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Eiliff Eiliff album cover
3.99 | 66 ratings | 11 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Byrd-Night Of The Seventh Day (5:05)
2. Gammeloni (6:43)
3. Uzzek Of Rigel IV (10:53)
4. Suite (20:38)

Total Time: 43:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Houschäng Nejadepour / electric, acoustic & 12-string guitars, sitar
- Rainer Brüninghaus / organ, electric piano, sounds
- Herbert Kalveram / saxophone
- Bill Brown / bass
- Detlev Landmann / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Witt

LP Philips - 6305 103 (1971, Germany)
LP Long Hair ‎- LHC000151 (2015, Germany)

CD World Wide Records ‎- SPM-WWR-CD-0067 (1994, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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EILIFF Eiliff ratings distribution

(66 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EILIFF Eiliff reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
4 stars EILIFF were an early 70s prog band who released two albums before breaking up. "Eiliff" is their 1971 debut. The band seemed quite influenced by early Frank ZAPPA, SOFT MACHINE, and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR. Listeners are quickly treated to countless complex, yet gritty, sections on each of the 4 tracks. There is an emphasis on sax and electric piano interplay, but the album also features excellent guitar work (although some solos border on noodling). Most of the vocals reminded me of the MOTHERS OF INVENTION. They tend to be dissonant, somewhat sloppy, yet charming. Overall, this is great stuff if you enjoy early 70s prog. If I were to point out a flaw it would have to be that EILIFF had the tendency to sound exactly like their influences. So, the ZAPPA-influenced sections sound exactly like ZAPPA, the SOFT MACHUNE-influenced sections sound like long-lost SOFT MACHINE recordings, etc. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, because it sounds like EILIFF did quite a bit of research and they did it correctly, but if you're looking for originality maybe you won't find it. Fans of SUPERSISTER, and MATCHING MOLE should definitely check "Eiliff" out.

Review by Carl floyd fan
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,
Review by hdfisch
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!

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.
Review by Sean Trane
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

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

Review by Mellotron Storm
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.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
5 stars A Krautrock legend EILIFF's first eponymous album is sincerely colourful, full of basic psychedelia seasoned with jazz and heavy rock flavour, regardless of such a mischievous sleeve pic. Their vision and interpretation for Krautrock should be in the same vein of another Kraut pioneer Xhol Caravan.

The first track 'Bird-Night Of The Seventh Day' gets frankly started with ethnic drone, bombastic brass shots, and echoic, cheap karaoke- ish voices. The middle jazz rock-related smooth swinging atmosphere is pretty comfortable. 'Gammeloni' sounds more of jazz rock rather than German psychedelic one but the latter moment drives every heavy progressive rock fan into madness. 'Uzzek Of Rigel IV' is a sticky, sneaky, heavy and freaky stuff featuring Smokey soundscape and deep, repetitive footsteps. Not so innovative nor impressive but the B Side completely breaks such a normality in our mind out.

The last 20 minute 'Suite' is the final audible, musical answer that is based upon deeper, heavier jazz rock than Xhol Caravan. There are colourful melodic / rhythmic sound variations along with an instrumental kaleidoscope apparently. Gorgeous sitar sounds coming up suddenly to us sound just like a beautiful angel flying down to the earth. Every member might play as if he got relaxed sometimes, or chased others minute by minute. Greatly cool heavy rock phrases at the end of this suite can be called as 44 seconds explosion, let me say. Innovative, impressive, offensive soundscape should be Eiliff themselves, and sorta departure for a novel Krautrock experience.

Interesting is also the difference from their following creation 'Girlrls!'. You can enjoy this gem as German psychedelic heavy jazz rock beyond expression.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Eiliff occupied a corner of the Krautrock landscape close to the corner of psychedelia and jazz-rock. There's a Canterbury-esque sound to their work which suggests the influence of Soft Machine in terms of blending the tripped- out freakouts of the psych scene with the sheer technical chops and intensity of jazz fusion or the harder moments of King Crimson. Take that and apply that to the Krautrock scene's penchant for wild, intense jams and you have an explosive blend there, and on this debut album they do a really excellent job of delivering on all of its components. Having languished out of print for decades, it's now thankfully been rereleased by itself, or there's a CD compilation of this and Girlrls!, their second album, which has a pretty reasonable sound to it.
Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars EILIFF was one of those rare German Krautrock bands that comfortably juggled the 60s psychedelic rock sensibilities of bands like Xhol Caravan along with a demanding jazz-fusion ethos as laid down by the Canterbury sounds of Soft Machine's "Third" era along with the energetic bombast of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The band was founded in the late 60s by Rainer Brüninghaus (keyboards), Detlev Landmann (drums), Herbert J. Kalveram (saxophone), the Englishman Bill Brown on bass and the Persian Houschäng Nejadepour on guitar and sitar. The band name is totally gibberish but was formed in Cologne and was a contemporary of the more famous acts such as Can.

