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Eclectic Prog • Netherlands

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Kracq biography
Kracq (King's Ransom and Carmine Queen) formed in 1977 and disbanded in 1980, releasing one album in 1978 called Cirmuvision. The members were Bert VERMIJS (synthesizers, keyboards, vocals), Jos HUSTINGS (guitar, vocals), Cees MICHIELSEN (drums, percussion, 1977-1979), Twan van der HEIDEN (bass guitar, 1977-1979), Charlot RUTTEN (vocals, 1980), and Toni GUARRACINO (vocals, recorder, 1980).

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3.46 | 18 ratings

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KRACQ Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Circumvision by KRACQ album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.46 | 18 ratings

Kracq Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars An obscure eclectic release from The Netherlands in 1978. KRACQ was formed in 1977 by two different bands: King's Ransom which included Twan van der Heijden, Cees Michielsen and Bert Vermijs and Carmine Queen which yielded Jos Hustings. The results of this cross- pollination is the anagram KRACQ. The band released this one album in 1978 and then faded into the ethers of musical history. However, on this one album they incorporate a whole bunch of holy progginess in its 46:51 run.

Although many bands around the 1976 era of prog only had short lived musical histories, it is fortunate that they knew their shelf life was extremely limited and they had to take an entire musical career and condense it into a single album statement. Such is the case with KRACQ where every influence under the prog sun is on board and then some. The most in-yer-face aspect of CIRCUMVISION is that of the keyboards. This is some of the most demanding and complex-for-the-sake-of-complexity styled runs that you can find.

The album is roughly divided into two types of styles. The first side presents some of the most wild and adventurous symphonic prog roller coaster rides the genre has to offer. The second is more vocal oriented and creates some art rock sounding compositions. While the synthesized vocals on the more instrumental offerings tend to remind me of the "Focus" album by Cynic, the more mainstream vocals on the second half of the album prove to be the weakest part of this otherwise perfect album. This seems to be the main criticism for many regarding this album, but after listening to this album many times i don't seem to be as bothered by these less than perfect vocals as others.

All a matter of taste of course, but i really can't fault these vocals more than many others that occur in prog masterpieces. After all, many King Crimson, Genesis and even Gentle Giant albums can't be appreciated for their vocal virtuosity. It is a matter of them fitting in with the music. The vocals contributed by both Jos Hustings and Bert Vermijs just don't seem to detract from the excellent musicianship involved in this package. On my part at least :)

If you like the craziness of Yezda Urfa or Bubu then you will LOVE this. It is true that there is a disjointed feel to the whole project. From beginning to end it can seem like a compilation of a band evolving from one decade to the next but believe it or not it is one band on one album. That eclectic nature is something i really love here. As with many bands at this point in prog history KRACQ probably deemed it wise to hit hard and run on this one album since the future of this complex and bizarre music was being put on hold for a few decades.

Overall i have taken the criticism of this album to heart but in the end i just find myself wanting to hear it again after i listen to it. Despite being imperfect there is more than enough here to warrant countless spins. It is sophisticated, unpredictable and bursting with holy progginess that takes unexpected journeys into new territories when you least expect it. The album cover may scream black metal or some lo-fi release of the early 90s but this strange release is anything but incorporating a very good production and all kinds of outstanding sounds to make it totally unique in prog history.

 Circumvision by KRACQ album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.46 | 18 ratings

Kracq Eclectic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

3 stars Dutch band KRACQ - King's Ransom and Carmine Queen. Good and rare. Not any masterpiece, but some pleasent tracks. I was attracted by this album cover after reading a review from another member here, and I decided to try this album too. It seems a space ecletic prog. This one-shot have many weak moments, at most during vocals, the melodies aren't great as the instrumental passages. The higher point of the album is Bert Vermijs keyboards and synth, very spacey and dynamical. And the weak is the vocal parts. It would be a 4/5 if it was entirely instrumental. Other hand, sometimes the vocals are covered by robotic effects, and it's cool. Worth a check.
 Circumvision by KRACQ album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.46 | 18 ratings

Kracq Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Dutch obscirity from late-70's.The band was formed in 1977 when bassist Twan van der Heiden, drummer Cees Michielsen and keyboardist Bert Vermijs, already known as King's Ransom, were joined by guitarist Jos Hustings, performing at the time as Carmine Queen.They were named apparently after the initial letters of ''King's Ransom And Carmine Queen''.Three days of recording sessions would lead to the private debut ''Circumvision'' in 1978, distributed in the limitied number of 500 copies.

Kracq had a very demanding proggy style regarding the period of its release, explaining why the band was short-lived.It was a combination of complex synth-driven Progressive Rock with plenty of breaks and adventurous semi-Symphonic Rock with limited melodic themes, compared to bands like HANDS, GENTLE GIANT and YEZDA URFA.The driving forces of their sound were the huge bass lines of Van Der Heiden and the multiple synth/keyboard attacks of Vermijs, supported by Hustings' jazzy guitar work, while the vocals are only sporadic.The musicianship is very intricate but maybe a bit too complex at moments with a large number of breaks and interplays.At least that is going on on the first LP side, while the second one presents a more lyrical Art Rock attitude in the vein of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR or PETER HAMMILL.The songs have intense and dramatic moments with plenty of vocals, the performance of Hustings is good behind the microphone, while the music sounds a bit polished due to the heavy vocal content, though nothing close to accesible.So even the flipside is full of keyboard-based themes, including clavinet preludes, soft piano lines and sharp synthesizers.

''Circumvision'' is an album created by the passion of Kracq's members for Progressive Rock.The mediocre sound of the recordings and the complex yet a bit inconsistent instrumental themes prevent it from the ''essential'' label, but overall this is well-executed Progressive Rock with a strong vintage feeling.There is also a CD reissue around, available for order from the band's website.

Thanks to epignosis for the artist addition.

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