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Eiliff - Close Encounters With Their Third One CD (album) cover




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5 stars Don't be deceived by the Roger Dean-like cover art on this one. German band EILIFF was like no other contemporary band playing progressive music in the early seventies. These recordings were taken from a Cologne radio show called "Nachtmusik" which was aired on Nov. 10, 1972. Everything from SOFT MACHINE to early KING CRIMSON can be heard here albeit with much more force and with tinges of Eastern European free-form jazz. The technical prowess of the individual musicians is aptly demonstrated on the highlight track "Hallimasch" which is a free for all blow out jam which features some interesting changes and great Hammond Organ and sax interaction culminating with a crazed psychedelic guitar solo from Persian born guitarist Houshang Nejadepour. Two other tracks are also adventurous interpretations of compositions taken from their album "Girlrls" while "Lilybaeum" was a track which never made it on to a studio album. Fans of bands like SOFT MACHINE, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew sessions and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR will not be dissapointed with this excellent live performance from this esoteric and overlooked band.
Report this review (#28128)
Posted Sunday, March 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
Dick Heath
Jazz-Rock Specialist
3 stars An interesting Krautrock reissue, to remind you that jazz rock was taken seriously in Germany from the earliest of times, even though the mainstream were evolving their own form of psychedelia. Also an interesting historic document of where at least one major jazz player started. Eiliff were their own band in respect to the music they composed and played, so references/comparisons made to better known bands, as in the other reviews, can only given in guidance.

Houschäng Nejadepour / guitar, sitar soon disappeared to Guru Guru - and inspired their brief Mahavishnu Orchestra period (e.g. on 'Dance of the Flames'), but don't expect that here. Instead his mixed Iranian and German upbringing shows. However, the main man here is Rainer Bruninghaus with his excellent Hammond work. This is the same Bruninghaus who is ECM's house keyboard player now 30 - 35 years later - check out him out now on some of the wonderful Jan Garbarek releases of the 90's.

Report this review (#28129)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars What should EILIFF emphasize as a Krautrock outfit in this work? This Close Encounters With Their Third One is a fascinating organ-based free-formed jazz-heavy-psychedelic (also Canterbury-tinged) progressive album indeed, but it may be another issue whether this album can be called as a Krautrocky one or not (honestly I cannot help doubting about the issue).

Anyway, Rainer's psych-tasted keyboard solo can be very brilliant entirely in this album. The very beginning of the first track "Lilybaeum" is completely conquered by his heavy, deep keyboard play. The solemn keyboard sounds can fly gracefully higher like a kingly magnificent eagle - exactly this only-4-minute song can be considered as a hero Rainer's opening performance itself. And two major stages can follow quietly but percussively - "Girlris", again under Rainer's heavily percussive keyboard guidance, can go ahead with Oriental tribal beats and tunes. A bit unrefined but straightly encouraging soundpower by Herbert's free-jazz-flavoured saxophone, Bill's thickened heavy bass, and Houschäng's sharp-edged guitar knives. Sadly Detlev's drum solo is slightly cheap-tasted but we can feel he absolutely could enjoy drumming. "Hallmasch" is a bluesy jazz rock - the voices (whose?) in the middle part are very dreamy and passionate, and particularly Bill's deep, deeeep bass solo can let us palpitate as if we step 'n' dance on stage in the dance hall. And finally we can go on a "Journey To The Ego", the most flexible and the most enjoyable soundscape in this album ... really a wonderful journey in EILIFF world.

Therefore, this album is a jazz-heavy-psychedelic-Canterbury fantasy indeed. One of my favourite albums without any suspicion, but again let me say, I cannot recommend this EILIFF's terrific work as a typical Krautrock album. Anomaly.

Report this review (#286715)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | Review Permalink

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