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Kraan - Andy Nogger  CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.78 | 112 ratings

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3 stars The third Kraan album is their best known and most popular album. Popular being a relative thing for sure. It's a generally a solid album but it somehow fails to surprise and is certainly no match for the debut and Wintrup.

Stars is a rocking opener. The ringing guitar chords and the Arabian scales make it a great listen for me. It could use a bit more bite but it ends quite intense. Andy Nogger features a typically Kraan main riff: funky, complex and dead-catchy. The vocal melodies are less inspired but the slide guitar effects during the verses are interesting and announce the new wave sounds of later years. Quite a Can vibe as well on this one.

Nam Nam is a funky instrumental, not the polished fusion-funk coming from the USA in those years but the dirty, chugging and sexier type. Kraut-funk if I may call it so. This turned into a strong live piece for Kraan. The studio version leaves me a bit underwhelmed though.

Son of the Sun is another one that reminds me of Can in places. It's funkier and more playful but it has similar 'off' vocals and also uses a very percussive style of drumming that builds up a strong rhythmical tension. Arabian influences follow in the instrumental middle section. Great tune but the vocals could have been a bit more enthusiast. It's a general complaint I have with this album. Helmut Hattler vocal parts are certainly not as well developed as on Wintrup and are sometimes over-treated by studio effects.

With Holiday starts the superior second half of the album. It has a beautiful lead melody, very tuneful and emotional. The bass and drums engage in a superb dynamic interplay that leads to some groovy bass, sax and guitar jamming. Home is a jazzier bit with a mid-paced funk rhythm and atmospheric sound effects from guitars and saxes. The sparse vocals feel somewhat uncalled for. Yellow Bamboo ends the album with a hypnotizing rhythm and snake-charming sax melodies.

A good first half and an excellent second half. Smells like 3.5 stars. Compulsory listening for Kraut fans but I prefer the first two albums. Still, I feel like a nasty old schoolmaster just giving this 3 stars. But good means good right, and good it certainly is!

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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