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

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Garland - Control Songs – David Garland is one of a rather small group of experimental singer/song writers. They are not cut from same bolt of cloth as, say, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell or James Taylor. Instead, Garland, along...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues