body{ text-shadow: 0px 0px 4px rgba(150, 150, 150, 1); }

18 Jul 2017

Ego On The Rocks (ex. Eloy) "Acid In Wounderland" 1980 Germany Prog Space Rock Electronic

Ego On The Rocks (ex. Eloy) "Acid In Wounderland" 1980 Germany Prog Space Rock Electronic


Early ELOY members Jurgen Rosenthal (also ex-SCORPIONS) and Detlev Schmidtchen combined talents in 1979 in what I consider simply to be an amazing album all the way through. Rosenthal & Schmidtchen broke ways with Frank Bornemann and ELOY after recording "Silent Cries & Mighty Echoes" and immediately began writing and recording what they considered more "creative" and "progressive" music. "Acid In Wounderland" is full of great space atmospheres combined with loads of loop and tape effects, acid like guitar solos, bass trance like grooves and loads of electronic keyboard accents. Without a question this album will take your brain into the wonderful world of deep space. The fine folks at Second Battle have found an additonal 35 minutes of unreleased EGO which includes a wickedly wonderful 20 min epic space journey called "Once In Africa". I can not say enough about this album and will recommend this to all lovers of electronic space psychedelia. Buying this album is a better value than going to see another one of those "lovie - dovie" Tom Cruise loserboy ..............

 It took a while, but this is starting to grow on me. There is a lot of sampling that really doesn't help make this record better, in fact I believe the opposite is true. Samples from movies and other sounds that I have no idea what they are, and spoken words (literary quotes and a poem recited) that again takes away from the music instead of enhancing it.
The first track really reminds me of THE TALKING HEADS, there is an 80's feel to it. The second song is a highlight with some great drumming from the former Eloy drummer as synths carry on.The third song "Erected Error" reminds me of the OZRIC TENTACLES (similer sound from the rhythm section).

"Asylum" has an Alan Parsons vibe with some crazy synths to end it. Some nice guitar on "Civilization Song 1". And of the bonus tracks "Losers And Finders" is another highlight, but the best song by far is the final one "Once In Africa I" clocking in at just under 20 miutes with Pink Floyd written all over it. Great spacy synths and some scorching guitar, it's a beauty ! It's also the closest they would get to sounding like their old band Mellotron Storm ..........

 The former Eloy members that made up this "band" played a significant role in Eloy's most popular albums; in particular Jurgen Rosenthal was responsible for the concept of "Ocean", widely regarded as their best. Frank Bornemann claimed that it was their large egos which caused them to splinter from the group, which might have contributed to the chosen name. While I believe Eloy produced some of their best albums following the split, this one is no dud.
The style is not really Eloy-ish but more kraut rock with spacey tendencies. I hear Amon Duul II and Kraftwerk for instance, as well as some Hawkwind, such as on the strong opener "01. 7 to 7 or 999 to 99 Hope". Lots of spoken parts and sound effects introduce and interrupt the material and would have been best dispensed with, but perhaps had an important meaning for the writers. For that reason, and because of the percussive keyboard instrumentation on some songs, such as "Godbluff", I am reminded of Jon and Vangelis "Friends of Mr Cairo", but this came first, so I am probably missing a common ancestor. Certainly those sounds also have a very electronic Tangerine Dream like quality, and the album also heralds the 1980s tendency to minimally emotive vocals surrounded by washes of synthesizers, but thankfully here real drums are used. "Asylum" grafts some intelligent pop onto the formula. Ego in the Rocks is keyboard dominated, but the guitars offer strong support with little flash, probably best illustrated on "Hazard". The highly techno synthesized approach is several levels removed from Eloy and as such sounds more dated that the material of the mother group.

Unfortunately, although I have a CD copy, it does not contain bonus tracks so my assessment is based only on the original album, which I find to be a flawed but enjoyable work that can be enjoyed straight up. kenethlevine ....

"Ego on the Rocks" was a short-lived project by two former Eloy musicians. With his spherical keyboards, Detlev Schmidtchen decisively influenced the sound of such classics as "Ocean"; Jürgen Rosenthal supplied the often mythologically inspired lyrics. Since the two were of the opinion that they were not able to fully express their creativity at Eloy, they separated from the band in 1979.

"Acid in Wounderland" was planned as the first part of a trilogy, but the two other parts have never been released. Already with this first part the two flashed with all labels - in the beginning of the 80s this music was no longer in demand. Strangely enough, they found the Ralph Siegel soprano. But do not be frightened, Schlager are not on it ;-)

However, anyone who expects an Eloy copy will be disappointed; To their Eloy past, the music only rarely recalls, although it is already rooted in the 70s scene. The album is launched with a set of Herbert Wehner (for the younger readers: long-time chairman of the SPD Bundestagsfraktion), then goes with a pretty rocking piece. The songs, which are not very complex in themselves, are interrupted by strange sound collages and rehearsed sequences of votes (including Herbert Marcuse). For only two musicians, the sound is quite good, although Detlev Schmidtchen is a good guitar player. His singing is not exactly exhilarating, but quite passable, and the instrumental parts predominate anyway. In contrast to Eloy, the keyboards are not very much in the foreground, but there is also a key piece, "Mystic + 1 + 9 + 8 + 0", to which Jürgen Rosenthal presents a text by the French poet Arthur Rimbaud.

On the origin of the Bonustitel one learns in the - otherwise very informative - booklet unfortunately nothing, I guess times that they were for the second part of the trilogy were thought. Here too, extensive use of voices and other sound recordings is made, but the music is much more keyboard-oriented. Not in the famous (or notorious) symphonic-bombastic style of the 70s, but more in the style of Tangerine Dream. Absolute highlight of the Bonustitel, oh what, the whole album is "Once in Africa 1", on which Schmidtchen combines atmospheric synthiesounds with great guitar effects. A German-language text is also declaimed. In the further course, the rocking passages alternate with almost ambient-like sequences.

All in all, "Acid in Wounderland" is an outstanding piece of work, which after 20 years is not a bit dusty or "retro". Who knows, perhaps the two faces of the renewed interest in Progressive Rock are back together to complete the trilogy Rindfrey ...............

Line-up / Musicians
- Detlev Schmidtchen / vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, strings, sequencer
- Jürgen Rosenthal / drums

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. 7 to 7 or 999 to 99 Hope (6:09)
2. Unallgemeine Bestürzung (4:58)
3. Erected Error (4:18)
4. Mystik +1+9+8+0 (4:53)
5. Asylum (4:53)
6. Hazard (4:20)
7. Godbluff (5:27)
8. Civilization Song 1 (6:15)
Bonus tracks on cd release:
9. Destroy the Gun (5:07)
10. Losers and Finders (6:03)
11. Another Saturday Night (2:41)
12. Civilization Song 2 (3:42)
13. Once in Africa 1 (19:15)  

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..