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Kraan Kraan album cover
4.03 | 133 ratings | 15 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Saras Ritt Durch Schwarzwald (6:23)
2. M.C.Escher (6:14)
3. Kraan Arabia (9:45)
4. Head (18:36)
5. Sara auf der Gansewies (2:01)

Total Time: 42:59
...Bonus tracks on EMI CD
6. Sarah's Ritt durch den Schwarzwald (Demo 1971)
7. M.C.Escher (Demo 1971)
8. Head (Demo 1971)
9. Sarah auf der Gänzwies (Demo 1971)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jan Fride / drums
- Hellmut Hattler / bass
- Johannes Pappert / Alto saxophone
- Peter Wolbrandt / guitar, vocals

Releases information

LP Intercord INT 160.605 / LP Spiegelei 28.778-9U / LP Intercord 1.35611 / CD Germanofon 941116 / CD EMI/Electrola 7243 8 22668 2 2 (2001)

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KRAAN Kraan ratings distribution

(133 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

KRAAN Kraan reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Progbear
3 stars The band are still feeling their way around on their debut disc, but for the most part they came out of the box fully-formed. Two obvious classics here: the sprightly and rhythmically quirky "Sarah's Ritt durch den Schwarzwald" (Sarah's Ride throught the Black Forest)-which does indeed have a galloping, equestrian feel about it-and the funky and intense "Kraan Arabia". Both wound up, understandably, being live favourites. On the other hand, I guess the temptation to fill a side of vinyl with a jam oriented piece proved too great for the band.

I recommend getting KRAAN LIVE before this, but this is by no means a bad album, just a little formative.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Kraan holds a special place in German rock history and they are a tough choice between Jazz-rock and Krautrock, as they might be the perfect link between those distinct styles. When I talk of Krautrock, understand Amon Duul II or Guru Guru (rather than Kraftwerk of Neu!) with a typical raw and rough power that suited those afore-mentioned groups so well but also having a slight cosmic touch when needed and unashamedly-talented grooves. Must guess that Stuttgart-based Kraan might have given a good try at the Amon Duul tribe but in a definitely more percussive, brassier and less psychedelic manner. (OK?)

Only five tracks on this debut album, and four of them leaving plenty of room for great interplay between good musician out to do interesting music for just the sake of.. music! Needless to say that the almost mandatory-of-that-era drum solo also gets its share of minutes, but some great jazzed-up jam-filled tracks that rocks you quite enough to just ask for your next dose more-of-the-same. (you following me so far?)

Kraan Arabia is more starting on a Caribbean-African beats to build subtly into Moroccan-type ambiances to a slightly more sax-led raga along a long ROCKY way taking advantage of taking all the detours they wish or see fit. (you still with me?) And one can also be slightly aware that this music as pleasant and exhilarating as it may be, is nothing that has not been done afterwards, but also maybe what was just happening around those superb early-70's that no progheads can deny loving. But you might think that by this time some of that same type of MANY groups of that era. (OK, so far?) The least we can say is that Kraan was hardly the only group doing this type of, but this is in

Of course you might guess that the almost 19 minute- centrepiece Head will trip right through your avid ears, sometimes fulfilling superbly to orgiastic peaks, but never to orgasmic heights either. (where are you? L) But they do get close at times if you are enjoying an occasional Jamaican cigarillo, and no-one around to even know you still exist because you isolated yourself from the rest of the planet you live on. Yes , they do get close to it sometimes, but I am not sure the record company's financial director was listening to the discs his record label (the legendary Spiegelei which could eventually be compared to Dawn label in the UK) was putting out. But the group probably did record one short track to tell him it was a potential hit. (you sure you are with me?)

I cannot picture this kind of record with one or two less interesting moments (lengths?) Because not every musical detour always lead to the summit or across the border, but may just you back to where you came from. (Oh!!! Over Here!! Yes).