While EILIFF was one of those bands where all the members were on a different level in terms of mastering their instruments, the band was somewhat forced to play the hit making game by releasing the easy on the ears single "Ride on Big Brother / Day of Sun" before releasing this more adventurous true calling of an album. Through the four tracks that run through this self-titled debut, EILIFF displayed a relentless disregard for keeping things calm and cool and instead opted for a wild brazen burst of prog energy with tight instrumental interplay and stellar jamming sessions that allow all of the musicians to show off their technically infused chops. Many of the members found their way into EILIFF fresh out of various free jazz bands of the 60s where they honed their chops and mastered the art of lengthy epic compositions that were displayed in the contemporary progressive rock context.

The four tracks basically begin with the shortest which is the opener "Byrd-Night of The Seventh Day" which at only five minutes long is dwarfed by the 20 minute closer "Suite." While i'll assume the opener may refer to the jazz legend Charlie Byrd, it does not sport his samba and bossa nova flavored bebop and cool jazz in any way at all. Instead it delivers a complex infusion of complex progressive rock workouts with a rich tapestry of jazzy saxophone gymnastics and ample supplies of 60s psychedelic organ runs. Likewise the uncredited vocal additions provide yet another angular contrapuntal element to the bizarre mix of the instrumentation that finds the musicians somewhat existing in their own reality for much of the time but flawlessly come back into order when the musical flow demands it.

"Gammeloni" continues the complexities with a frenetic marching rhythmic drive that breaks only for some soft sultry jazz chill outs but the complex chord progressions keep this far from being an easy listening experience and the slower parts never last for long as EILIFF was infused with an energetic drive unlike the more laid back jazz-Kraut hybrids like Embryo who relied more on psychedelic detachment as their focus. EILIFF was about a heavy-handed approach that took the energy of the early heavy metal bands to heart. "Uzzek Of Rigel IV" is another bizarre track that sounds sort of what Gnidrolog would have been had they incorporated jazz as their focal point instead of folk music. The track takes the complexities up a few notches with a labyrinthine approach that is on par with some of the more angular techniques of the avant-prog artists that followed. Henry Cow comes to mind.

The final track "Suite" which takes up half of the album starts off as one of the more accessible tracks with a heavy guitar groove and sax accompaniment. Somewhat funky even. The track doesn't take too long to find its way into a pummeling display of hyperactive drumming bombast, a series of saxophone squawks that sound like a flock of demented parrots and a relentless organ drive that sounds like Soft Machine's "Third" on steroids and with almost 21 minutes of playing time you can only imagine the amount of variations that find their way into the mix. Surprisingly despite being the lengthiest track, it is also the one where the band plays most cohesively as a whole without the instruments taking too many liberties off of the main groove. This is also the track where Rainer Brüninghaus shows off his compositional skills where he includes symphonic orchestral touches, big band, wind orchestral skills and a surprise Raga-rock segment with the sitar having its moment in the sun.

EILIFF's debut seems to be an overlooked gem of the early 70s. This is a dynamic powerhouse of an album that is flawless in execution and brilliantly brimming with creativity and while Soft Machine, Xhol Caravan and others are clearly inspiring forces in the band's overall sound, EILIFF sounds like none of them and mastered the art of crafting its indelible stamp on the early jazz-fusion Kraut world of the German underground. Don't let the silly album cover throw you off. While it looks like the whole "Where's Waldo" thing may have started on this early 70s prog extravaganza, this is an amazing display of instrumental fortitude coupled with excellently delivered compositional prowess unlike any other of the era. This is totally recommended for those who love energetic displays of jazzy-prog that take a zigzagging labyrinthine approach through lengthy workouts without sacrificing the melodic ear hooks that offer some sort of emotional connection. This has been one of my favorites for a while. The band would record one more album titled "Girlrls" the following year before calling it quits woefully like too many other impressive groups from this era.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Eiliff were a little known German band that mixed jazzrock/fusion with krautrock elements with excellent results. The album is mainly instrumental, with some vocals thrown in here and there, and quite complex in parts. The opener, "Byrd-Night Of The Seventh Day," is actually 2 songs, with Byrd ... (read more)

Report this review (#1514953) | Posted by Igor91 | Tuesday, January 19, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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