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EILIFF

Krautrock • Germany


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Eiliff biography
Formed in the late 60's by Rainer Brüninghaus, Houschäng Nejadepour, Detlev Landmann, Herbert J. Kalveram and Bill Brown, EILIFF were a German instrumental band who turned fusion on its head with a pair of studio albums featuring classy Canterbury-style jamming with bass, guitar and keyboards plus some ethnic instruments thrown in (mostly the sitar). Two live albums were also released, one of which only came out 30 years later. Being somewhat out of step with the then dominant Kosmiche tradition, the band never really made a name for themselves despite displaying some phenomenal musicianship. References include SOFT MACHINE, early KING CRIMSON, COLOSSEUM, NUCLEUS, VDGG as well as Miles Davis and Frank Zappa.

Their eponymous album (71) features some killer keyboards (electric piano), wild guitar and sax interplay with very complex grooves and extended jams. The similar but more psychedelic album "Girlrls" (72) is even more improvisational and jammy, with frequent nods to KING CRIMSON and DEEP PURPLE. On both live albums, the "Bremen 1972 Live" and "Close Encounters With Their Third One" (recorded in 71-72 but only released in 2002), the band moves effortlessly from energetic, fast-paced riffs to more spacey free-form passages with equal skill. The sound quality is surprisingly good on both.

Intense head prog, early 70's style, that will appeal to fans of SOFT MACHINE, EMBRYO and BRAINSTORM.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Eiliff/ Girlrls!Eiliff/ Girlrls!
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Mason 2006
Audio CD$18.99
$17.83 (used)
Close Encounter with Their Third OneClose Encounter with Their Third One
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Garden Of Delights
Audio CD$17.00
$19.44 (used)
Bremen 1972Bremen 1972
Garden Of Delights
Audio CD$22.89
$17.99 (used)
EiliffEiliff
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World Wide Records/SPM
Audio CD$19.99
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EILIFF discography


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EILIFF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 25 ratings
Eiliff
1971
3.47 | 17 ratings
Girlrls
1972

EILIFF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 12 ratings
Close Encounters With Their Third One
1999
3.33 | 5 ratings
Bremen 1972
2002

EILIFF Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EILIFF Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EILIFF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Ride On Big Brother/Day Of Sun
1971

EILIFF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Close Encounters With Their Third One by EILIFF album cover Live, 1999
3.69 | 12 ratings

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Close Encounters With Their Third One
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo 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.

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 Girlrls by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.47 | 17 ratings

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Girlrls
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars EILIFF's second album (same lineup) is really more of the same with shorter overall tracks though. I do like this one a little more mostly because of the final three tracks which guarantee this to be a 4 star album.

"Eve Of Eternity" is uptempo with organ and drums before the rest join in quickly. It settles after 2 1/2 minutes as the tempo continues to shift. "King Of The Frogs" is ruined completely by the vocals and lyrics (kidding, haha) and the spoken words 1 1/2 minutes in make me want to laugh. "Journey To The "Ego" has some atmosphere and sax early before it kicks in 1 1/2 minutes in.This sounds really good especially the piano. Guitar a minute later and the bass is prominant. Sax is back after 5 minutes.

"Girlrls" has a very "in your face" intro before it settles with sax before 1 1/2 minutes. Drums and guitar come in as it becomes powerful again. Keys arrive as it lightens. Good track. "Hallimasch" has this dramatic intro and the percussion and experimental sounds take over. Spoken vocals 2 1/2 minutes in and then it all stops and a new soundscape takes over with prominant guitar coming in at 4 minutes. It changes again 5 1/2 minutes in. This is catchy with guitar leading the way.

Another strange one from EILIFF but that's it's biggest charm.

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 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 25 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is one of those albums you could file under Krautrock or Jazz / Rock. This is a strange album though with some avant leanings. These guys seem to be blazing their own trail.

"Bird-Night Of The Seventh Day" opens with gentle guitar and sax but then the music stops. Vocals come in and they definetly sound different (haha). Organ follows. I really like the sax and organ to end it. "Gammeloni" features some crazy sax before 2 minutes and the bass is prominant. The guitar after 5 minutes is great then we get some dissonant sax when the guitar stops. It seems to speed up some late. "Uzzek Of Rigel IV" opens with those attractive (wink) sounding vocals as sax, drums and organ support in this uptempo intro. A bass solo then vocals return. It settles some after 2 minutes.The guitar before 4 1/2 minutes goes on and on. This is the highlight of the whole album for me.

"Suite" is the 20 1/2 minute closer. It's raw and aggressive early with some fuzz. Sax comes in. Guitar and piano follow. Bass is prominant before 2 minutes. A change after 3 1/2 minutes. It's still fairly aggressive it just sounds different. A change after 8 1/2 minutes as it settles with organ. Sitar a minute later. It kicks back in around 11 1/2 minutes in. Settles some 15 1/2 minutes in. Big finish.

