Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Edward Gorey Rocks Out!

Michael Mantler - The Hapless Child
Now that I've got this new software figured out, let me drop that bomb I've been waiting to get up here. This is a tough one to find, released in a small run on a custom label in 1976.
Sure, it's under Mantler's name, but this is an Edward Gorey record, too. He wrote the words and drew the pictures. And it's a Robert Wyatt record, because he sings the words. In a way, it's a Terje Rypdal album, because his guitar playing dominates the arrangements. Of course, this is to take nothing away from Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, and Jack DeJohnette, because they're here, too. A who's who of high brow jazz rock elite, huh?
My biggest gripe about this record is that the songs are written as stories, and sometimes the words don't match the music so well. But then you key in to what those words are really saying, and it all makes sense. Because those words are dark dark dark.
Yet another one of those Nurse With Wound list favorites. Speaking of which, any of you got Headmaschine? Eroc? Lily? How's about helping out, then?


Jeremy said...

Yeah, this is a great LP, thanks for posting because I haven't ripped my own copy yet. As you say, an amazing line-up and very well worth a listen. Perfect for Halloween use!

Maxim de Winter said...

This looks fantastic and I am dying to get my ears on it - but when I try I get the following: "Fatal error: Cannot redeclare is_numeric_custom() (previously declared in /home/websites/ in /home/websites/ on line 87" - has somebody deleted your links?

dreamy said...

Hi TBA, I have all Eroc records, where can I send them to so you can post them on this blog?

Thanks for this post BTW...nice one ;)

TBA said...

Maxim - try again, it seems to be working now.

Dreamy - YEAH! Do you know how to make them into .rar files? If so, uploading to Sharebee ( is a breeze. If you don't mind that we post 'em here, just drop them in a comment. I'll move them to the front page, and even give you the floor for an opinion on the music (because that's what this is all about).

fuzztunnel said...

Sorry TBA, but it looks like your NWW-list gaps are the same as mine...

dreamy said...

Here's the first Eroc...The rest will follow very shortly!! I am not very good at writing reviews myself, so this one iks copied from progarchives.

Eroc (Joachim Heinz Ehrig) started his solo career in 1975 while he was currently the drummer of Grobschnitt. His self titled album can be considered as a cross between Gorbschnitt’s typical symphonic amazing music and electronic/ synthscapes dominated by numerous original sound manipulations. Despite that he was originally recognised as a drummer, here Eroc is the man behind the machines, controlling solid essays in synth experimentations and electronic collages. His first album is an absolute must in Kraut/ electronic genre, very abstract, emotional and a mix of different moods. This album is an opponent worthy of Klaus Schulze’s first realisations in space/ “kosmische” electronic music. His following album (“Zwei” published by “Brain” in 1976) continues to process by a combination between rock and electronic but focused on short, efficient sketches. Humour and derision are clearly exposed in the lyrics and recitations. “Zwei” is a reminiscence of Grobschnitt’s theatrical universe with lot of "gags" but the atmosphere is much more introspective, sometimes delivering deliciously melancholic melodies. After this two first very recommended efforts, Eroc pursues his solo career notably providing a kind of reunion, family album ("Eroc 3") with others Grobschnitt members. In parallel he also started a professional career as musical producer, recently published albums of Das Scheitas (among others).

The first and best effort by Eroc (Grobschnitt) in solo. A magnificent and ambitious affair that directly leads Eroc to the pinnacle of German progressive synth eccentricities. Nothing is "cosmic" or "trip out" as in Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler and others but it remains surprisingly weird and accessible at the same time. The argument is organic, cerebral and humorous with lot of manipulations in studio (voice and other sounds). "kleine eva" is a synth dominated song with flowing and beautifully sweet melodies. "des tauberers traum" is a darker track, including "loopings" and repetitive organic fragments. "toni moff mollo" is one of these particular and satirical sketches we can find in later albums. "die musik vom ölberg" is an enthusiastic, funny synth composition with a more commercial and dated flavour. "norderland" is one of my favourite Eroc's compositions; a moment of rare introspection and desolation with plaintive electric guitar lines & glissando, drums and sound effects. Great!!


Track Listing

2.Kleine Eva
3.Des Zauberers Traum
4.Toni Moff Mollo
5.Die Musik Vom Olberg
6.Chaotic Reaction
10.Teenage Love '69


- Eroc (Joachim Heinz Ehrig) / keyboards, electronics, guitar, drums

320kb, cover included
pw --> dreamy


dreamy said...

Eroc - (1976) Eroc 2


Anyone under the misguided impression that Germans don’t have a sense of humor obviously hasn’t been listening very closely. What’s that you say? You don’t recall the deadpan "Showroom Dummies" of KRAFTWERK? Or HOLGER CZUKAY’s iconoclastic radio-wave cut-ups (turning even the late Pope John Paul II into an unwitting pop star)? And what about the Dada-Krautrock de-construction follies of FAUST?

