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KRAAN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Germany


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Kraan biography
Next to EMBRYO, KRAAN are among those German groups who include psychedelic, sometimes ethnic elements to their distinctive, innovative jazz rock. At the beginning of their career, started in 1970, KRAAN free form jazz rock was really into jam sessions, totally improvised, mainly instrumental (featuring sax sections and many guitar / bass solos). Their self title album was experimented with ethnic, psychedelic / acid tastes and discreet electronic manipulations. Since their debut album and with their two following "Wintrup", "Andy Nogger" the band has demonstrated with interest, dynamism and humour how can we make fusion / jazz with addition of influences from everywhere. Really imaginative, inspired and technical these albums provide something new and amazing: an absolute trippy ethnic jazz rock. This particular facet of the KRAAN music culminates with their masterwork "Live" (1975). After this outstanding release the band's career falls into various forms of jazz rock style, relatively progressive but not as stimulating as their previous efforts.

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE

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LiveLive
Import
Inter 2000
Audio CD$5.34
$7.85 (used)
DiamondsDiamonds
36Music (Broken Silence) 2014
Audio CD$17.00
$14.41 (used)
Classic AlbumsClassic Albums
Import
EMI International 2011
Audio CD$9.55
$9.98 (used)
Let It OutLet It Out
Import
EMI International 2001
Audio CD$5.16
$4.50 (used)
KraanKraan
Import
Inter 2009
Audio CD$6.12
$5.17 (used)
Andy NoggerAndy Nogger
Import
EMI 2001
Audio CD$4.61
$6.96 (used)
WintrupWintrup
Import
EMI 2001
Audio CD$182.67
$8.18 (used)
WiederhorenWiederhoren
Revisited Records 2005
Audio CD$27.98
Psychedelic ManPsychedelic Man
Import
EMI International 2007
Audio CD$15.35
$13.54 (used)
Dancing in the ShadeDancing in the Shade
Remastered
Revisited Records 2006
Audio CD$20.31
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KRAAN shows & tickets


  • Finkenbach Festival 2014 on 15 Aug 2014

KRAAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KRAAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 75 ratings
Kraan
1972
3.74 | 53 ratings
Wintrup
1972
3.84 | 65 ratings
Andy Nogger
1974
3.83 | 49 ratings
Let it Out
1975
3.65 | 34 ratings
Wiederhören
1977
2.87 | 24 ratings
Flyday
1979
3.56 | 14 ratings
Nachtfahrt
1982
1.80 | 5 ratings
X
1983
3.00 | 14 ratings
Dancing In The Shade
1989
3.40 | 6 ratings
Soul Of Stone
1991
3.69 | 4 ratings
Berliner Ring
2001
3.81 | 9 ratings
Through
2003
3.71 | 16 ratings
Psychedelic Man
2007
2.92 | 7 ratings
Diamonds
2010

KRAAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 50 ratings
Kraan Live
1975
3.93 | 6 ratings
Live '75
1975
3.86 | 10 ratings
Tournee
1980
3.90 | 12 ratings
Kraan - Live 88
1988
2.83 | 3 ratings
Live in Copenhagen '79
1999
3.87 | 12 ratings
Kraan Live 2001
2001

KRAAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KRAAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Starportrait: The Best of Kraan
1977
4.92 | 3 ratings
2 Schallplatten
1983
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Famous Years compiled
1998

KRAAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

KRAAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nachtfahrt by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.56 | 14 ratings

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Nachtfahrt
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

3 stars 1982's Nachtfahrt ("Night Drive") was Kraan's first major step into their 80s sound. Their core style turned out to be a good fit for 80s technology and popular musical modes - on their albums from this period, they were able to both develop and improve their basic style, as well as experiment with new styles with a confident flair and good taste.

This album is a well rounded one, with lots of different flavors to keep things interesting. One of Kraan's calling cards, the jazzy bass-driven instrumental, is well represented here with three of the album's best tracks: the strong opening number "Wintruper Echo", propelled into the atmosphere by an irresistible echoplexed trebly bass riff, a fast tempo, and heavenly guitars; the jazz/fusion "Nachtfahrt", one of the album's few "repeats" of their late 70s sound employed on albums like Flyday; and the closing "Luna Park", a slower, more atmospheric instrumental that seems to combine the virtues of the two others into a feel-good nightcap.