This album has it's fans and i'm one of them, and I really appreciate the way these guys play.

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 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 25 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars As the information pertaining to this vintage band is very limited, I can only share the music of this album. Thanks to Lise (HIBOU) who has written a brief introduction about the band. When I look at the CD sleeve, this CD version was released under World Wide Records in 1994. My entry gate to enjoy this album is through my liking to SOFT MACHINE even though the music is not exactly the same. I am really impressed with the music and musicianship of Eiliff. It can be categorized as Canterbury especially with its intense jazz components and progressive style.

"Byrd-Night Of The Seventh Day" (5:05) starts with acoustic guitar fills followed by string section in ambient mood which then fades out to a musical break followed by vintage singing style in Canterbury fashion with great keyboard works. The overall sound is so vintage and it reminds me to COLOSSEUM, SOFT MACHINE, GONG. Those of you who love jazz rock fusion would love this opening track The Hammond organ solo in the middle of the track is stunning and it truly reminds me to the old days of rock music, but this time is played in jazz. "Gammeloni" (6:43) continues with a more upbeat style but still maintaining Canterbury style. It reminds me to the music of KHAN. The sax work is really stunning, accompanied by tight bass lines. Throughout this track Herbert J. Kalveram provides his intense saxophone work. Great solo!

"Uzzek Of Rigel IV" (10:53) kicks off beautifully with a combination of energetic vocal, saxophone, guitar, bass and drums in complex arrangements. Those who love ZAPPA would enjoy this music. The peak of the album is, of course, the concluding track "Suite" which consumes 20 minutes plus duration. In terms of song structure, it has curved shape where there are changes in style and tempo from one segment to another. This great song features sitar solo in improvisations style.

I personally love this album and I highly recommend those of you who have strong passion with Canterbury must have this album. The other thing I love about this album is the recording quality that sounds really analog, really vintage even though remastered digitally. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Girlrls by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.47 | 17 ratings

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Girlrls
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Unchanged line-up and an even uglier/tackier artwork than on the debut album, Eiliff's second album is a tad more on the prog rock side than its predecessor, recorded the year before. One of the few things that did change is that keyboard player Brüninghaus is not only playing organ, but ha also plays electric piano and saxman Kalveran has not only a tenor sax, but an alto sax as well. It might seem relatively minute changes, but they will make a difference in this album, in terms of interplay and composition.

Opening on the 6-mins Eve Of Eternity, Eiliff seems to have listened to some more Focus, (although both groups were more or less contemporary) and you'd swear they'd be copying Finch has that group not yet been recording. King Of The Frogs is another example that Eiliff should never be caught singing. Not only are the vocals catastrophically bad, but while they're on, the rest of the track's production simply sucks as well. After two verses, the singing stops for a narration backed by a free-jazz improv, before picking up again. The album's best track Journey To The Ego closes the first side in a brilliant hard drivin' jazz-rock manner and one of the album's best moment.

The title track opens the flipside and is easily the albums' most Canterburyan track, eyeing at Soft Machine and Nucleus, easily the album's apex, especially once into its slower torrid middle section and its slow build up to the original riff. The 9-mins Hallimasch is unfortunately plagued with those awful vocals (and again the recording production of the rest of the group being botched), but once over with them (as if a chore), the track opens up into a red-hot groove with Najedepour (guitar), Kalveran (sax) and Brüninghaus (el piano) exchanging excellent lines and solos that Secret Oyster wouldn't disown.

While this second album is marginally better than the debut, it is most likely that Eiliff, like many other kraut-jazz-rock groups, were probably most at ease in concert and surely with their bassist not singing. While neither album are essential, prefer this album to their debut and maybe check G O D's Encounter of The Third Kind, the Bremen broadcast being much too short.

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 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 25 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Quintet from Hamburg, developing a wild sort of organ-driven jazz-rock, that was reminiscent of the better groups of the era, but simply couldn't be really compared to seriously with any other group. Should we mention Brian Auger's Oblivion express or Colosseum, whether closer to Kraan or Thirsty Moon.. The group certainly had a knack for ugly or insignificant artworks, the one here just having the members spell out their names with their body, but what's important is what on the slice of wax inside the cardboard.

Opening up the album on the shortest track Night Of The Seventh Day and its Bird intro (obviously saxman Kalveran's tribute to Charlie Parker), one cannot help but cringe at the awful vocals, not least poorly sung in English but unclaimed as well (bassist Bill Brown sings on the second album), but once this is over with, the rest of the track is actually fairly nice, but it remains the weakest track of the album. Much nicer is the excellent Gammeloni follow-up track, which spreads out its wings in Nucleus or Keith Tippett Group, with Kalveran's sax often treading the dissonant, while Nejadepour pulls in a great psych guitar solo, while Brüninghaus' organ gets the mayonnaise going. A few more horrible vocals open up the 10-min+ Uzzek track, but the track soon settles into a good groove that Out Of Focus would've appreciated (and maybe bettered) and starts improvising for most of the duration of the track.