I just bought the CD version and it has almost the same album as bonus track but in a demo state, but from the quality of the demo would also show you why these guys were signed-up and had a consequent career that almost went to the 90's. (OK, now?) But however talented they are, the utmost Kraan-partisan must be careful not to think that they are really adventurous, all that particularly groundbreaking. Just on a jam-level that a proghead loves, anyway!!!! (see when you want to? ;-) And to think this is only a debut and there are a few more to come, so much more ecstatic times ahead, that you just settle back into your armchair in the sun- drenched launchpad to paradise right next to your pool, and roll another goodie. (was that so difficult? ;-(

So whether you are into MusiC or just plain music, might just make the difference after reading these utterances. Run for it, you progheads!!! (you just got there !-)

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars How cool does this sound : music with a Krautrock flair, strong song-writing ability, instrumental virtuosity, and a degree of free-spirited jamming ??????? KRAAN are just that (and more) !!! My first encounter with Kraan was during a lunch-break where I went to a nearby 2nd-hand LP shop and heard 'Bandits In The Wood' (from 'Let It Out') and I thought it sounded quite droll (silly me), I eventually purchased 'Andy Nogger' ( which was also available but had weaker cover-art...) and discovered a wonderfully entertaining LP. KRAAN was/is an incredibly strong instrumental combo to this day, amazing bass playing being the first and foremost trait of their music. They released one of *the best* live albums in the history of music (Live '75) - full of distinctive character and fantastic playing/jamming/improvising. On this debut LP, all the pieces were in place, it even sounds almost like a 'live-in-studio' recording - Peter Wolbrandt's funky guitaring, Johannes Pappert's snakey Sax playing (with a unique sound), a tight, jazz-inflected style to Jan Fride's Drumming along with excellent conga-work and Hellmut Hattler's Rickenbacker Bass - already demonstrating he can rip it up (and down) the fretboard in seconds flat. Songs are built around creative riffs and jamming, and incorporate Middle-Eastern scales. Side 1 - 'Sarah's Ritt durch den Schwarzwald' (6.23) opens up with cosmic sounds and breaks into a rumbling riff with a rather obscure progression, some vocals (courtesy of PW) great sax play and the rhythm section simmering along nicely. 'M.C. Escher' (6.14) has some Hammond Organ (credited to Romi) and is again an energetic, groovy jam. The first section has a killer riff and some Arabic tones, especially where the sax is concerned. We get more of that with 'Kraan Arabia' (9.54) - as its title suggests, where a mysterious phrygian mode is crafted into a Krauty work-out. The Saxophone here is sheer delight. The song picks up a few minutes in for some jamming. Hellhat manages a bass-solo, and the opening pattern is returned to, this time around with congas. Side 2 is largely taken up by 'Head' (18.36) which is again jammy, no doubt lots of improvising, great riffs, heavy parts, softer parts, it does all the right moves, and I must say the final riff which slowly builds from a lagging tempo to pure adrenalin, is a real buzz. The album closes with 'Sarah auf der Ganswies' (2.01) a light and delicate piece of music (totally lost within a cloud) complete with some manipulated sax sounds. A wonderful waffle of unique sounds and top-notch musicianship - 4.5 stars, easy.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars KRAAN is led by mastermind Helmut Hattler who is one of the best bass players on the planet. In the early days they were fortunate enough to be able to live on an estate free of charge and with no conditions by one Lord Mettermich, a patron to the arts. It was formerly a stud farm and was located in the country. It was at this place that the band lived with up to 13 people, rehearsing for up to seven hours every day. There are some great pictures of the band and of this place in the liner notes. They were very much influenced by world music before they came to live in this place,having previously lived above an oriental folk club that subjected them to arabic music almost 24 hours a day on the weekends. They also listened to a lot of foriegn radio stations which is how they came to get their name when an announcer said a word that sounded like "kraan". They liked it and named themselves KRAAN. My first taste of KRAAN came when I bought their "Kraan Live" cd which is one of the best live records i've ever heard .Encouraged by Tom Ozric I started to dig deeper into this bands discography and it has been so rewarding for me. A perfect blend of Krautrock and jazz.

