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

by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

Eiliff Cover art

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.

by Mike McLatchey, 2016-02-04:

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.

Filed under: Reissues , 1994 releases, 1971 releases

Related artist(s): Eiliff

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