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

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Embryo - Bremen 1971 – This live set from September 1971 finds the band just after recording their highly regarded Embryo’s Rache album, but before it had been released. This is still the early phase of the band, more a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues