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Eroc - Eroc CD (album) cover

EROC

Eroc

 

Krautrock

3.43 | 29 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Joachim Heinz Ehrig better known by his stage name EROC had humble beginnings with early ambitions of becoming a chemical lab technician but sometime around 1966 took up the role as drummer and started his first high school band called The Crew. While that band would find a few singles released, it was with the band Grobschnitt where EROC found his greatest glory years where he served as drummer and band leader during the band's existence throughout the 70s until he departed in 1983. Grobschnitt enjoyed considerably success as one of Krautrock's most enduring bands that was well known for the indefatigable stamina of performing three hour plus live shows night after night.

Just like many band members across the board, EROC was moonlighting and creating his own stash of musical ideas that were never really meant for public consumption. Many of the electronic projects began before he ever started Grobschnitt and without the confines of pleasing a record label, EROC nurtured his strangest fantasies into bizarre musical beasts that only ended up on record due to a friend of his insisting that he record them as a solo album. The result was this heavily electronic slice of Krautrock released in 1975 on the Brain label. While originally a self-titled debut, the album has more affectionally been referred to as EROC 1 since the following albums continue the rather ho-hum methodology of naming the album the following number in sequence.

While serving as Grobschnitt's drummer, EROC also mastered many other instruments such as the keyboard and the guitar and plays everything on this album not to mention his mastery of the soundboards and production. The result is a stellar sounding experimental album that takes your soul into the cosmos and although on the cusp of the waning years of the most outrageously creative years of progressive rock, EROC's collection of tracks that were constructed throughout the time period and display the true zeitgeist of one of Germany's most creatively fertile eras in the experimental music scene. The album originally only contained seven tracks but the newer remastered versions contain an extra six unreleased bonus tracks, many of which are of the same top quality as the originals.

"Kleine Eva" begins the album and also serves as its lengthiest which at over 12 minutes nearly doubles the playing time of anything else. This showcases a clear departure from Grobschniit's bombastic hard rock approach and exists as a soothing Berlin school styled progressive electronic track with dreamy melodies on one synth while another casts comet-tail sweeps that accent the offbeats. While charming and even a bit quaint, the following "Des Zauberer's Traum" is much moodier with terrifying drones and frightening sustained buzzing as well as a plethora of overdubs that was taking a cue from the most surreal aspects of Klaus Schulze's early years and while "Die Music com Ílberg" sounds like an electronic dedication to a royal knighting of some sort. The most kosmische of the tracks that take the award for trippiest on the album go to "Norderland" and "Horrorgoll." The former simulating a frost-bitten landscape in all its bleakness and the latter diving into the farthest out lysergic trip with a never ending series of echoed vocals and sounds.

"Sternchen" ends the original album with a strummed rhythm guitar that oscillates in and out of tune along with sensible atmospheric embellishments which gives it a strange unearthly feel. The bonus tracks are interspersed throughout the album instead of being tacked on to the end of the album as is usually the case. The strategic placement is most likely the original intent of the album's run before time limitations of the era reared their ugly head as it sounds quite logical as to how everything is placed. Personally i've never been huge on Grobschnitt as i find them one of the most ordinary and uninteresting bands of the Krautrock era but EROC's debut solo project is a whole different beast and one that is highly recommended for those seeking out the more electronic and experimental sounds that emerged from the 70s German scene. I'm unfamiliar with the original album's production quality but my remastered 2005 CD sounds as if it was recorded in the modern era. Some of the bonus tracks have pop elements that would prognosticate the future of EROC's solo albums.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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