Photo: Arthur Haggenburg

The GU-RU Machine of Cosmic Space Music has been flying the ‘Freak Flag’ for love, hope and unity for over five years. Comprising Lee Spreadbury (keys, vocals, production), Naomi Perera (flute, vocals) and Malcolm D’Sa (drums), the band contains a wealth of experience gained from working alongside such luminaries as Arthur Brown, Gentle Giant, Goldray, Lifesigns, Purson, Duncan Chapman, Ben Gaunt, Rob Bentall, Niknak, The Flute Guy and Cosmopolitan Arts.
The band’s debut album ‘Tales from the Ashram‘ garnered favourable reviews on its release in 2019, and so expectations have been high for their new EP, ‘Zenith’s Privilege‘. I’m pleased to report that the latest offering does not disappoint.
The EP has a running time of under twenty minutes, but it’s remarkable just how much GU-RU cram into this package. ‘Fusion’ is a word often bandied about in music reviews, but it’s never been more applicable than here, for the EP contains a dizzying blend of Psychedelic Prog, Acid House, Euphoric Dance, Pop and much else besides.
Opening track ‘Zenith‘ sets the scene perfectly, painting a mellow backdrop enriched by exquisite flute playing from Perera. ‘Teach Me‘ takes things up a notch, its pulsating rhythm driving the track forwards while, bit by bit, a rainbow of multi-instrumental colour is added to the mix as the track builds towards its climax.
Where ‘Teach Me‘ adds colour, ‘Disco Biscuit‘ brings depth. It’s packed with melodic twists and turns, and displays new facets with every listening. ‘Frankenstein‘, which closes the album, is a nice take on the track of the same name by The Edgar Winter Group. It’s a crowd pleaser at GU-RU’s gigs, hence its inclusion, although I’d have preferred to hear more of their original material and as such it’s the least engaging of the EP’s tracks.
With ‘Zenith’s Privilege‘ GU-RU showcase psych-prog at its best – engaging, inventive and hugely enjoyable.
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