Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Aera - 1974 - Humanum Est

Humanum Est

01. Papa Doing (8:22)
02. Demmerawäng (7:07)
03. Hodibbel (5:37)
04. Sechs Achtel (10:45)
05. Jonas Schläft (4:20)
06. Alois' Flötending (2:26)

- Wolgang Teske / drums
- Klaus Kreuzeder / saxophone & flute
- Dieter Bauer / bass
- Muck Groh / guitar
- Peter Malinowsky / bass (6)

AERA has been a little-known band hailing from a small Bavarian village called "Mechelwind" (hence the title of one track on their second album). Similar to related band EMBRYO members were coming and going but originally the band consisted of guitarist Muck Groh (IHRE KINDER), bass player Dieter Bauer (2066 AND THEN), drummer Wolfgang Teske and wheelchair-bound Klaus Kreuzeder on sax and flute. They issued altogether four studio albums and one live one with changing line-ups and exhibiting different music styles. Their first two releases which can be obtained as a 2-in-1 CD (being a very worthy purchase that luckily I happen to own) are basically revealing a lively jazz-rock sound at times with extended jammin' not that far away from EMBRYO, KRAAN or NUCLEUS.

Their debut "Humanum Est" here in review was already quite an impressing demonstration of their musical prowess though still lacking a bit of variation which is nicely compensated by the addition of their second one on the CD-reissue. The six fully instrumental compositions, all written by guitarist Muck Groh can be basically described as guitar-dominated laid-back virtuoso jazz-rock with some blues and folk tossed in. Very noteable are Kreuzeder's presentations on sax and flute, two instruments belonging to my favourites in that kind of music. Though being by all means a very noteworthy debut and a highly enjoyable album especially on second side of this record the music seams to become a bit meandering and repetitive. Thus without his counterpart "Hand und Fuss" "Humanum Est" might appear slightly disappointing for advanced Krautrock fans after a few spins.

Nevertheless AERA can be considered as another very interesting band within the rich German progressive scene of the 70's. Moreover it has been one of those making music just for fun without any commerial concern what's demonstrated very well by the fact that their debut has been rejected by all commercial labels forcing them to publish it on their own one "Erlkönig". By the way for those wondering what the oddly sounding titles actually mean: they are some sensible nonsense partly in ancient Bavarian idiom that is even incomprehensible to most German  speakers.



  2. Thanks for sharing all this Aera stuff - had only heard the 1st and 2nd so far. Pe5rsonally I think Hanuman Est is a total classic of Embryo-like 'ethnic jazz rock' - I didn't find it meandering or repetitive after listening to it for the last 10 years or so! (Not on repeat, of course ;-) )