Mani Neumeier has always relished working with the most diverse of musicians. That was the case in Guru Guru days, and is very much the same today. For his latest project, GURUMANIAX, he teamed up with his old colleague Ax Genrich (Guru Guru guitarist from 1970–75, their legendary period, as it were) and the bass player Guy Segers (doyen of Belgian avant-garde rock, founder of the key band Univers Zero). So: experience, virtuosity and professionalism to the power of three.
Neumeier had been wanting to get something going with Genrich for some time. Indeed, they had shared the stage together on a number of occasions in recent years. Their last session together in the studio, however, took place around 35 years ago. The death of Guru Guru founder member Uli Trepte last year only served to strengthen Neumeier's resolve. As he points out, who knows for how long either Neumeier himself or Genrich will be able to play their instruments with the same degree of virtuosity which they command today. After all, Neumeier will be celebrating his 70th birthday this year! Still, while the pair of them are blessed with such rude health, feeling not a day older than 50, Mani was determined to give it everything one more time with his old colleague and record the results for posterity.
Neumeier and the bassist Guy Segers got to know each other a good year earlier, when they played an improvised gig together with Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple) and Daevid Allen (Gong) at the Zappanale Festival. They hit it off immediately, making Segers a logical choice for the GURUMANIAX project. An excellent choice, as soon became apparent.
Four days in the studio, three at the mixing desk and the psychedelic diamond was finished! Some song fragments already existed, but most were spontaneous creations of the triumvirate in the studio. Recalling classic Guru Guru highlights such as "Ufo" (1970), "Hinten" (1971) and "KänGuru" (1972), the trio launched themselves freely into improvisation, channelled through their psychedelic / progressive /avant-garde rock terrain of choice – others call it Krautrock. There is even a direct reference to their second LP: the track "Spaceship Memory" is, as the name suggests, a musical descendant of "Spaceship" from the year 1971.
And just in case you missed it: the project name is the sum of its members' names: Guru+Mani+Ax. Which is a nice coincidence, as it turns out...
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