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EGO ON THE ROCKS

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Germany


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Ego on the Rocks biography
EGO ON THE ROCKS was a late 70's project of keyboard player Detlev Schmidtchen and drummer Jürgen Rosenthal, two ELOY members who had left the band after the release of " Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes" to explore a bit more Morlockian musical avenues. They had originally planned their project as the first of a trilogy, but the album's poor commercial performance and a subsequent threat of financial ruin gave them a kick in the rocks which deflated their egos somewhat.

Their album "Acid in Wounderland" (79) sees the duo moving ELOY's space-rock sound into more accessible territory, incorporating TANGERINE DREAM-like sequencer pinging and sound collages snipped from old movies and a few philosophical (vocal) rants. Schmidtchen, who gives plenty of screaming and some swooping synth solos, is highly competent on guitar as well as on keyboards, although perhaps not quite so on vocals (those would have benefitted from a little processing to gloss them over). As for the 5 bonus tracks found on the cd version, they are simpler and less inspired variations of the original album tracks, except for a 20-minute epic which is an electrifying tour-de-force of synth atmospherics bringing to mind TANGERINE DREAM's "Cyclone".

Recommended if you fancy spacey synths, a bit of audio vérité and some fairly accessible Krautrock.

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

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3.25 | 16 ratings
Acid in Wounderland
1979

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EGO ON THE ROCKS Reviews


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 Acid in Wounderland  by EGO ON THE ROCKS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.25 | 16 ratings

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Acid in Wounderland
Ego on the Rocks Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ego on the rocks is one of the forgotten bands from late '70's from german scene. Featuring - Detlev Schmidtchen / vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, from Eloy and Jürgen Rosenthal drums from Eloy and Scorpions. I'm agree with previous reviewers that this album is definetly a grower, it took me more then 4 spins to fully apreciated this album. The music is quite good and but offers some truly great moments combining elements from Eloy (Silent cry and mighty echoues era), those spacey moments of the highest calibre and some electronica arrangements not far from Tangerine Dream or Krafwerk. I might say it sounds like Eloy in a new clothes. The album original release in 1979 and re issued on CD at Jupiter records in 1993 and Second Battle in 1997, have 6 bonus tracks (the jupiter re issue doesn't have those bonuses) who are lenghty then the entire album with the excellent final track Once in Africa 1 full of Pink Floyd and Eloy atmosphere. So overall a good album for sure, I like it, in places are some spoken words in german and english but fits very well in the atmosphere of the album. The band had a metheoric career, and soon after because of poor sales and problems between musicians split up in 1981. Still a pleasent album to my ears with some fantastic pieces like Erected Error - full of Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream moments, those beginnings of the '80's synthesisers sounds are all here, and Godbluff. I will give for sure 3 stars, for this album, who needs a better view, nothing groundbreaking here but pleasent most of the time.

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 Acid in Wounderland  by EGO ON THE ROCKS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.25 | 16 ratings

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Acid in Wounderland
Ego on the Rocks Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars The former Eloy members that made up this "band" played a significant role in Eloy's most popular albums; in particular Jurgen Rosenthal was responsible for the concept of "Ocean", widely regarded as their best. Frank Bornemann claimed that it was their large egos which caused them to splinter from the group, which might have contributed to the chosen name. While I believe Eloy produced some of their best albums following the split, this one is no dud.

The style is not really Eloy-ish but more kraut rock with spacey tendencies. I hear Amon Duul II and Kraftwerk for instance, as well as some Hawkwind, such as on the strong opener "01. 7 to 7 or 999 to 99 Hope". Lots of spoken parts and sound effects introduce and interrupt the material and would have been best dispensed with, but perhaps had an important meaning for the writers. For that reason, and because of the percussive keyboard instrumentation on some songs, such as "Godbluff", I am reminded of Jon and Vangelis "Friends of Mr Cairo", but this came first, so I am probably missing a common ancestor. Certainly those sounds also have a very electronic Tangerine Dream like quality, and the album also heralds the 80s tendency to minimally emotive vocasl surrounded by washes of synthesizers, but thankfully here real drums are used. "Asylum" grafts some intelligent pop onto the formula. Ego in the Rocks is keyboard dominated, but the guitars offer strong support with little flash, probably best illustrated on "Hazard". The highly techno synthesized approach is several levels removed from Eloy and as such sounds more dated that the material of the mother group.

Unfortunately, although I have a CD copy, it does not contain bonus tracks so my assessment is based only on the original album, which I find to be a flawed but enjoyable work that can be enjoyed straight up.

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 Acid in Wounderland  by EGO ON THE ROCKS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.25 | 16 ratings

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Acid in Wounderland
Ego on the Rocks Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It took a while, but this is starting to grow on me. There is a lot of sampling that really doesn't help make this record better, in fact I believe the opposite is true. Samples from movies and other sounds that I have no idea what they are, and spoken words (literary quotes and a poem recited) that again takes away from the music instead of enhancing it.

The first track really reminds me of THE TALKING HEADS, there is an 80's feel to it. The second song is a highlight with some great drumming from the former Eloy drummer as synths carry on.The third song "Erected Error" reminds me of the OZRIC TENTACLES (similer sound from the rhythm section).

"Asylum" has an Alan Parsons vibe with some crazy synths to end it. Some nice guitar on "Civilization Song 1". And of the bonus tracks "Losers And Finders" is another highlight, but the best song by far is the final one "Once In Africa I" clocking in at just under 20 miutes with Pink Floyd written all over it. Great spacy synths and some scorching guitar, it's a beauty ! It's also the closest they would get to sounding like their old band Eloy.

Worth 3 stars certainly for the last track alone, but overall I can't rate it any higher then that.

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 Acid in Wounderland  by EGO ON THE ROCKS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.25 | 16 ratings

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Acid in Wounderland
Ego on the Rocks Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Early ELOY members Jurgen Rosenthal (also ex-SCORPIONS) and Detlev Schmidtchen combined talents in 1979 in what I consider simply to be an amazing album all the way through. Rosenthal & Schmidtchen broke ways with Frank Bornemann and ELOY after recording "Silent Cries & Mighty Echoes" and immediately began writing and recording what they considered more "creative" and "progressive" music. "Acid In Wounderland" is full of great space atmospheres combined with loads of loop and tape effects, acid like guitar solos, bass trance like grooves and loads of electronic keyboard accents. Without a question this album will take your brain into the wonderful world of deep space. The fine folks at Second Battle have found an additonal 35 minutes of unreleased EGO which includes a wickedly wonderful 20 min epic space journey called "Once In Africa". I can not say enough about this album and will recommend this to all lovers of electronic space psychedelia. Buying this album is a better value than going to see another one of those "lovie - dovie" Tom Cruise flicks.

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