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Kraan - Let it Out  CD (album) cover



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4 stars I first ran across this album when I found a copy of it for 50 cents at a local record shop back in the mid 1970's. I thought the cover art was really cool and of course I bought it.

Upon my first listening I was hooked! I loved this sound which was jazzy,but not too laid back. And also so powerful and beat driven,without being overpowering. Crisp,clean guitar riffs excuted perfectly are the order of the day with KRAAN. Minimal vocals are also present,but as with all KRAAN releases,the music is the main focus.

I was already a fan of krautrock having albums by CAN and NEU in my collection,so this find was a welcome addition.

Outstanding cuts include side one opener BANDITS IN THE WOODS and the title track LET IT OUT.

I still have that original fifty cent copy of LET IT OUT on PASSPORT label and after about 25 years it still plays perfectly!

Report this review (#31874)
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Something of a transitional album: keysman Ingo Bischof (ex-Karthago) was introduced as sax player "Alto" Pappert was being phased out. The Kraftwerk parody "Die Maschine" appears because they needed extra material to fill out the album, but Alto wasn't there, so they improvised something with studio effects.

Elsewhere, the band are beginning to go for a slicker, more straight-ahead fusion sound. Which is not bad, as it's something they absolutely excel at. Just check out the shifting tempos of "Luftpost".

A special note: the American Passport label contains remixed versions of several songs which were not included on the remastered Intercord CD. With the exception of the version of the title track (the US version truncates the short intro) and the fact that "Heimweh nach Übersee" is retitled "Overseas Bound", the versions aren't largely different, though.

Report this review (#46382)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars In 1975 KRAAN not only released this studio album but their famous "Kraan Live" record. Just to show how popular they were in Germany at this point, a leading German music magazine called "Sounds" released their anual poll and KRAAN was voted favourite band followed by CAN, PASSPORT, TANGERINE DREAM and KRAFTWERK. They were also voted as the best concert to see that year followed by GENESIS, THE WHO, JETHRO TULL and SANTANA. Their two records they released that year were voted number one and two (the live one was number one). The estate they lived on (Wintrup) was a popular place for other musicians to visit, jam and party. One person who they particularily liked both musically and personally was keyboard player Ingo Bischof from the band KARTHAGO. And so they decided to add him as the fifth member for this recording. Once again Conny Plank would produce the record but this time he encouraged the band to record it at the estate instead of in his studio. Conny was always so impressed listening to KRAAN and other musicians jam at the farm, and he thought this would be a great idea to record in this enviroment. The house was too small for all the recording equipment and the band, so they went out to the barn to do it. It was cold and it smelled pretty bad but they carried on anyway, and the results were amazing. To my ears this for the most part sounds lighter and more commercial, but man it's so good, and it's infectious. Besides they play so well together, and it sounds like they were having so much fun. Pappert the sax player especially played his instrument in a unique way making it difficult to tell it's even a sax at times. This would be his last record with the band.

"Bandits In The Woods" features some excellent bass as usual from the bass maestro Hellmut Hattler. There's such a good, funky rhythm to this one. I like when he sings "There are bandits in the woods, look out !" Haha. "Luftpost" opens with what sounds like a jet taking off. Love the way they take turns instrumentally on this Canterbury flavoured track. The bass after 3 minutes is fantastic. I really just like listening to the sounds they create on this one. "Degado" has such a beautiful melody to it. The sax is so inviting. Vocals before a minute. Acoustic guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. A beautiful relaxed tune. "Prima Klima" is a light, uptempo jazzy song. Some screaming sax 3 1/2 minutes in.

"Let It Out" is a song where they are having a blast, you can tell by the way they play. I can't stop moving to this one. Some good guitar after 3 minutes. "Die Maschine" seems really out of place on here. Don't get me wrong I like it but it's very experimental Krautrock that was actually a left over track from the "Wintrup" album recordings. Very spacey and psychedelic. It's a trip. "Heimweh Nach Ubersee" has some atmosphere to it. Liquid keys and i love the sax 2 minutes in. Themes are repeated. Great tune. "Picnic International" is another cool track. I like the way bass then piano then sax lead the way as the song progresses.

A solid 4 stars and a very enjoyable listen from start to finish.

Report this review (#180589)
Posted Friday, August 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Let It Out is a pleasant easy flowing Kraut album with cool funk grooves and modern synths that sound almost new wave. The vocals add a pleasant kraut-rock vibe to it. The album is never overwhelming but it's a very consistent listen that was years ahead of its time.

Bandits in the Woods is an upbeat art-funk track that sits somewhere between Bowie and Roxy Music but that somehow sounds more 'punk' then those artists. Maybe Talking Heads is an even better reference. Luftpost and Prima Klima are more fusion oriented, the beat remains swinging and funky though. Great tunes. Degado sounds like one of Santana's more pop moments.

Songs like Prima Klima show how Kraan has shifted from Kraut to fusion. The title track isn't the best tune for me, it's probably a bit too poppy for my taste. Die Machine offers a welcome variation with highly psychedelic electronic experimentation. Heimweh takes a turn to innocent soft-porn grooves and also Picnic International remains fairly feathery.

If you like this album but miss some bite, I can sure recommend the earlier Kraan albums or the debut of Altona (the Kraut band) which brings a similar type of swinging jazz-kraut-rock, but with more edge and energy. Let It Out is a simply a pleasant and swinging listen throughout. 3.5 stars

Report this review (#286740)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#696314)
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
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. 3˝ stars.

Report this review (#939625)
Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars My first taste of the German band KRAAN is their 4th album LET IT OUT that saw the light of day in 1975, the same year as their live album "Kraan Live" which is a tad more famous. A very strange sound collage this band has created. On their vocal tracks they sound kinda like a krauty Edgar Winter Band. On the mellower tracks they seem to have adopted a Weather Report approach to their compositions but on a majority of the tracks they have a unique kraut-jazz-rock fusion thing that actually has a funky swing to it which might sound something like Mahavishnu Orchestra meets Sly and the Family Stone. The tracks "Die Maschine (the machine)" seems like a tribute to A.R. & Machines and a wickedly cool take on their style with the echo effects and tons of trippiness.

When I heard the first track starting I was a little underwhelmed. It suggested an album of mediocre slightly krautified hard rock with struggling vocal acrobatics but the second song "Luftpost" which means "airmail" actually takes you on a light fluffy flight into the friendly skies where saxophone clouds and precipitating dreams meet with violins, funky bass and progressive jazz chords. This album is a little up and down but it has indeed peaked my interest in discovering more of what this band has to offer. After all, during the mid-70s they were one of the most popular bands in Germany but have been eclipsed over time by the likes of Can, Amon Duul II amongst others. Overall I am happy to have discovered KRAAN and am surprised that they aren't just a little more popular than they seem to be these days. 3.5 rounded up

Report this review (#1268075)
Posted Friday, September 5, 2014 | Review Permalink

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