one of the great early German bands, so I ordered it. I found it to be awful, a totally lame attempt to cash in on disco and funk, with goofy humor that just didn’t work for me. I next encountered them many years later with 2000 Gurus, which I liked a lot more. I’ve since gone back and listened to some of the classic material, but that initial bad experience has stuck with me. So now we have Rotate! and I’m pleased to report that it’s closer in style and quality to 2000 Gurus than Globetrotter. Funky jams with lots of percussion from all around the world, hypnotic bass lines, and lots of solos from guitar and sax. What you won’t get is much in the way of structure or melody, so your reaction will depend on how much you dig the jamming. There are some tracks featuring vocals, as on the title track with its vocordered repetition of the single word, and the chanting on “Digital Analog,” which is mostly annoying. And then there’s “I Missed So Many Shootingstars,” which features heavily-accented crooning that really grates on my nerves — a pity, as the middle part of the song gets a nice instrumental groove going. The other vocal tracks are similarly unpleasant. For the instrumental tracks, drummer Mani Neumeier sets up some great grooves; Jan Lindqvist (guitars of various kinds) and Roland Schaeffer (woodwinds and guitars) provide imaginative soloing and textures; and bassist Peter Kühmstedt keeps it simple in the low end, letting the others provide the sparks. I can’t say how longtime fans of the band will react to Rotate! but I find it a decidedly mixed bag, with some excellent parts but a number of things I’ll happily skip over.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Mani Neumeier, Guru Guru

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Embrase - Dreamworld – Lately new EM artists in the Netherlands are mushrooming and this is the newest offspring. Most of these newcomers know their predecessors very well, no exception here, but they all stay to close to...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues