Exposé Online banner

Eiliff — Eiliff
(World Wide SPM-WWR-CD-0067, 1971/1994, CD)

Eiliff — Girlrls
(World Wide SPM-WWR-CD-0068, 1972/1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 2016-02-04:

Eiliff Cover artGirlrls Cover art

McLatchey's Second Tier

One of the impressions I came away with after the Deutscherock nights aired hours of prime 70s German video material was that even though the early 70s was an incredibly inventive period for German rock, this was often done without a lot of the musicians having any true formal skills. I remember seeing clips from both Amon Düül II and Can that looked like train wrecks at the time (although to be fair both went the other way too) and I wasn't sure if I could attribute these to accident, indulgence or something else. Eiliff were a completely different breed, this was highly, even jazz-level competent rock at a very early year in German music history. They're somewhat known for being the birthplace of later ECM keyboard player Rainer Bruninghaus as well as having the very talented Houschang Nejadepour on guitar who would later show up on Guru Guru's Dance of the Flames for perhaps the last of their great 70s albums. Their debut is a masterpiece of German rock with these two talented players in the fold and their music featured some long pieces with very strange titles. These were originally reissued on the SPM label back a decade or so but have long disappeared from the market, giving way to a 2-on-1 bootleg. One does wonder if such a deep piece could ever afford a second reissue as a result. But I'd consider this on par with all the best German albums of the era.


by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

It's amazing how many great albums are still being reissued from Germany from the early 70s. It seems at times that there is no end to the wealth from that period. Eiliff was another gem of a group, very much in the early German rock style like Satin Whale, Frame, Ikarus, Virus, Orange Peel etc. Taking their cue from both fusion and early British progressive rock like Van der Graaf Generator, East of Eden, Gnidrolog, or Marsupilami, Eiliff created two great albums of organ/electric piano (by future ECM and Jan Garbarek sidesman Rainer Bruninghaus) led experimental rock with lots of staggered rhythms. With guitar and sax as lead instruments, Eiliff was quite a debut. Featuring choppy rhythms played with jazz rock intensity and lots of unusual dissonances and transitions, the music held its connections to the psychedelic side of Kraut Rock while retaining the musicianship of the jazz scene. The results, while dated are quite stimulating especially when they break out into longer jams. Girlrls, the more modest follow-up seems more focused; the tracks are generally shorter and they don't really give into the excesses that made the debut so unique. The electric piano seems more in front here, the songs are more uniform in length and the results are more jazzy and spacy. Both are quite excellent, especially if you like the early 70s sound, and come definitely recommended. Nice job on the sound too.


Filed under: Reissues , Issue 10 , 1994 releases, 1971 releases, 1994 releases, 1972 releases

Related artist(s): Eiliff

More info

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Tibbetts - The Fall of Us All – Steve is back with his first solo offering since 1990's Big Map Idea. For the uninitiated, this Minnesota guitarist's music is truly in a league of its own, anything from a swirling maelstrom of...  (1994) » Read more

Djam Karet - Collaborator – Having followed this band since their 1987 cassette release The Ritual Continues, I've always felt that their strongest suit was their ability to create atmospheres, emotional sonic textures that...  (1994) » Read more

Art Rock Circus - A Passage to Clear & Tell a Vision – Easy to follow narratives within the comfortable confines of a pop progressive melodic framework. Nods to epic classic rock arise here and there. In some places you can hear traces of Genesis,...  (2006) » Read more

Tortoise - It's All around You – As much as the somewhat vague moniker “post-rock” gets tossed around, there is probably little disagreement that Tortoise is one of the genre’s most important practitioners. Certainly the...  (2005) » Read more

Jean-Pascal Boffo - Nomades – Some will recall J.P. Boffo as one of the original members of Troll and naturally expect (or perhaps hope for) a strong zeuhl influence on this effort. Well, you certainly won't find it here. Which...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues