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4 stars Quirky German Krautrockers who are perhaps best described as a German Prog version of WAR (well... sort of). Heavy groove based jazz / fusion prog who were noted as one of the biggest influences on the OZRIC TENTACLES. "Wiederhoren" has been wonderfully re- mastered and now offers real clear and warm chops. Their style in somewhat in the GROBSCHNITT vein but imagine with a heavy twist of jazz fusion and you are probably not far off. Their music is fun and very clever with some absolutely amazing grooves. Like so many of the German greats this was recorded by the underground master Conny Plank.
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Posted Thursday, July 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Kraan's fifth studio album and not the most significant of what they can do at their best. This work is really more into a quick, light jazz rock style than into free (psychedelic) jazz. The main difficulty for my ears is that the compositions sound very dated, trying to catch the soul and the funky / disco wave of the moment. However we can't say that it is a bad album, it certainly contains less elements of improvisation and less experimentations but the band carries on very effective, dynamic jazz rock tunes, musically interesting. This album is also a more easy listening for newbies, more melodic too.
Report this review (#39258)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Definitely a heck of a lot slicker here! Again, they have the chops to pull it off, but for people who discovered them via that grungy debut album, this will come as a bit of a shock.

The high point is definitely the fast-tempo workout "Vollgas ahoi", which features some absolutely blistering bass playing from Hattler and a breathtaking Moog solo from Bischof. Likewise, the hard-core riffing on the title track is pretty damn intense, reminding me a bit of Caravan or Hatfield and the North.

Nothing here is what I'd call "bad", but in the "quirky personality" department, I find it a bit lacking. "Silky Way" is definitely a pretty guitar showcase in the style of "Lonesome Liftboy", but the too-clean production just seems a little off-putting.

So, yeah, very professional, very polished. But something's missing.

Report this review (#46383)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first of what I would call the second era.Yes things are indeed cleaner and slicker and more flowing.And that's exactly what I find more refreshing than their 4 previous albums.Easier to digest in other words,without losing their very special personality.

I remember walking home from school in the late 70ies,and passing a recordshop with about 20 albums hanging in the window.My eyes locked into the Wiederhoren cover and stopped in my tracks and looked at these guys with weird skin colours.2 with orange skin,1 with pinkishpurple and 1 with green.They looked so cool.Turned and went to the shop and bought it without knowing zero about them.Best impulse buy ever.

Just One Way is a nice breezy jazzy fusionish opener.

Vollgas Ahoi a song they always play live and it is obvious why.Upbeat instrumental with a healthy doze of spacy drive.Everybody gets room to show their stuff.

Silky Way is a nice mellow instrumental.Slow and swirly.I just imagine sitting watching the sand drift from big dunes.

Rendezvous in Blue,Instrumental with a cheery jazzy groove with great piano solo.

Let's take a Ride.Nice and funky

Rund Um Die Uhr and Yaqui Yagua, instrumentals with lots of personality.

Wiederhoren,last but not least is firy beginning with Drums and Bass soloing at the same time full tilt,with slow middle for then again to erupt into the same solos in the end.Outstanding.

Kraan is a very unique band in the same kind off sense as Van Der Graaf and Gentle Giant,but ofcourse sounds nothing like them.

This is serious kraut jazz fusion with touches off other influenses along the way to spice things up.

Have always liked that Kraan usually have one or two good instrumentals per album,but here we get 6 great quality of them.

My favorite Kraan without a doubt.And no hesitation giving it 5 *s.

Report this review (#183630)
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars KRAAN's first three albums are all classics in my opinion, and they hold a special place in my collection. Their fourth release "Let It Out" is a 4 star record but it's not as good as the first three. "Wiederhoren" was released in 1977 and it does seem more polished and lighter, it has some great moments though, but for me the magic is disappearing.

"Just One Way" opens with percussion and congas before guitar, bass, drums then vocals take over. A fairly light opening track. "Vollgas Ahoi" is my favourite song on here, it's heavier and more intense. The bass is really prominant from Hattler. Check out the guitar after 3 minutes. "Silky Way" is just like the title implies.They slow it down for this smooth track. Lots of excellent bass though. "Rendezvous In Blue" is a light, catchy tune with lots of keys. "Let's Take A Ride" is my second favourite tune on here. We get some vocals for the first time since the opening song. Some cool intricate sounds 2 minutes in, while the keys shine a minute later.

"Rund Um Die Uhr" opens with some guitar that reminds me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. Some fuzz a minute in followed by more great guitar. This is a top three for me. An impressive instrumental. "Yaqui Yagua" has an Eastern flavour early before a catchy melody takes over. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in with some great bass a minute later. That catchy melody from earlier returns to end it. Excellent. "Wiederhoren" builds to an uptempo melody. Some scorching guitar in this one. The drumming 4 1/2 minutes in is pretty intense.

A good jazzy album from a band that has made some amazing albums prior to this. A low 4 stars but one I still love to play.

Report this review (#184751)
Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 | Review Permalink

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