"Sarah's Ritt Durch Den Schwarzwald" has this spacey intro that is replaced a minute in by this fantastic melody that is led by these rumbling bass lines. Nice. Love this song. The vocals come in but they're brief. You have to hear the bass in this one ! A tasteful guitar solo 3 minutes in. A cool section a minute later as it gets dark and experimental with some sax. Then back to the previous melody with vocals 5 minutes in. Great tune. "M.C. Escher" has an incredible rhythm to it with some organ and lots of sax. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes as the drums become prominant. The bass is huge ! Some killer organ and sax 3 minutes in. Back to original melody 4 1/2 minutes in. Sax solo to follow. Excellent tune. "Kraan Arabia" is a great title. Percussion to open with congas joining in. Sax follows as the arabic mood has been set. Bass comes in throbbing. Guitar and drums arrive as they just seem to jam after 5 minutes. Some laughing and carrying on after 7 minutes as bass continues. Percussion 8 1/2 minutes in brings back that arabic flavour. "Head" is an 18 1/2 minute track that took up most of the second side of the original album. This sounds so good as vocals join in around a minute as the sound becomes fuller. Cool guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. Some fantastic drumming in this one, especially 4 1/2 minutes in. A calm 8 minutes in is one of my favourite parts. Check out the guitar solo before 11 1/2 minutes that goes on and on as organ and sax come and go. Nice. The bass continues to be ground shaking by the way. Sax takes over 13 1/2 minutes in. Drums and bass start to build after 15 1/2 minutes as sax continues. The tempo picks up to a big climax to end it. "Sarah Auf Der Gansewies" is the 2 minute closing track. Gentle guitar and sax create beauty. Some deep bass lines and sax conclude this song and album.

As a bonus they add 4 tracks that were the actual demos that they had sent to the record label that signed them. It's all the songs that would end up on this studio album except for "Kraan Arabia". They sound excellent by the way and differ little from what ended up on this record. This is highly recommended to Krautrock fans.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars KRAAN's beginnings date back in 1967 in Ulm with the meeting of teenagers Peter Wolbrandt,Helmut Hattler,Johannes Pappert and Jan Friede.The four young guys started jamming in a Free Jazz form,before getting serious about music and move to the small town of Wintrup.There is when they adapt the name KRAAN around 1970 and devote themselves to the success of their band.1972 sees the release of their debut self-titled LP on Spiegelei (the same album succeeded several re-issues in the future).

From the very first notes you will realize that you have to do with a hell of a talented band here! The first couple of songs is a haunting and rich mix of deep bass,strong drumming, very complex guitars,some light organ sounds and melodic saxes,which works extremely well.Classic Rock meets Psych meets Jazz Rock!''Kraan Arabia'' is even more attractive:here the track is built around furious Arabic tones through Pappert's sax and you should notice the fantastic rhythm section with great pounding bass by Hattler and energetic drumming by Friede.The style of the previous songs returns on the long ''Head'',a 18-min. Psych-Jazz paradise with a very spacey atmosphere at moments.Here a distinctive drum/bass duo and some light organ sounds support the magnificent work of Wolbrandt,who's style alternates between jazzy chords and rockier solos, and the unique sax parts of Pappert,which maintain a smooth Arabic feeling.Not that experimental but certainly an intricate piece of music.The album closes with a short psych 2-min. track,featuring every instrument in its smoothest sound,definitely a good way to close such a dynamic work.

The EMI re-issue on CD features also four out of the five compositions in their demo version,mainly with shorter running time,which have a historical importance,as with these tracks KRAAN achieved to gain their first contract,along with a short story about the band from the very beginning to the release of their first album.At the end I find myself surprised with this original blending of Rock,Psych,Jazz and Ethnic music by KRAAN and ,though I'm not a devoted fan of the German Kraut-Jazz scene,I can only recommend this album highly to every serious music fan out there.A great release indeed which deserves 4 stars!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Like most people I wasn't born with a taste for Kraut-rock. Even if you have the correct disposition to get into this often weird and rough kind of music, it remains a taste you need to acquire over years of listening. This catchy and engaging debut from Kraan could be a great place to start for that.

Listed under jazz-rock/fusion, the tag could as easily have been Canterbury or Kraut. Certainly this debut has the raw and unpolished feel of Kraut, with lots of jazz-rock à la Soft Machine and similar quirky vocals. In fact those vocals might be the hardest part to get into. In true Kraut fashion they are blunt, rough and rather non-melodious, at least when compared to symphonic Prog. But the vocals never dominate here, taking a spot in the background of the sound and gradually growing on the listener.

The songs are both grinding and melodic, offering plenty of catchy melodies to hang on to and with a firm grip on both rock and jazz. The first two tracks are classics, with chugging electric guitar strumming and excellent riffs, rough saxes, insane vocals and lots of sound effects. Kraan could easily please fans of early Hawkwind as well as Gong or even Caravan. Provided you can handle the non-melodic 'punk' vocals.

