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Eroc - Eroc Zwei CD (album) cover

EROC ZWEI

Eroc

Krautrock


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soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Eroc's second solo album is more of a hit-or-miss affair than his debut, but the "hit" portion makes the album worth getting. Reissued on CD with many bonus tracks, it continues the first album's attempts to blend experimental music with a large dose of goofy humor. Most of the tracks are much shorter this time around, and there's nothing like "Kleine Eva" from the first album (a long all-synth track). Still, Eroc shows an improved studio sensibility and better musicianship on this release. Warning: this Japanese CD reissue is expensive!

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Send comments to soundsweird (BETA) | Report this review (#41262)
Posted Tuesday, August 02, 2005 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Anyone under the misguided impression that Germans don't have a sense of humor obviously hasn't been listening very closely. What's that you say? You don't recall the deadpan "Showroom Dummies" of KRAFTWERK? Or HOLGER CZUKAY's iconoclastic radio-wave cut-ups (turning even the late Pope John Paul II into an unwitting pop star)? And what about the Dada-Krautrock de-construction follies of FAUST?

Discriminating Progheads with long memories will at least have heard the name Joachim Ehrig, alias EROC, the multi-talented percussionist and resident madman behind the symphonic cabaret act known as GROBSCHNITT. The band was a popular concert attraction throughout the 1970s, famous for blending classic YES and PINK FLOYD influenced Prog Rock with elaborate vaudeville comedy skits, a tradition their pseudonymous drummer would carry into his own solo career as well.

Especially here, in his sophomore effort (or maybe it's only sophomoric?), in retrospect probably the wackiest thing of its kind since Monty Python's "Matching Tie and Hankerchief" album, which you'll remember had two parallel grooves on one side of the original LP, and good luck trying to guess which one the needle would follow.

Over the course of seventeen total tracks (lasting almost 50 minutes, and rivaling the side-long soundscapes of KLAUS SCHULZE for old-style vinyl generosity) EROC delivers a vocal performance that can only be called eccentric (to say the least). He whispers, screams, coughs up phlegm, emotes in high dramatic fashion, conducts a bogus interview, interrupts the music with idle chit-chat and commentary, sings background harmonies sounding not unlike a chorus of Sesame Street muppets, fakes an orgasm (or is it constipation?) and, in one memorable highlight, punctuates a formal poetry recital with a window-rattling belch of truly epic proportions (cue the maniacal laughter: always an EROC trademark).

And did I mention the sound effects? Traffic jams, toilets flushing, tolling bells, sawing wood, orchestral fanfares, machine-gun fire, and even samples of earlier GROBSCHNITTsongs are all part of the overstuffed sonic collage. With all that (and more besides) you'd think there wouldn't be any room left for legitimate music. But EROC backs up his theatrical conceits with a credible range of high-caliber tunes, playing all the instruments himself: keyboards, guitars, kazoos, accordions, warped Oktoberfest flugelhorns, and (of course) drums. There are even a few evocative, quasi- Krautrock interludes, scattered like life preservers throughout the otherwise relentless, broad-as-a-barn-door laff-riot.

Oddly enough, the best way to appreciate the album is without any understanding of German...although it's hard to miss the quotation from KRAFTWERK's "Autobahn", shouted during the song "Der Traum Vom Wald". I suspect a direct translation might be just too idiotic to support repeated listenings, but the language barrier keeps the silliness from becoming too stupid, even when EROC is burping his guts inside out. Some Prog Rockers (too few, on second thought) never did learn when to start sounding pretentious.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#49689)
Posted Saturday, October 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
4 stars I love the great diversity of atmospheres delivered on this album, a bit like Eno did in a totally different genre for his album "An other green world". This recording contains short tracks, all of them feature "spacey" electronic effects, "noises" and collages + "moody" & "weird" guitar / piano, accordion sequences often accompanied by a certain dose of humour (closed to Grobschnitt's musical fantasy), notably in lyrics and recitation. Emotionally it clearly oscillates between sad, melancholic songs with haunting, "simplistic" melodies, in majority on this disc ("Nebelwelt", "Bemep Mope", "Kleine Freude", "Das Irrsinnslied"...) and "silly", tasteless songs with no meaning and a lot of "gags". Less interesting than his first self title album but a very nice "theatrical" recording, complementary to Grobschnitt's original symphonic rock.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#52569)
Posted Friday, October 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Second solo album by Eroc is the least attractive one for me from his first three I've to say. It's basically a rather quaint compilation of some nonsensical fun tracks (which I can only smirk about into parts, but not really laugh) and some nice and enjoyable songs like "Der Traum vom Wald". That one is actually a quite serious, melancholic, almost mawkish story told in spoken words about a lost childhood's dream backed up with some pleasant music played on accordeon. Thus it will be certainly of rather little interest for someone not knowing German language. Still the best tracks are "Nebelwelt" opening the album with some melancholic guitar chords and "Abendmeer" which is a quite impressing pile of Mellotron and accordeon tunes. "Ich bin ein Lachen" is another serious and surprisingly aggressive one. In between all those fairly good songs one can listen for example to some chats of the band members in typical Rhine area idiom having a couple of beers together, you can imagine how exciting this must be, even for someone like me who understands what they're talking about. One of the short spoken sections is actually a faked conversation of Eroc with his producer who blames him for not entertaining enough his audience with the music he's doing which is quite a good joke I've to say because in fact he's right in saying this. Anyway this record should be considered even more than his first one for Grobschnitt fans only as a fairly good supplement and demonstration of Joachim Ehrig's multiple talents!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#105522)
Posted Thursday, January 04, 2007 | Review Permalink

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