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Eroc - Eroc CD (album) cover

EROC

Eroc

 

Krautrock

3.33 | 12 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars As the drummer, lyricist and co-producer of famed Teutonic prog outfit Grobschnitt, Joachim Ehrig - who is otherwise better known under the self-chosen pseudonym 'Eroc' - has enjoyed a long, colourful and successful career in his native German homeland. Known for their quirky sense of humour, fantastical themes, epic concept albums and highly-skilled musicianship, Grobschnitt were one of the premier German rock acts of the 1970s, especially in the live arena. Although strong domestic sales and deliberately-English lyrics failed to translate into British or American success, throughout Central Europe Grobschnitt's reputation was fearsome and well-earned. The album's 'Grobschnitt', 'Ballermann' and 'Jumbo', as well as a punishing live schedule, had seen the group develop from slightly awkward psychedelic rock origins into a full-blown, Yes-styled, symphonic prog group featuring lush, complex instrumentation, layers of keyboards and synthesizers and suitably striking artwork adorning the gatefold LP vinyl jackets. However, it would be the impressive, space-rock themed double-album 'Ballermann' that would really put Grobschnitt on the(central European) map thanks to the epic, 33-minute long composition 'Solar Music' which took up both sides of the second disc on the original release. With this success behind them, Grobschnitt would temporarily fragment, allowing Eroc to complete work on his long-mooted and eponymously-titled debut solo album. Released in 1975, several months before the group's much-anticipated third album 'Jumbo', 'Eroc 1'(as it has now come to be know thanks to subsequent and similarly-monikered follow-up albums) equally baffled, bemused and excited those who bought it. Obviously influenced by the innovative electronic krautrock groups Cluster, Harmonia, Tangerine Dream and, of course, Kraftwerk, Eroc's genre-defying debut is far-removed from the drummer's Grobschnitt days. Instead of intricate guitar-keyboard interplay and manic comedy 'Eroc' feeds the listener a series of slowly-evolving and carefully-layered electronic compositions that seem to blend the melodic instincts of progressive rock with the experimental nous of Berlin school sonic design. The album has a cool, relaxed and slightly detached vibe, as evidenced on the beautifully-ornate 'Kleine Eva', which crawls slowly and deliberately through twelve minutes of gently-pulsating, small-hour-evincing, electro ambient pop soundscapes in a style not dissimilar from mid-period Klaus Schulze albums such as Picture Music and Mirage. Later tracks, such as the rougher 'Norderland' and the almost celestial 'Sternchen' also tread this electro-psych path, only with an occasional nod-and-wink to Eroc's work with Grobschnitt. Surprisingly, and unlike many other band-members, Eroc has not employed any of his colleagues to help him on the recordings. Instead, the talented drummer has played all the instruments himself, including keyboards, synths and guitars, which may explain the slow pace of much of the material on offer. However, despite this minor critique, Eroc's debut reveals itself to be a truly original - and welcome - stylistic departure. Despite their German heritage, Grobschnitt were never considered a 'krautrock' group. In creating this LP, Eroc has joined the ranks of electronic purveyors who made that dubiously-titled genre so fascinating, and fans of analogue electronica should find much to admire on this refreshing record. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
stefro | 3/5 |

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