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Kraan - Kraan CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.02 | 117 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Featuring an eclectic sound heavily-informed by elements of avant-garde jazz, ethnic folk and psychedelic experimentation, Kraan were surely one of the most underrated of the German acts to be collected under the far-reaching 'krautrock' banner, though like many similar groups their reputation has since been deservedly re-evaluated. Released in 1972, this self-titled effort was the first of four albums - 'Andy Nogger', 'Wintrup' and 'Let It Out' being the other three - that explored a kind of ethnic rock style, though later efforts, such as the incendiary 'Kraan Live', would see the group morph considerably into much more jazz- orientated outfit. However, it is the group's fiercely-original earlier material that best exemplifies their trademark style, this debut the pick of a pretty fine bunch of albums thanks to a clutch of energetic tracks, the finely-worked 'M.C. Esher', it's exotic follow-up 'Kraan Arabia' and the lengthy, ethnic-spiced, multi-part epic 'Head' - which features a killer opening guitar riff - taking the listener on a hazy jaunt through colourful krautrock territory. The group's main man is by all accounts saxophonist Johannes Pappert, and here he is ably assisted by guitarist Peter Wolbrandt - who also provides vocals - bassist Helmut Hattler and drummer Jan Fride, each of whom are given plenty of time and space to express their considerable instrumental powers, the breathless band interplay that fills much of the eighteen-minute-long 'Head' reaching skill levels most top progressive rock groups would be proud of. Imagine a slightly more acoustic and less abrasive version of Can crossed with the organic tones of Yatha Sidhra and a strong jazz bent and you kind of get the picture, though Kraan's sonic blueprint(just like their deliberately off-key vocals) remains a pretty singular one. Heralded as a major influence on a diverse array of modern acts, a prime example being Brit psych-crusties the Ozric Tentacles, this is yet another representation of the wonderful diversity on offer during the peak years of the German underground. Inventive, interesting and exhilarating, this comes highly recommended. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 4/5 |


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