Guapo (band)

Guapo (band)

Guapo is a British experimental rock/art rock band consisting of drummer/percussionist Dave Smith, multi-instumentalist/composer Daniel O'Sullivan, guitarist Kavus Torabi and bassist James Sedwards.


Guapo's music explores the outer-most regions of psychedelic composition. Flickers of Popol Vuh, This Heat, Magma, Third Ear Band, King Crimson and early 70’s Miles Davis are present as over-arching themes are morphed and mined through polyrhythmic asymmetrical structures. Dense orchestration and mercurial compositions have led them to associations with zeuhl (a type of music inspired by French progressive band Magma). Guapo also have affiliations with the Rock in Opposition movement after performing with bands such as Magma and Present at the Rock in Opposition Festival at Carmaux, France in 2007.

The Trilogy

The recent Guapo album "Elixirs" concludes a recondite triptych of recordings initiated by "Five Suns" (2003) and "Black Oni" (2004), which fans have referred to as the " [ Empire Strikes Back] " record. Every record takes on new musical hues and offers disparate ideas and perspectives. However an upheaval in the line-up, which of recent years had been anchored by the trio of Daniel O’Sullivan, Matthew Thompson and David Smith, triggered a change in course when Thompson left the band in 2005.

Other Projects

In the interim O’Sullivan and Smith have been active with an abundance of other projects. Both members perform in the antique-prog band Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses. O’Sullivan’s work with Æthenor (Vhf Records), Mothlite (Southern Records), Grumbling Fur as well as moonlighting in the live line-up of Sunn O))) has been keeping him extremely busy. Smith created a large scale, multi media installation entitled “The Other Side of the Island” for which he made a soundtrack with O’Sullivan and Antti Uusimaki under The Stargazers Assistant moniker (the recordings of which were released on Aurora Borealis last year). Smith also plays with members of Coil, Cyclobe and Shock Headed Peters in the Amal Gamal Ensemble. Despite these distractions, Guapo has been maintained as a primary focus and “Elixirs” has been three years in the making.


Since the departure of Thompson, O’Sullivan and Smith have added two London musicians to the fold, James Sedwards (of avant-rock band Nought) and Kavus Torabi (of Cardiacs). The line-up toured the U.S in 2006 with synth-prog band, Zombi.


"Taken from Ipecac Recordings in reference to the release of Black Oni."

"Guapo have conjured a harrowingly complex and unflinchingly epic piece of work. Heady and hypnotic, driving and relentless, tumultuous and visceral, sonic and serene, the sheer odyssey that is Black Oni encompasses many paradoxes in its massively dynamic scope. Picking up where they left off from their previous Cuneiform Records release Five Suns (2002), the band continue to expand on their palette of dexterous chamber-rock anomalies, modal transcendence, and apocalyptic death marches, and like it's predecessor, Black Oni is one singular piece of music, making it the second record in a trilogy of large-scale symphonic forms. Incorporating elements of prog, avant-garde jazz, kraut-rock, minimalism and a range of folk mediums from Britain to Indonesia, Guapo take their queue from a disparate array of influences including Magma, King Crimson, Boredoms, Goblin, Sun Ra, Charlemagne Palestine, Univers Zero, This Heat, Olivier Messiaen and Popol Vuh. The assembly of Dave Smith's explosive drum assaults, Matt Thompson's brazen and prowling bass throb, and Daniel O'Sullivan's ethereal keyboard reveries telepathically collide in an augury of rich and cinematic musical ceremony. Black Oni is Guapo's most monumentally unreserved offering to date."


All albums are studio albums except when noted otherwise.

1997 "Towers Open Fire" CD (Power Tool Records)
1998 "Hirohito" CD (Pandemonium Records)
2000 "Death Seed" CD (Freeland Records)
2001 "Great Sage, Equal of Heaven" CD (Pandemonium/Tumult)
2003 "The Ducks and Drakes of Guapo and Cerberus Shoal" CD (North East Indie)
2004 "Five Suns" CD (Cuneiform Records)
2005 "Black Oni" CD (Ipecac Records)
2006 "Twisted Stems" Limited Edition 7" (Dot Dot Dot Music)
2006 "Twisted Stems" CDEP (Aurora Borealis)
2007 "Black Oni" Limited Edition LP (Hlava Records)
2008 "Elixirs" CD (Neurot Recordings)

External links

* [ The Official website of GUAPO]
* [ entry]
* [ GUAPO discography, MP3, videos, and reviews @] retrieved 9-8-07
* [ GUAPO The Ducks and Drakes of Guapo and Cerebrus Shoal reviews and MP3 @] retrieved 9-8-07
* [ GUAPO Twisted Stems reviews and MP3 @] retrieved 9-8-07

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