The album's more experimental side is the one that gets the most grief from fans, but I think they work very well. "Faust 2000", the second track, sounds like some 80s pop tune I can't quite place, and it's in-your-face with pounding electronic drums, minimalistic half-shouted vocals, and a robotic, monotonous feel that's the antithesis of everything we usually think of bands like Kraan. But it's good! Jarring, perhaps, but bold and undeniably catchy. The title seems to acknowledge that this could be a pastiche of some imagined future for their fellow countrymen Faust - little did they know they would live to see this future! The other experimental track, "Viel Zu Heis", is another winner, this time exploring the realm of "dub" - an offshoot of reggae wherein the main performance is done at the mixing desk, remixing and adding effects to instruments in what would otherwise be a basic studio reggae jam. It's a strange one, but by golly it works.

The crowning jewel of this album is quite possibly the third track, "Elfenbein", a sophisticated and multi-layered song that features several contrasting melodies, moods, and shadings in the arrangement - almost a mini-epic at just five minutes long. Beautiful vocals, too, and very unlike any other Kraan track I've heard. I bet they spent a long time working on this one, it shows, and it pays off. A more guilty pleasure can be had in the unapologetic hard rock of the self-referential "Playing for You". Loud power chords, thundering drums, and a lyric that just expresses the joy of what they're doing, it's infectious and totally catchy. Love this track.

The remaining two tracks are unfortunately mediocre, to put it kindly. "Normal" and "Paper Stars" are very basic, uninteresting pop rockers - the former shows some promise with the main bass riff, but it fails to do much else for the rest of the song; even the lyric mainly repeats the phrase "Ich bin normal" in a voice that sounds like it can't wait to move on to the next song. "Paper Stars" is a bit more lively, but its melody is fairly trivial and uninteresting as well - when your only memorable element is a boring vocal hook ("way-ohhh!" in the chorus), the song has little chance of holding my interest.

Overall I'll give this a strong 3 - if you skip tracks 7 and 8, it might be worth a 4. If you despise 80s production, keep it at a 3. But even if you do, there's enough "classic" sound here to warrant a listen - if only to the three instrumentals plus "Elfenbein".

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 Dancing In The Shade by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.00 | 14 ratings

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Dancing In The Shade
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

3 stars This 1989 album continues Kraan's chosen path they traveled during the 1980s, and like their other albums of the period, it bears the sound of the era it was made. For a lot of bands, the transition from the values of the 1970s to the 1980s was a difficult one, with the band either changing their style completely, or sticking to their guns and failing. However, with Kraan, I've always gotten the impression they were quite comfortable in their new 80s shoes. Their sound is different from the 70s albums, but their core style seems to be a more natural fit for 80s stylings. They've always been relaxed and not afraid to have fun - I've always liked how they're always smiling in their band photos. Despite a couple of awkward tracks, this album is pretty rock-solid, typical off their albums of the period but taking some chances with the current-day technology as well, resulting in some successful steps forward.

"Rockets", the opening song, is a total triumph and one of their best ever songs. Anthemic, raging space rock worthy of Hawkwind, jammed with melodic hooks and an unforgettable lyric (Come into my arms / Let the rockets fly / Together we die) - this would make a great opening track for any album, and even sounds like it could have done well as a single. "Good Enough" is a decent midtempo rocker with a solid melody - if the album were full of these it would get pretty dull fast, but as a come- down from the heights of "Rockets", it does its job (it's "good enough"). A pair of nifty instrumentals follow - "Egyptian Cha Cha" brings in Kraan's ongoing interest in MIddle Eastern melodies, sounding a bit like what Secret Chiefs 3 might have sounded like in the 80s. Standout track "Polarity" feels like a new chapter in a long line of memorable melllow-yet-dramatic instrumental numbers this band seems to put out effortlessly (Ausflug, Luna Park, Silky Way, etc), and it stands up well next to any of them. And then we get the title track, a lovely and romantic little reggae number that sounds like it was rescued from an early Sting record. Prog fans may be scared off by this, but to me it underscores why Kraan is such a fine band - they couldn't really suck if they tried! The front half of the album concludes with another groovy and smooth jazzy instrumental called "Banana Moon" that continues the beachy vibe of the prior track. It throws in a few odd scales to keep you off balance, but this is easy listening that gives you something to ponder.

The album's second half isn't quite so impressive as the first. "Is This the Way" is the main culprit I had in mind in the first paragraph when I referred to "awkward tracks" . It has a brisk, mechanical dance beat and a melody that fails to inspire me like the other pop songs thus far have. Then we have "Middle East Beat", an instrumental that's a bit too similar to "Egyptian Cha Cha" to warrant too much interest. Things get outright strange with the innocuously titled "One Day", a mostly synthesized (with horns joining in the mayhem eventually) chanted number that is unlike anything they'd done to this point. This tune certainly wins some weirdo points, not a bad thing to keep us on our toes like that, but it feels like an experiment that doesn't have enough meat on it to qualify as a great song, though it is cool and interesting while it lasts.

The CD edition contains a couple of additional tracks not on the original LP, plus three alternate versions/demos. "Kraan Mooloo" is basically "Polarity Part 2", but Kraan does this kind of number so well it's a welcome re-entry. Then there is "Soldier Drums", a fine slice of 80s art pop/rock. I could see someone like Tony Carey having done this on one of his concept albums. Dense and pithy, but quite electronic and 80s sounding. The CD concludes with demo versions of "Dancing in the Shade", "Good Enough", and "Polarity". These all sound similar to their finished versions, lacking only the smaller details that made it to the final mixes.

If you like Kraan's late 70s to early 80s efforts like "Weiderhoren", "Flyday", and "Nachtfahrt" (coincidentally, my three favorites in their catalog), you're pretty likely to enjoy this. If all you know is their first few early to mid 70s albums, this album may rub you the wrong way at first, but I'm fairly confident you'd agree that even with the 80s sound, this album has way more hits than misses.

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 Kraan by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.07 | 75 ratings

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Kraan
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Wintrup  by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.74 | 53 ratings

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Wintrup
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Kraan soon became famous for their inventive style of playing and in 1972 their were voted as the best newcomer group in Germany.Six months after the recordings of ''Kraan'', around the fall of 72', they reentered the Studio 70 in Munich to prepare their second album.Under the title ''Wintrup'', this would see the light the following year again on the Spiegelei label.

The challenging sound of Kraut/Jazz Rock with evident Ethnic hints is still present and, while a bit more vocal-oriented, this work follows the lines of the debut with some great structured parts as well as more loose and freestyle parts, based on a jamming mood.Instead of delivering self-indulgent sax manipulations, Pappert show his tremendous talent in the album, using the sax either for producing ethnic tunes of an Arabian taste, a bit close to AREA's style, or collaborating with the rest of the band in nice and heavy interplays.The psychedelic influences are still apparent in the guitar moves of Wolbrandt and most of the tracks are characterized by massive, energetic grooves, sudden, intricate breaks and impressive, loosy solos.Gone are the more spacey passages of ''Kraan'' and the band replaced them with some more pleasant parts of a funky approach, mixed with the powerful jazzy flavor of their proposed Progressive Rock.The later tracks of the album show a turn towards more Heavy/Kraut/Psych Rock realms with scratching guitars, dominant vocals and rhythmic parts and limited sax workouts.

Setting ''Wintrup'' next to ''Kraan'', this one looses the battle just by an inch.Very good Heavy/Kraut/Jazz Rock, featuring one of the more inspired sax performances ever to be presented in a Prog album.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Let it Out  by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.83 | 49 ratings

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Let it Out
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars Let It Out appeared when the German Fusion band was at the top of their popularity. Some line-up changes occurred during the process (keyboard player Ingo Bischof from KARTHAGO was added, and saxophonist Johannes Pappert left before finishing the album; he formed his own Fusion band ALTO). After the producer Conny Plank's suggestion, the recording was made in the country house where the band used to practise.

