Mani Neumeier has been at the helm of Germany's legendary Krautrock group Guru Guru for over 35 years and for 20 of those years he's been working on Sketches, his first solo album. Sketches is an absolutely sacred collage of rare field recordings, tribal music, heavy drumming, dreamlike nature sounds and even an electrical generator in Thailand that inspired Mani in the middle of the night many years ago. This is such a personal percussion based audio-journal/ethnic drum jam that noboby other than Mani is suited to describe it. Track by track here's how it all happened in the man's own words:
Birds in a ricefield in Goa have a big discussion. Master Paramashivam on the Tavil-Drums and I on the drumset. Recorded by Jan Fride Drummer of Kraan in 1987.
2. Garuda's Dream
A little creek in Bali flows. A voice of an Indonesian stewardess. Windgames in Bali. I play Gamelan instruments to it in 1991.
3. Sango Beach
The sound of the sea on Ishigaki Island, South-Japan. Etsuko and I play on corals we have found by the beach 2005.
4. Auf Alle Felle – 2
My drumsolo recorded in Frankfurt by Huseyn at the German Legends Tour 2006 5. Tenganan
An old Bali man played for me this incredible Bamboo Marimba solo in 1986.
6. My Geng Gong
Same man on a Bamboo Mouthharp. Sounds better than any synthesizer.
Drum solo recorded in Koenji, Tokyo 2006.8. Baumstamm
I describe the landscape. After I play a solo on an old fallen tree. Thailand 1987.
It was at night in Thailand and I could not sleep because this generator was next to my bungalow. I wanted to destroy it but then I heard what a super rhythm he played. I got my DAT recorder quickly and caught him. 19 years later I played a darbouka to it. 1987-2006
10. Ultimate Plates
I play on 16 Different steel plates (dishes) from India on the floor 2006.
11. The Frogs From Ishigaki
Frogs who sound like birds in the night at 4 O'clock. Then Etsuko and I play Indian woodbells to it. Windgames make the dream complete. 2005
12. Nepal Trilogy
Gerd M. Wegner and I playing sacred drums of Bhaktapur, Nepal. Two boys singing. Stickdance. A tribe in Chituan National Park, Nepal. 1987.
A monk ceremony in a temple on a mountain near Tokyo. 2006.
14. Hotarus Dance
My drum solo in at Club Bridge, Osaka. Recorded by Hitoshi Okunari. Japan 2005.
15. Happy Boys
After 8 hours of recording – The monsters of drums meet the demons of Bali. 15 Balinese percussionists and I discover our body percussion. Pure fun and happiness. Near Negara, Bali. 1996.
16. New Bali Trance
A very far out mix of the Demons Of Bali with Peter Hollinger & Mani Neumeier.