The flipside is reserved for the 20-min+ Suite (that's its name), which not much more than a lengthy extrapolation on a few themes, (the first on the organ is reminiscent of Thijs van Leer, the second being an out-of-place sitar motif, but around the halfway-mark, Eiliff shows a certain aptitude at developing excellent happy grooves, much the same Auger in his Oblivion Express. Other moments are reminding of Missing link or the second album of Missus Beastly.

Outside the atrocious vocals, this album is an interesting first oeuvre, but with enough cringey debutant mistakes and is not focused enough to make it a wholly enjoyable affair for everyone

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 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 25 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

3 stars krautrockin's tripped out jams mixed with heavy-jazzy plays. Compositions are largely sung but always feature extended, eccentric, groovy & jazzy variations. Vintage keyboards and aggressive sax (Closed to VDGG) made the major work here. "Byrd-Night Of The Seventh Day" starts with a brilliant, evocative "epic" introduction then it carries on an original prog rock song (in the genre of King Crimson during the red-era), including a nice jazzy vibe in the instrumental sections (fully dominated by technical psych keyboards). "Gammeloni" is a cool jazzy improvisation, alternating long floating, melodic lines and decadent, uncontrolled sax solos. A lot of fun here and gorgeous acid effects. The end contains venomous guitar solos, much more fascinating than the first track which sounds like an imitation of famous, classic English bands. "Uzzek of Rigel IV" typically looks like to a VDGG composition, a bombastic, dark, powerful song. After five minutes, the guitar section tends to deliver some nice Zappa-esque musical specificities. "Suite" is a killer instrumental session, mixing ultra aggressive sax parts, majestic keyboards and amazing guitars. The middle of the song contains a nice break for relaxing raga buzzing sitar (before returning into a chaotic, frantic jazzy rock madness). Some very good moments and absolutely recommended for VDGG fans.

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 Bremen 1972 by EILIFF album cover Live, 2002
3.33 | 5 ratings

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Bremen 1972
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Recorded after their last studio album and but chronologically before the other posthumous live release, this album is a bit the equivalent of the BBC sessions in Germany. This Bremen radio station apparently often committed groups to play a concert, recording them for a broadcast and some three decades later, the tapes are being issued for the first time legitimately. Eiliff (a deformation of Aleph) was a quintet (from Cologne) that developed an instrumental jazz-rock with a Canterbury feel and some ethnic touches (their guitarist, later with Guru Guru, was of Persian origin) and their two albums were rather wide-spectrumed and a bit unfocused sometimes a bit disjointed, even if the second was tighter than their debut.

Only two tracks on this session, the first being from their recent Girlsrls album and is easily the most representative of the two, with some excellent jazz-rock that seemed to come from a South-eastern English county. The second track is an extended version of their sidelong track (simply called Suite) of their debut album and lasts for over a half-hour. While it holds some excellent moments, it fairly indulgent, filled with lengthy solos, Bruninghaus' organ driving the group, but clearly everyone is rather proficient with their instrument. Leader drummer Landmann 's playing is reminiscent of Johnn Marshall (Nucleus) and halfway into the "epic jam", you could mistake them for Soft Machine with an added guitar player.

While not that essential, and rather short for a live recording, this album (along with the previous G.O.D. release Close Encounter With Their Third One) is definitely interesting for fans of the group and general jazz-rock fans.

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 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 25 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I like quite a lot ZAPPA, SOFT MACHINE and VDGG but despite German band EILIFF sounded on their debut very similar to those ones I've to say I can't get familiar with it. Somehow there's something wrong with this record at least according to my taste (which can usually manage quite well with stuff of "acquired taste"). Probably in the type of blending of different styles it's rather unique though not really that much original. Maybe it's because the music is very often quite a kinda noodling and jamming that it can't attract me that much. In the first and third songs it's the dissonant vocals I dislike, in the second one the exaggerated sax playing but the guitar sounds nice there at least. The sitar section in the last track is nice though not really well fitting. Overall this album has nice parts here and there but on the whole I definitely prefer their second one.

A Must-have only for the dedicated Krautrock fan I would say!

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 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 25 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Carl floyd fan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.25 stars! what do you get when you mix zappa (hot rats), the dead (live), van der graaf generator, black sabbath and ravi shankar? why german band eiliff! Seriously these guys are a mix of a lot of different styles and pull of a totally unique sound, like nothing before it..and really nothing of this sort ever came after it..its that unique!!! These guys are very jazzy with a hard rock intensity and jam in that style with the sitar thrown in here and there. This is very precise playing. The closest krautrock band is Kraan (also jazz oriented K.R.) but that is still miles away. The guitar solos may boarder on noodling at times but the amazing sax playing by Kalveram constanlly throws this music in different directions and changes the atomphemere many times over so nothing is to repetitive. Exp. this album for yourself, please. fans of zappa (and fusion), jam bands, hard rock band and ethnic bands should give this a try,

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