Near-instrumentals 'Degado' and 'Heimweh nach Übersee' feature some vocalising, as well as the Kraftwerkian, experimental 'Der Maschine'. There's only two songs with proper vocals. The deliciously funky 'Bandits in the Wood' is about paranoia. I enjoy especially Bischof's airy keyboards in it, but the stressed singing is rather bad. Good humoured instrumentals such as 'Luftpost' and 'Prima Klima' seem to mix CAMEL-like flexible melodies, the virtuosity of American Fusion (Return To Forever) and the lightly funky groove of STEELY DAN. An interesting and happy natured album by one of Germany's too forgotten jazzy prog bands that I should get some more. 3½ stars.

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 Andy Nogger  by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.84 | 65 ratings

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Andy Nogger
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars This is the best known album from this German band and also a fan favourite. There are some differences here compared to the band's first two albums. The main difference is, unlike the first two self-produced albums, this was produced by legendary producer/engineer Conny Plank who would continue to work with Kraan in the future. Another difference is that they get more accessible and song-oriented here, whereas the first album was very Krautrock sounding and improvisational and the second somewhere in between the two. Andy Nogger is also the last album with the original four piece line-up; the next album will add a keyboardist. There are vocals here in English, but it is still the actual music that grabs your attention. This is jazz and funk influenced rock music with great bass work from Helmut Hattler, with the saxophone being altered and modified; sometimes it sounds a keyboard.

"Stars" is some jazzy funk rock which features some Middle-Eastern inspired guitar lines. Also a bluesy guitar solo. The title track is the highlight of the album...prog-funk at its finest. This features a great memorable guitar riff and a melody on modified saxophone to die for. The rhythm section is as tight as tight can get. The only drawback may be the vocals - they are delivered in a weird way (as if the singer was intoxicated) that doesn't really add to the song. Would probably make a better instrumental, but it's still a great song anyway. "Nam Nam" is another standout track. Beginning as a smooth jazzy laid-back rock song, it picks up the pace later. Lots of room for the members to jam and solo. Great instrumental.

"Son Of The Sun" is a strong vocal song. Hattler's bass work is great here. The drumming stands out as well. Spacey sound effects at the end. "Holiday am Marterhorn" is a live favourite. Great melodic guitar and bass lines in this track. The melodies the saxophone plays are great as well. The interplay between the instruments is very well done. In concert this track gave the group lots of room to jam and improvise. You get a hint of all that on the studio version. Another standout instrumental.

"Home" starts out both spacey and jazzy. Goes into a groove as the vocals arrive. Lots of spacey effects here. I love the basslines in "Yellow Bamboo." The melody on saxophone is superb. Gets looser for awhile with some Middle-Eastern inspired sax playing. More studio altered sounds towards the end. A solid studio album (thanks to Mr. Plank) but like King Crimson and Magma, Kraan are at their best in a live setting. If you like your prog with some funkiness to it, give this a try. 4 stars.

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 Diamonds by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.92 | 7 ratings

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Diamonds
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is KRAAN's latest called "Diamonds" released in 2010. I had high hopes for this one after being completely taken by their previous two records called "Through" and "Psychedelic Man" respectively. Both have a sound that is so different from their seventies days but I love them both. Well that sound is still here even though they're down to a trio as the keyboardist Ingo Bischof has left. The one problem is that they have implimented some dance beats to their music. Not a lot fortunately but enough to feel embarrased a couple of times when customers were in the store as I thought to myself "My store ain't no stinkin' disco !" Oh well there's not a lot but this is a definite step down from the previous two albums hence the 3 star rating.

