Gurun Gurun are something of an incredible off-kilter oddity with beauty spilling out of their seams. For a start they are a group from the Czech Republic and record glitched out odd takes on the japanese pop song in an instrumental meets electronic deconstruction with a slight psychotic edge. Like children on the edge of a nervous breakdown in charge of instruments and with way too much skill. Then you unleash offthesky, Pimmon, Part Timer, dot Tape dot, Hearts + Horses, Zavoloka and Orla Wren onto them and well the results are fairly stunning. It takes quite a bit of endearment with a bohemian experimentalist attitude to be delighted in them, but hey it would seem you are in the general vicinity.
dot Tape dot open the album with a cut up condensed version of ‘fu’; slight glitch, twitter and stutter effects, a little static on the side but all the essential ingredients of the original album track all stacked and playing off each other in layers of samples built in rounds forming a wall. Then breakdown to basics, vocal, guitar and some field recording effects. Hearts + Horses take ‘yumi no mori’ and kick out the effects fairly on the vocals and take what was a fairly twisted downbeat original into a minimal piano and sound playground amped up sound jumping into your ear, throwing a beat section into the track late just for good measure. Pimmon brings on a melodic grunge guitar to bear on ‘ano uta’, plays up the water sample to begin with and heightens the vocals and lays them against the guitar, bringing in the melodic tinkering tones before the noise takes over. Zavoloka add a tech sci-fi bent to the production while maintaining the traditional instruments, it is all aflutter with the hesitant cut ups of a restrained technologist on a leash, when finally allowed to launch into the bass unleashes an ambient monster of a beat that still shows restraint. Orla Wren’s version of ‘yuki ~ Hawaiian snowflake’ is the most true to the original even if the introduction of piano and guitar are at odds with the description, it is the additions and rendition that hold and enhance its discrete winsome ambience. Offthesky does fairly much as expected, transforming ‘Karumi’ into a guitar and effects experimental piece. And the final rounds off the album wonderfully, a delicate and warm remix of ‘ano uta’ by Part Timer, its sensibility enhances the original highlighting the vocals, adding a building tonal parts, keenly composed backing and some lovely understated bass, before launching into a warm glitched out bass, guitar and beat section.
As a piece of audio it is well advanced on the original album, but it builds on the outlandishly strange and wonderful sensibility that Gurun Gurun have created. Amply demonstrated on this track ‘Kuko‘. The original album also ended with Opiate’s remix of ‘fu’ and given it’s masterful take was the promise of this idiosyncratic wonder.