A personal favorite is the Middle Eastern tinged Kraan Arabia. The lengthy Head is the wildest and most experimental piece and it's quite similar to Can on their debut album with Malcolm Mooney. The quiet Sarah Auf Der Gansewies ends the album gracefully. The latest CD issue has a couple of interesting alternate takes of the main songs.

The Kraan debut is a rather late discovery for me but it has quickly risen to the top of my playlist. I'm eagerly awaiting the postman for the remaining missing links in my Kraan discography before I'll be able to claim this as the best Kraan album. Till further notice, this sure warrants a place in the top 7% of my ratings. A solid album and a mandatory listen in the Kraut field.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars Cod English and poor singing can't detract from this very well played introductory album. Kraan, or 'Faucet' in Dutch, were probably Germany's foremost Jazz Fusion band in the 70's who were influenced by Pharoah Sanders and Zappa. However 'Kraan's' music was more structured and tight.

The opener is a brilliant tune summing up everything that's Krautrock in it's six minutes. Everything goes along nicely until the 18 minute jam in the form of track four - 'Head' which is really pretty crap, just sounding like the studio jam that it is. I do admit a certain fondness for drum flangers but this can't make up for the dire singing with lyrics that sound as though they were made up on the spot. Very ugly.

The bonus demos at the end are a complete waste of time, detracting rather than enhancing this cd release. They're basically the same tunes that you've just heard but with far poorer sound quality.

Review by stefro
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
Review by Warthur
4 stars Kraan's debut album features a style of psychedelic jams reminiscent of Amon Duul II's early work with less frenetic vocals, a more studied and deliberate tone, and substantially more influence from jazz, hard rock and blues rock, with a sprinkling of world music influences to round out the sound (particularly on the likes of Kraan Arabia and Head). The end result is an album which will please fans of a wide range of different 1970s prog undercurrents, as well as one which may have broader appeal to fans of the rock scene of the era. Peter Wolbrandt's vocals add little and the album would have probably worked better as an all-instrumental affair, but aside from that it's a solid prog release.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars KRAAN was a product of four high school kids from Ulm, Germany getting together to share their love of free jazz jams in the vein of Pharaoh Sanders and early Frank Zappa's fusion era. They began playing casually all the way back in 1967 but the emergence of the Krautrock scene ushered in by pioneers such as Amon Duul and the second band of the same name gave them the drive to take their musical passions and develop into more refined musical expressions. The quartet officially formed in 1970 Berlin with the initial moniker Firma KRAAN but changed their name before their very first live gig. Taking a cue from the communes of such musical collectives as Amon Duul, KRAAN (created as a nonsensical name that actually means 'faucet' in Dutch) left the city and moved to the small town of Wintrup to set up their very own musician's commune collective, only this one was limited to the four members: Peter Wolbrandt (guitar, vocals), Hellmut Hattler (bass), Johannes Pappert (alto sax) and Jan Fride on drums and percussion.

By avoiding the drudgery of the daily gerbil wheel grind of having to work every day, the members spent a year forging their new craft and emerged with their highly influential eponymously titled debut album that was released in 1972 to critical acclaim. Despite all the musical development, the album was actually recorded in a three day recording and mixing session in Munich. Taking a cue from not only the jazz influences of 60s avant-garde heroes, this debut album is also steeped in lysergic 60s psychedelia as well as early 70s heavy progressive rock with a Led Zeppelin type of gusto seasoned with symphonic prog style time signature workouts and orchestrated ambience. Like almost all of the diverse bands that existed in the Krautrock continuum, KRAAN displays an album's worth of psychedelic ethereal jamming sessions that flex their musical muscle with one track "Head" swallowing up half of the album's run at an 18 minute and 36 second playing time.

The opening track "Sarah's Ritt Durch Den Schwarzwald" is a basic summary of all the elements that made the band. Electronic hypnosis inducing electronica, heavy time signature rich guitar riffs, groovy Amon Duul II inspired bass lines and Arab influenced percussive fortifications around the steady more traditional rock drumming styles. All of which convene to make a veritably brilliant Krautrock listening experience. It also displays one of the weaknesses of the overall KRAAN sound and that is the weak vocal abilities of Peter Wolbrandt. Luckily most of the album's run is instrumental but i have to admit that a more refined vocalist could have allowed the music to flow into higher dimensions. Second track "M.C. Escher" focuses more on the jazz-fusion elements which allows Johannes Pappert's alto sax runs to take the lead and steer the musical development although the session keyboard contributions of Rumi offer a veritable 60s psychedelic experience.