Discriminating Progheads with long memories will at least have heard the name Joachim Ehrig, alias EROC, the multi-talented percussionist and resident madman behind the symphonic cabaret act known as GROBSCHNITT. The band was a popular concert attraction throughout the 1970s, famous for blending classic YES and PINK FLOYD influenced Prog Rock with elaborate vaudeville comedy skits, a tradition their pseudonymous drummer would carry into his own solo career as well.

Especially here, in his sophomore effort (or maybe it’s only sophomoric?), in retrospect probably the wackiest thing of its kind since Monty Python’s "Matching Tie and Hankerchief" album, which you’ll remember had two parallel grooves on one side of the original LP, and good luck trying to guess which one the needle would follow.

Over the course of seventeen total tracks (lasting almost 50 minutes, and rivaling the side-long soundscapes of KLAUS SCHULZE for old-style vinyl generosity) EROC delivers a vocal performance that can only be called eccentric (to say the least). He whispers, screams, coughs up phlegm, emotes in high dramatic fashion, conducts a bogus interview, interrupts the music with idle chit-chat and commentary, sings background harmonies sounding not unlike a chorus of Sesame Street muppets, fakes an orgasm (or is it constipation?) and, in one memorable highlight, punctuates a formal poetry recital with a window-rattling belch of truly epic proportions (cue the maniacal laughter: always an EROC trademark).

And did I mention the sound effects? Traffic jams, toilets flushing, tolling bells, sawing wood, orchestral fanfares, machine-gun fire, and even samples of earlier GROBSCHNITTsongs are all part of the overstuffed sonic collage. With all that (and more besides) you’d think there wouldn’t be any room left for legitimate music. But EROC backs up his theatrical conceits with a credible range of high-caliber tunes, playing all the instruments himself: keyboards, guitars, kazoos, accordions, warped Oktoberfest flugelhorns, and (of course) drums. There are even a few evocative, quasi- Krautrock interludes, scattered like life preservers throughout the otherwise relentless, broad-as-a-barn-door laff-riot.

Oddly enough, the best way to appreciate the album is without any understanding of German…although it’s hard to miss the quotation from KRAFTWERK’s "Autobahn", shouted during the song "Der Traum Vom Wald". I suspect a direct translation might be just too idiotic to support repeated listenings, but the language barrier keeps the silliness from becoming too stupid, even when EROC is burping his guts inside out. Some Prog Rockers (too few, on second thought) never did learn when to start sounding pretentious.

Track Listings
1. Nebelwelt
2. Ein unhöflicher Anfang
3. Aktuelles Vorwort
4. Der Traum vom Wald
5. Eroc´s Reise
6. Das Lied von der Brücke
7. Toni geht nach Boelerheide
8. Geleerte Worte
9. Abendmeer
10. Kleine Freude
11. Prof. Erwin Senkelfuß
12. Zeige mir den Weg
13. Sonnenfluch
14. Der alte Brylka schimpft
15. Herr von Schwabulahn
16. Unsere neuen Rosen
17. Geburtstagsständchen
18. Das Irsinnslied
19. Eine Erkenntnis
20. Ich bin ein Lachen
21. Sternenwelke
22. Ein höflicher Abgang
23. Psychodelic Cloud
24. Morley´s Orgasm
25. Liebeslied
26. Der Mond ist aus grünem Käse
27. Der Marsch der Pfifferlinge
28. Sprache der Pfifferlinge
29. Sprache der Pfifferlinge
30. Sprache der Pfifferlinge


- Eroc (Joachim Ehrig) / drums, percussion
- Toni Moff Mollo (Ranier Loskand) / vocals

320kb, cover included
pw --> dreamy


gomonkeygo said...

This is a wonderful album! Thank you for sharing it. I've listened to it ten times in the last week at least.

gomonkeygo said...

I meant the Mantler, though I'm downloading the Eroc now.

Neilson said...

A little Edward Gorey/record trivia;
the soundtrack of the children's tv show, "The Electric Company" came with a booklet with illustrations accompanying the lyrics of the songs.
Edward Gorey did the illustrations for a song called "Hard Hard Hard". It's especially funny because the song is a really upbeat "you can make it if you try" type number which contrasts with Edward Gorey's typically creepy drawings.

cdeweerd said...


there is more Gorey, Mantler JCO stuff where this came from. Will be ripping those LPs one of these days. Interested?

LookingAround said...

Hello, This album was also reissued (long ago) on Mantler/Bley's label WATT (Wat 4) could you please tell us the name of the original label? Thanks & keep your great work working :-)