Exposé Online banner

Aera — Humanum Est / Hand und Fuß
(Erlkönig ERL 4308, 1975/2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Humanum Est / Hand und Fuß Cover artWho knows why it was that German bands in the 70s so often brought in influences from around the world, but it certainly seems to have been a trend. British and American bands may have dabbled with sitar and so on in the 60s, but in Germany, musicians really took it and ran with it. Embryo is probably the best known example, and Aera were right up there with them in terms of quality. They combine jazzy Passport-style grooves with great guitar work; flute, sax, and violin act as alternate lead instruments. Muck Groh’s guitar is the primary focus of many of the tunes, often with acoustic patterns doubled on phased electric, sometimes with a third part taking the lead. His playing is not derivative of anyone I can discern, and he combines elements of melodicism and edgy dissonance expertly. Klaus Kreuzeder’s flutes and saxes lighten the mood without coming off as wimpy, with some fascinating harmonies provided in the overdubs; he takes some great solos as well. The other constant in the mix is Peter Malinowski’s bass, sometimes interlocking with Groh’s lines, sometimes anchoring the rhythms by himself when the others take on other roles. The drumming is not overly busy, giving the bass plenty of room to shine. These two albums feature different drummers, and the second adds violin as an alternate lead on some tracks. There’s not a bad tune in the lot, and Aera certainly deserves a place among the top German bands of the 70s.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 32, 2004 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Aera

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ricochet - Zarah - A Teartown Story – Gradually over the last few years, with the help of Progrock Records distribution, Ricochet is gaining word-of-mouth momentum on the prog metal scene. From the outset the Hamburg band has all the...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues