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Eela Craig - Eela Craig CD (album) cover

EELA CRAIG

Eela Craig

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 38 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars This album would be very representative of the type of oddball music still pervasive in 1971, a time away from even wilder musical trips to come , a rawer , more psychedelic Woodstock era sound (lots of groove , baby) that would be played in countless underground European clubs (some not even serving alcohol, hint?) in those early days. I remember one in Sankt Gallen, Switzerland in particular that played this album often in its entirety. As was often the case then, the testing verve had a tendency to veer off into some sublime side of the sonic sky, a breathless adventure of style and less form that could encapsulate everything from a violin to a kitchen sink. This Austrian band from Linz had quite an impact on the prog community and pioneered many future prog methods in terms of pure progressive experimentation. But it will not come across as 21st century release by any stretch, rooted deeply in the prog-rock nativity as a baby step. "New Born Child" starts off with a swirling organ dirge that introduces both a painful birth (that howl is creepy) and a morose funeral procession. Halfway through a pulsating bass comes rumbling through, supremely confident while riding Hubert Bognermayr's electric piano and Harald Zuschrader's wild sax. Heinz Gestmair rippling guitar only adds more promenade to the puzzle. The 10 minute + "Selfmade Trip" is quite aptly named, a brooding, restrained, groovy little flight, the fuzzy/bluesy guitar laying down the melodic spine, with some fab percussion work, a lazy lead vocal careening into the fray ("Acid pills no more as I have myself to play"), the chugging section flips up the tempo with the flute fluttering, the bass bopping along for the ride. Yeah, groovy, man (as we used to say)! Just as mightily, the euphoria then abates temporarily, a quiet respite before another tour of the garden (complete with tricky back-tape effects). "A New Way" is closer to West Coast psychedelia, with a laid back vocal and a butterfly flute carving the new route of aural bliss and musical adventure (as per the lyrics!). "Indra Elegy" is another extended hysterical trip into the land of Krautrock with vocalist Wil Orthofer pleading his case with sincerity. The saturated effects on the axe add even more angst to the e-piano musings, the rhythm section keeping it loosely tight, if you see what I mean. The bonus tracks are quirky to say the least, the 2 minute "Imminsul" a drum solo with added percussives , sliced with a slithery synth and "Yggdrasil" a slightly longer moody piece that search out the "dimension between Pop and Classical" , giving the guitar a front row podium to express and explore to its 6 string content in a dreamy wispy context. "Stories" is a warm cascade of string organ washing over a classy melody, thus inspiring a strong ITCOTCK?feel, as the mellotron spews its lush melancholy. "Cheese" is probably well-named, as the Santana rip-off guitar induces initial amazement and abruptly metamorphoses into a languorous pastoral arrangement that introduces a massive male/female vocal duet that is pleasing in its simplicity (I guess that's what they meant by cheese!)

This is part of the pioneering series of rock groups that formatted the future of prog and even rock music along with King Crimson, Deep Purple, Procol Harum and Roxy Music , to name only a few. Thus it is required listening for those who want to understand where today's music came from. 4 Linzer tortes

tszirmay | 4/5 |

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