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§25 MedienG: E. C. Fuchs, Leeuwarden

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Press review - Radioindy - Ode To Brother Horn

Pressespiegel press review :: Tony - concreteweb.be

Band : Eloah
Album title : Ode To Brother Horn
Label : House Of Audio
Distributor : / - TSL/ SLW Promotion Agency
Release date : August 2008
Release : CD

My oh my! The things one learns when browsing for info on some musicians on the Internet! You know, I was always taught that the Jewish word for God was “Jahweh”, and here I learn that the Hebrew word for God is actually...you might've guessed it?...”Eloah”!

Well, it is also the name taken by Austrian graphic artist (sorry I didn't check out on that part of his occupations more, but as always time was pressing when I was checking the Internet for the additional info) Elmar C. Fuchs for his “solo” musical escapades, adventures in which he was aided since 1993 by a veritable flock of contributing musicians, the most important of which being Fuchs' friend and soulmate Jörg Horner...the two able to feed upon each other for inspiration, as well as from neo-classical music, New Age music, and Progressive Rock, while jamming for hours on end. More importantly, “Brother Horn” taught his friend how to let go in the music, how to let the music flow and become a part of yourself! In fact, Eloah's 2002 & 2004 albums Mondstein and Mondstein 2- Ample Jazz are recordings (with Horner also singing) of just such jam sessions (before that, Fuchs had already recorded two other albums, a 1995 album about which I know nothing more that that it exists and was dedicated to Horner, and a 1998 album entitled Just Blood – to which Horner did not participate).

2004 was an important year for Fuchs. Not only did he release his new studio album The End Of Wisdom – A Musictale...but also his friend Jörg died. But in Fuchs' mind his spirit lives on, continues to inspire and influence his in his musical endeavours. Although most of the 2006 album A Matter Of Time was dedicated to Fuchs' life partner Astrid, the last two songs on the alum were dedicated to Horner. In 2007 Eloah released two albums, the two-part Sternenhafte (relating the Sternenfrau trilogy, inspired by Astrid), and the album Silicon Rhythm, dedicated again to Horner.

Thanks to the encouragement of several musicians involved in the eventual recordings of the Ode To Brother Horn album, Fuchs eventually dared to take on the re-recording of his very first and “lost” album. Now Fuchs himself admits the music was altered somewhat in some places from the original creations, but of course, not having the original recordings at hand, it would be hard for most of us to make out what those changes are. Therefore it's better concentrate on what's at hand, right? Well, the album opens and ends with parts 1 and 2 of “Yuri Soul Of Light”, which in character (somewhat dark and threatening Ambient synth sounds, elevating flute, acoustic guitar, non-typical percussion) are best categorised in the New Age genre. Spoken word vocals in the native language of one Thipphaya Cherdhirankorn (whom I guess to be Indonesian by origin) further enhance that feeling. In between what you get is mostly '70s-styled Acoustic Progressive Rock, although some electric guitar is played here and there as well. In the album's opening song (do not confuse for “opening track”) “Paradise Lost”, this comes in the form of a very Pink Floydian passage, in “Iron Lady” (once you get past the acoustic intro) the occurrence of the electric guitar makes for a very heavy track throughout (and as such stands out from the rest of the material on the album – luckily there's also more Progressive Rock tinted passages in this, the album's longest track), and then you get some additional electric guitar passages in the instrumental “Hymn To Brother Horn”, and in “Listen To Your Soul” and “Eyes Like A Lioness”. Deviating from the aforementioned is the instrumental piano ballad “Eloah (A Dirge For Brother Horn)” (if this isn't a completely new composition, it certainly was not the original title). With Fuchs being responsible for lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, flutes and synths, a major role in the album was performed by bassist Michael Lukas (whom also plays guitar on 3 songs) and drummer Vladimir Vesic (present on 10 of the 14 tracks on the album). Guesting roles were laid aside for electric guitarists Peter Jaklitsch (on 2 songs), Roman Bayer (on one song only), Ulrich Kaispel (2 songs) and Mannfred Kemmel (also 2 tracks). Taking over bass duties on 3 songs (not even corresponding with those Lukas handles a guitar on) is Hoimar Wotawa, and one Dominik Mittergradnegger brings additional moods to a couple of songs, with violin in the instrumental “Hymn To Brother Horn”, and alto sax to “Listen To Your Soul” and “What You Mean To Me”. Eventually, one Astrid H. Paulitsch (aha...could this be Fuchs' life partner) adds a chants passages of the title in the weirdly titled “Chjong Nadah Boo”.

As a whole, the album lasts almost 72 minutes, and where Fuchs' lead vocals are not always as accent-free as one might wish for, the musical context in which they're brought makes up a lot in the final evaluation of the album. In other words...I hope Fuchs is ready to start work on a new album soon enough, because I want to hear more music composed by this guy. And with this album actually dating back to 2008, I'd say it would be just about time, eh? Now...for you, dear reader, to get a whiff of this man's music, you might check out the 3 tracks he's posted in the music player at (www.) myspace.com/eloahmusic, but keep in mind none of those are from this album. However, when you scroll down that same page, you'll find three additional music players posted with material (might be only samples – I neglected to check) off 3 of his most recent albums. Piece of advice? When checking out that music, allow yourself to be at ease with yourself and the world around you, switch your mind to emptiness, and enjoy what next befalls you!

92/100