Eroc – Eroc
Welcome to week six of the Swan Fungus 2014 An Album A Day project, in which I devote the “business days” portion of the week to exploring different records in my collection. Each installment (that is, each block of 5 days) follows a thematic trend. So far I’ve featured “non-music” albums, cover songs, musicians who (like me) were born in the month of April…the themes haven’t been all that obscure yet. This week is going to be devoted to the venerable Nurse With Wound List, which is a guide many readers here are already familiar with. And for those of you who are not? Allow me to explain: The first album by the experimental band Nurse With Wound was packaged with an A4-sized insert listing 291 artists who provided inspiration to the group. The list has since become something of a shopping list for collectors of outsider and avant-garde music. The original list was expanded, I believe, when the bands second and third albums were released. I’m not the first guy on the Internet to devote blog space to many artists who appear on the list, and I won’t be the last. I’ll just say that it has opened my eyes (and ears) to a lot of music I never knew existed, and I’m sure even now I could look at it again and find something new to me.
We’ll begin this week’s exploration of the list with the self-titled album by Eroc, or Joachim Heinz Ehrig. Originally the drummer of German legends Grobschnitt, Eroc recorded his first solo album in 1975. Whereas Grobschnitt had started to shift from psychedelic rock to symphonic progressive rock, Eroc was interested in experimental sounds. The record opens with a 90-second noise sculpture that wouldn’t sound out of place on a — wait for it — Nurse With Wound record! There are beautiful synth swirls, dark ambient explorations, druggy noise collages and a touch of funky electronic head-nodders that wouldn’t sound too out of place on a 70s Ennio Morricone score. It’s definitely kosmiche, and if I had to draw an analogy to other records of the time one could compare it to, the early Klaus Schulze records on Kosmiche Musik are the first ones that come to mind.
Back in 2008, shortly after I started at my current job, we purchased a shockingly large collection of kraut/prog/psych records that was one of the most impressive record collections I’ve ever seen. If there was a German Ohr/Brain/Vertigo/Bellaphon/etc. label “monster” you could think of, it was in this collection. And it was in stone mint condition. Brainticket, Kollektiv, I Drive, Gomorrah, Spermull, Amon Duul, I could pretty much write my own list that might stretch as long as the Nurse With Wound one.
I’ve long dreamed of owning the entire Brain 1000 series. You know, the ones with the green labels. You’ll find them on Neu! and Cluster and Guru Guru and Harmonia records. But after I while I realized not all the Brain 1000 titles were as good as those. For every Achim Reichel there are ten Jane and Greenslade and Thirsty Moon records. And I don’t want those. We had all the Grobschnitt records and I wasn’t that interested in them. So when I saw Eroc I just figured it sounded like Grobschnitt. When a local collector — thankfully — told me otherwise, I snatched it up as fast as I could. Shockingly it’d been marked down over the course of six months to a more affordable price, but I’m sure as more people “discover” Eroc its value will increase. It’s that good.
There’s an expanded CD with about 4 or 5 more tracks, all of which are equally impressive. You’d be wise to track that down if you can’t find the LP.
(Brain – BRAIN 1069, 1975)
A1. Kleine Eva
A2. Des Zauberers Traum
A3. Toni Moff Mollo
B1. Die Musik Vom “Ölberg”
B3. Horrorgoll [MP3]
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