Third track "Kraan Arabia" shows a convergent evolutionary path with fellow Krautrockers Agitation Free with Middle Eastern influences dominating the soundscape in the form of frenetic percussive conga attacks that provide a strong rhythmic backdrop to the somewhat funkified bass lines that portend the future development of the band on future releases. The rest of the band however exists on separate planes of reality in the beginning with slow and sultry sax lines, heavy rock inspired guitar riffs that gradually succumb to the gravitational force of the dominate Arab inspired theme with only the funky bass lines finding untethered independence which more often than not captures the guitar like a dependent satellite as the sax sounds more like trip to the Casbah during a salamiyyah flute performance. The track also exhibits KRAAN as one of the more energized outfits in the Krautrock movement with emphasis placed on tight rowdy compositions that tamp down the ethereal psychedelic aspects.

The second side of the original vinyl LP was almost completely consumed by the almost nineteen minute track "Head" followed by a deescalating mellow closer in the form of "Sara Auf Der Gansewies" (of which the last word seems to not exist in any German dictionaries i can find.) "Head" as the title connotes is the more surreal and "heady" track that connects the band more to the trippy side of the Krautrock scene however even in the beginning it's clear that this is at no expense of the progressive rock oriented workouts with guitar and bass runs riddled with time signature deviations accompanied by galloping fast tempos and rock oriented tones and timbres. As with many behemoth tracks of the prog universe, "Head" consists of many suites and passages with moods transmogrifying into another with no looking back. While the track begins as a vocal oriented rocker sounding typical of an early 70s psych turned band introspection, it slowly wends and winds into more experimental instrumental territory with guitars becoming more freaky, percussion becoming more energetic and an extended free form jam into infinity. This is a track filled with both technical prowess as well as dreamy detachment but overall the heavy rock aspects never stray far. Rumi's keys makes a significant psychedelic reprise.

Right from the start, KRAAN emerged as one of the more popular representations of Germany's unique strand of progressive rock and were known for creating exuberantly brilliant live performances much in the vein of fellow countrymen Embryo whose emphasis on tight instrumental interplay and sophisticated compositions with elements of contemporary popular rock struck the right chord with the public. The debut album by KRAAN is probably the best example of their career for perfectly stratifying the many layers of musical elements that went into their overall sound. Like many of the prog acts of the day, despite critical acclaim, their talents didn't exactly result in instant financial success and the band would tamp down their ambitiousness in favor of a slightly more accessible sound that ramped up the funk groove aspects as heard starting on their second album "Wintrup." While not the most surreal of the Krautrock lot, KRAAN still managed to create an alternative musical reality despite not sacrificing their technical musical chops. Album number one is definitely the starting point to explore the band's sound in order to ascertain a clear context of their ensuing releases.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Kraan were a complete strange band for me until a month ago. As a present, my wife went into a local record shop and found this for me along with Power And The Passion from Eloy. The later is a great album, but the former is just magical and fantastic. Being a newbee in this jazz rock styles, I f ... (read more)

Report this review (#307949) | Posted by migue091 | Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Kraan - Between Krautrock and Jazz Rock Kraan's debut album is based on the experimental Krautrock. There are improvisational parts with weird leads but also nice melodies. The most defining band member, however, is the bass player playing funky parts with great feeling. He was definetaly one o ... (read more)

Report this review (#278533) | Posted by Priamus | Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have never given a record a five star rating before. This record stands at the top of my 'top ten' kraut rock favourites and since I discovered this album, some six years ago, I return to it regularly. Kraan's debut is one record that I always listen to from start to finish, every time. I love ... (read more)

Report this review (#205617) | Posted by enemene | Saturday, March 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Amazing debut of Kraan. Quintessence of Krautrock. Adventurous, Complex, experimental (not boring), a long and mysterious trip trhou west/east, with an delicious arabian flavour around the album. Excelent. Five stars and a true classic. ... (read more)

Report this review (#66267) | Posted by | Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The debut album by KRAAN is as good as any and all of their later efforts. Smooth flowing jazz/krautrock/fusion is the sound established on this release that continues throughout all of the KRAAN lp's. Much of this one has a distinctive percussion sound that is almost latin! Check the cut KRAAN ... (read more)

Report this review (#31861) | Posted by | Thursday, December 9, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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