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Eela Craig - Eela Craig CD (album) cover

EELA CRAIG

Eela Craig

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.76 | 39 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Hailing from Austria's second city, Linz, this sextet 's debut album came at a time (71) when not much was happening on the progressive front. As a matter of fact until 75 and their next album and Kyrie Eylison's debut, there was only Paternoster who put out a heavy hard-prog the following year of this release. The six-man line-up had the two guitarist also twiddling the keys, and one of them blowing wind inside all sorts of hollow instruments, while the leader also blew horns.

While their later albums will be in the symphonic-type prog, this debut album is much more experimental somehow close to the Krautrock scene with moments of proto-psych-prog, as their opening track two-part New Born Child (with its primal screams) and jazz-rock (still NBC), but they were sometimes patchy or sloppy (ie: the NBC's abrupt end of one riff into the final riff break is very clumsy). The self-explanatory Selfmade Trip is an incredible 10-min+ voyage into heavy psychedelic-spacey expansion-minded trip, which will simply ravish early 70's experimental progheads. Not completely flawless, this track is pure prog. The second side is also made up of two lengthy tracks with the aptly-titled heavily flute-induced A New Way where they share their absolute enthusiasm with us. But the other lengthy (almost 12-min), Indra Elegy, is a keyboard fest mixed with dramatic saturated guitars, heavenly flutes, constant drumming fury, abrupt (but this time well-designed) tempo changes, good bass lines,

The bonus tracks on this album are essential to the band's history and help explain what these guys did for four years between albums. However, they do not sound anything alike their first record and can become annoying if you do not appreciate the experimental nature of them. Funny thing is that no-one would expect such experimental music to be issued on isolated 45 RPM singles, but we now know that the early 70's allowed for all kinds of surprises. By the time of the first bonus tracks (72) the group was down to a quartet and had a different drummer, the others forming a blues rock group that will never record. This "single" was a commissioned work where they participated in a project depicting "Dimenssions between pop and classical" including an orchestra. The two tracks were slightly reworked, but remained highluy experimental between trafficked drums, electronics space noises for the first track and the next one being a sort of easy instrumental prog improv. As their "single" came out (74), only the bassist and keyboardist remained from the original sextet, but they were back to a quintet. Heavy mellotrons greet you rioght from the beginning and you are definitely closer to their second One Nighter album with the heavy symphonic sounds: both Stories and Cheese are excellent tracks although I find the latter's singing extremely well-titled Cheeeeesy!!!

Certainly one those legendary albums that merits its reputation, but not the the extreme prices for the vinyl, and the bonus tracks are a little out of context. Definitely worth looking for the Garden Of Delight Cd release.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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