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Eroc - Eroc CD (album) cover





3.43 | 29 ratings

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3 stars His first solo album outside the three-ring circus of GROBSCHNITT saw lead clown Joachim Ehrig (alias Eroc) downplaying his irreverent "Lumpy Gravy" humor in favor of a milder brand of homemade Krautrock, more experimental than the music of his parent band but hardly inaccessible. And for a musician otherwise employed as a drummer there's a conspicuous lack of percussion over most of the album, without so much as a cymbal to be heard over its entire first half.

Be prepared instead to settle into the long, electronic lullaby of "Kleine Eva": twelve sublime minutes of beautifully arranged keyboard variations on a simple, childlike melody. That opening idyll is followed by the more unsettled synthetic reverie conjured by "Des Zauberer's Traum" (The Magician's Dream), and then a brief audio-vérité joke shared with a member of Grobschnitt's road crew and performance troupe.

The flipside of the 1975 LP explored more traditional Krautrock territory (if that isn't an oxymoron) in the Teutonic Rock anthem "Norderland", an obvious album highlight. And the weirder face of the Eroc coin was revealed in "Horrorgoll": an ACHIM REICHEL-like echo effect nightmare built around repeated voice samples and atonal piano accents. The track is longer than it needed to be, but the silver lining is the lovely "Sternchen", bringing the album to its final, graceful resolution.

All worthwhile, in its own modest way. But the 2005 CD re-issue presents a different experience altogether. The copious bonus material, recorded more or less around the same time, is salted throughout the disc instead of lumped together at the end, totally changing the pace and flow of the original album. These aren't really outtakes (the music is too good), but more like a random sampling of unreleased songs from the composer's private stock of basement tapes, built (mostly) around gently strummed guitars, tasteful synths, homeopathic percussion, and the occasional kazoo (of course).

Hardly essential, but classic Eroc. And like the rest of the album so German every chord deserves its own umlaut. Fans of Grobschnitt's vaudeville Prog may find it a surprisingly restrained effort from such an extroverted cutup. But every joker should be allowed a few private moments of creative introspection.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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