Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guru Guru- Ufo[1970]

Guru Guru were absolutely as heady as their counterparts in Cologne and Berlin, but they didn't have the sterile seriousness of the Kosmiche-elite or the art-communes. Instead, Guru Guru went way psychedelic, using everything from fuzz-boxes to car horns to create thick, rattling soundscapes that would sound especially trippy alongside lengthy wah-everything power-trio jams.

On this, their first album, GG lay down some amazingly thick and fuzzy, yet highly varied and nuanced tracks. I'd say the closest touchstone would be some combination of Blue Cheer and Can. There's a much closer connection to US and UK rock than with say, Faust, but GG were also prone to flights of fancy and unpredictable rhythm sections.

This is, of course, a record to get stoned to. The first track is called "Stone-In," and I'd say it's a pretty apt introduction to the stoniest of German rock, courtesy of Mani Neumeier and co.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Matthew Friedberger- Old Regimes[2011]

The male half of the frequently challenging Friedberger siblings, Matthew has typically been the weird behind the Fiery Furnaces hyper-literate schizo-pop.

Last year, Mr. Friedberger released a six-album series called Solos, of which Old Regimes is the third. I really love this album, it's got sort of a krauty tendency to repeat and play around with simple, yet interesting segments and snippets.
As far as instrumentation goes, it's apparently all harp. Friedberger rarely plays it as we're used to it, instead coating it in electronic effects or slapping the strings for percussion. He gets a remarkably full sound out of just one instrument, and the generally atonal instrumentation goes well with his whispered and chorused vocals, which are as intricate and interesting as ever.

Also, I find it interesting that if you combined the sort of thing Matthew is doing with Eleanor Friedberger's latest album "Last Summer," you would basically get a Fiery Furnaces album.