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Aera - Türkis CD (album) cover

TÜRKIS

Aera

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Third album from this German combo that was entering a more difficult phase, plagued with personnel problem and they had to wait almost three years since the release of their second album. I am not sure about this but the group might have disbanded during this time. By now (79), the Ihre Kinder and Embryo roots were long gone, and guitarist Muck Groh had departed (although he guests on one track), leaving wheelchair-bound saxman Kreuzeder a bit alone at the driving wheel. As he was the only remaining member from the previous two albums, understandably the group sounded quite different, especially that the JR/F scene had gone from jazz rock to jazz-fusion. Still released on the legendary Erlkonig label, this album (sporting a cartoon-like artwork) sounded very different, starting with vocals and yet another shift away from progressive rock towards jazz-fusion.

As said above, the guest musos included old Aera Muck Groh, Missing Link's Limberg and they would be joined for touring and the future next live album by ex-Embryo Roman Bunka. But Aera was now a very percussive group with two full time percussion players and most other contributing some more at a given time, thus giving often a Latino feel to the album, a bit like Pazssport did at the time, although not quite that extensive. The vinyl's first side starts very mildly with two run-of-the-mill fusion tracks that are effortlessly forgotten as soon as you hear their three-piece suite Dracula. Driven by a descending keyboard line, the group plays their heart out with Kreuzeder soloing away. The closing tidbit is also best forgotten.

The flipside doesn't really start much different, with the average opener You Need Some Speed and the closing Siebert (both above the 6-min mark, and enjoyable if not too picky), the highlight is again the longer (title in this case) track. Indeed Turkis has a slight eastern feeling and a great electric piano that does give it the edge over the rest of the album. Isn't it sad to realize that the two best tracks are indeed the most progressive rock ones? It is safe to say that this album is saved by Gieseleer's keyboards, even if the rest of the group are all ewxcellent musicians (Kreuzeder in particular), but the inspiration was not leadig the group towards adventure, but rather commercial safety.

As mentioned above a live album was up next and then the group will endure further line-up shuffles, record ever-increasing commercial jazz-fusion albums (Akataki is still worthy) on another legendary label, Spiegelei. As for the present album, it is an honest JR/F album of the time (but 79 was not the best of times for that style of music) , but we are a far cry from their firqst two albums, which are much better and should be investigated in priority.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#131019)
Posted Wednesday, August 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The band has changed personel-wise with only the sax player remaining from the previous album of 2 years earlier. Although the former guitarist does guest on one track. I would describe the music as fairly light with a funky groove coming through at times. Lots of percussion as well while the sax (often soprano) plays over top. Just not my favourite style of music to be honest.Too bad because these guys can play. I'm sort of reminded of those PASSPORT albums that i'm not too into becaiuse of the lack of power.

"Fetzenotto" has all these intricate sounds then the bass comes to the fore after a minute. Funky stuff right here as the sax blasts. "Pfiffe" is led by guitar and drums throughout.The drumming is so crisp and intricate. "Dracula" is an upgrade with the pulsating organ which gives us an urgent feeling. Some cool guitar before 4 minutes and it leads until before 5 1/2 minutes when the sax returns.The guitar is back a minute later followed by a calm. Sounds come back then it kicks in after 8 1/2 minutes to a funky rhythm. Nice drum section after 10 minutes.

"Annettchon" is a short laid back piece. "You Need Some Speed" has percussion, bass and sax that stands out. It settles some then the keyboards come in at 5 1/2 minutes to end it. "Turkis" is better with a much more prominant sounding bass.The sax plays over top. It settles before 3 1/2 minutes with some growly bass. Sax is back 8 minutes in. "Siebert" opens with drums and bass as the sax joins in. Drum solo 3 1/2 minutes in.The sax is back after 6 1/2 minutes.

3 stars but this just isn't something I want to play.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#485491)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2011 | Review Permalink

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