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EILIFF

Krautrock • Germany


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Eiliff biography
Founded in Cologne, Germany in 1970 - Disbanded in 1973

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!
Mason 2006
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Mason
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Garofe
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EiliffEiliff
LONGHAIR 2015
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Close Encounter with Their Third OneClose Encounter with Their Third One
Garden Of Delights
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Close Encounter With TheiClose Encounter With Thei
Garofe 2002
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GirlrlsGirlrls
W&W 1994
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EILIFF discography


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

3.98 | 50 ratings
Eiliff
1971
3.65 | 34 ratings
Girlrls !
1972

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

3.76 | 15 ratings
Close Encounters With Their Third One
1999
3.38 | 9 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)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Ride On Big Brother/Day Of Sun
1971

EILIFF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.98 | 50 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

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.

 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.98 | 50 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.
 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.98 | 50 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

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.

 Girlrls ! by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 34 ratings

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Girlrls !
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars First of all let me say this album sounds more and more unified, polished than their creation on stage. EILIFF were an authentic heavy jazzy keyboard-based German psychedelic outfit based upon a deep, strict rhythm party. My first EILIFF was their live album "Close Encounters With Their Third One" featuring three of their repertoires via this studio album "Girlrls!". It's quite interesting for me to compare their studio material with one on stage. The titled track, "Hallimasch", or "Journey To The Ego" in this album is shorter and sounds more refined than in the live one released later ... makes sense really, but I'm afraid I would miss something addictive, immersive this time.

Guess they would have launched condensed sound and material because created in a studio. Every track is pretty fantastic indeed, and I love repetitive, convoluted melodic reincarnation style especially in the titled one. On the contrary, remarkably surprised at kinda pop / catchy atmosphere in the first two songs (actually I've got absorbed in Rainer's incredible excessive keyboard works in "Eve Of Eternity" perfectly ... one of my gems). Obviously on stage the performers could grab the feeling of the audience, who should be merged together all around, and play music for driving themselves crazy pleasant. Yes via a studio recording we cannot touch the same addiction like the stage, of course.

No suspicion this album is fascinating, nonetheless.

 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.98 | 50 ratings

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Eiliff
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by Igor91

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 as a mellow intro to the album with acoustic guitar and sax. Then "Night Of The Seventh Day" comes in after less that a minute, with vocals on par with many of their German contemporaries. Sax and keyboards are dominant, with a cool jazzy interlude, and drumming reminding me of King Crimson's early albums. "Gammeloni" is next and is an instrumental, jazz-heavy song, with lots of energetic sax soloing, then moves to a guitar jam section before moving back into jazz territory. The vocals return on "Uzzek Of Rigel IV," and are washed with a distortion effect that actually works quite well. This track is probably the weirdest, and includes a repetitive section with the guitar wailing in one channel, which carries on a little too long. The final "song" is the aptly titled "Suite" which starts off with a magnificent, almost funky, guitar rock jam. The track continues to evolve with several parts changing up things and keeping it interesting.

I like this album quite a bit, especially due to how different instruments are given their moments up-front at various moments, especially the guitar. As mentioned before, there is an early King Crimson influence throughout, but not in an overt way. A very progressive work and a rather different take on krautrock when compared to more well-known acts such as Can or Amon Duul II. Recommended for those who like a good shot of jazz in their krautrock. 4 stars.

 Close Encounters With Their Third One by EILIFF album cover Live, 1999
3.76 | 15 ratings

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Close Encounters With Their Third One
Eiliff Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post 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.

 Girlrls ! by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 34 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.

 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.98 | 50 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.

 Eiliff by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.98 | 50 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

 Girlrls ! by EILIFF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 34 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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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