3.5 out of 5 Stars!
This rather inventive German group popped onto the scene back in 1972, and for a decade, released a series of seven above-average albums that incorporated highly rhythmic, even funky, Jazz-inspired Prog-Rock with the experimental Krautrock sounds of the era, making for some generally high-energy material.
Take Let It Out (the band’s fourth album) for example. Here, the title track, plus tunes such as “Bandits in the Woods,” “Picnic International,” “Luftpost,” “Prima Kilma,” and the truly strange “Die Maschine,” seem a quasi-merging between groups such as Passport, Return To Forever, Amon Düül II, Frank Zappa, and Hatfield and the North.
Although the band returned in the ’90s after an eight-year absence and released several additional albums, then again released even more material in the new century, Kraan’s early work, such as the more adventurous musical escapades found on Let It Out—even though this is probably not even Kraan’s best album during the first half of the ’70s—still remains special simply since, in those days, few bands played this type of material. Fun stuff!
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4 out of 5 Stars!
A wildly terrific German band that started in the ’70s and released a slew of funky, skillful, and adventurous Jazz-inspired Prog-Rock albums in its first decade of existence. Indeed, some of the band’s material reminds me of the Canterbury Prog-Rock scene in Britain…only sinfully manic, and on some damned-good acid.
Any of the group’s ’70s albums—including Wiederhören, the band’s fifth release—are highly recommended for lovers of the genres of Progressive Rock, Krautrock, Jazz-Fusion or Jazz-Rock. Seriously, the musicianship on display here (from the guitars and keys, to the sax, to the rhythm section) is unequivocally awesome…especially jaw-dropping on the tracks “Vollgas Ahoi,” “Let’s Take a Ride,” “Rund um die Uhr,” and “Rendezvous in Blue.”
The only area where Kraan “lacked” as a group (and where I lowered the rating by half a star) was in the vocal department, but since much of the band’s material is instrumental, and the vocals are “passable” overall, they are hardly a huge deterrent when it comes to savoring the outstanding musicianship and creativity on display.
And please hold the nasty comments and hate mail regarding my age, since I already know I’m going to sound like an “old fogey” by saying the following: “Today’s newfangled whippersnapper bands just don’t make music like this anymore…” 🙂
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