Gotta love the cover art though as we see someone on the street painting on a canvas and the result is the album cover from "The Psychedelic Man". "Akua" is laid back and relaxing. It's barely mid-paced with a beat and more. "Diamonds" is funky with vocals although it changes each time on the chorus to an uplifting mood. I like it. "Marienbad" has a rich sound and a solid beat in this laid back song. Beautiful stuff. "The Schuh" is uptempo with vocals and I like the bass after 4 minutes. "Neu-Rosenheim Suite" is another mid-paced rich sounding instrumental.

"Ring My Bell" has a heavy beat as the bass kicks in with whispered vocals. He then sings as themes are repeated. Prominant guitar comes and goes. "Soul" is my favourite. A nice heavy rhythm kicks in and this sounds so good. "Club 20" kicks in with a beat. I like this. Melancholic guitar comes and goes. Some great sounding bass after 2 1/2 minutes then a dance beat. Yikes ! "Ab Nach Kaspel" is all about the dance beats. No thanks. "Am Hafen" is a nice relaxed tune. "Zoe's Zoo" ends it and I love the tone of the guitar. It's almost spacey 3 minutes in then the guitar with a beat returns. Great way to end the album.

Lots to like but some misses too.

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 Let it Out  by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.83 | 49 ratings

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Let it Out
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

5 stars I like a lot of progressive music, but Kraan is the group I listen to the most--primarily because they have music that suits each type of mood. If I want experimental, I listen to their first album. If I want music to turn up loud and swill beers to, I'll turn on Wintrup or Andy Nogger. If I want fusion, they have many prime examples. If I want contemplative, watered down (not a negative for me) rock with hints of jazz I'll turn on Flyday of Through.

Let it Out isn't their best album, but it encapsulates the spirit Kraan's history. The songs are rollicking (Bandits in the Woods, Let it Out), jazzy (Luftpost, Prima Clima), experimental (Die Maschine) and watered down (Degado, Picnic International), making for an uneven album.

Still, this album is a hell of a lot of fun, and the last in their discography where Kraan seems to really "Let it Out".

That's why I like Kraan the most over the other prog groups in my collection. They obviously have fun playing whatever material is in front of them, and I find so much prog is buoyed by bombast and technicality and surreal imagery the fun gets sucked out.

An album filled with spirit that embodies the past, present, and future of this great German kollektiv.

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 Kraan by KRAAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.07 | 75 ratings

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Kraan
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by stefro
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

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 Kraan Live  by KRAAN album cover Live, 1975
4.05 | 50 ratings

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Kraan Live
Kraan Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Kraan - Live (1975)

Kraan is a German rock, krautrock and jazz-rock influenced group. I have never listened to other records of the band, but I was excited to listen to the band for the first time. On Kraan Live we find a brilliant group of tight-playing live musicians with immense rhythmical talent. The album has little song-writing and perhaps the melodic side isn't too strong on most tracks, but it's simply great to hear a band plays so tight and the recording sound is among the best I ever heard. The band has a 'light' sound with the a subtle bass (with some melodic parts), the best of drums, great funky rhythmical guitar and some electronic sounding wind-section.

Kraan plays both long tracks with plenty space of improvisation and some shorter tracks. Overall the atmospheres are quite happy with at times an almost Canterbury-feel crazy happiness. Some parts of the live set are really exciting (mainly on side one, two and four) and some tracks are a bit too neutral in atmosphere for my taste. Mainly both Andy Nogger parts and Lonesome Liftboy suffer from this aspect. On side two Holiday am Matterhorn and Sarahs Ritt durch den Schwarzwald are both brilliant tracks and the excitement and rhythmcial development, solo's and tight playing are a real winner. Kraan Arabia is also a strong track on side four with some interesting sections and eastern influences.

As mentioned before, the production of this live album is perfect. I would not have mind mixing the loose live recordings into one fluent live mix.

Conclusion. Great, mainly instrumental rock live-album with jazz-rock influences that is very attractive for people who are musicians themselves and fans of the band. Somehow I just admire how professional this album sounds. Not per se an excellent addition to a prog-rock collection, but worthwhile for every-one who wants to hear some great musicians delivering the goods. Three and a halve stars. I decided to lift the record to four stars because of the replay it has had. It also works very well when I have company.

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