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Thread: Kraan - Live

  1. #1
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    Kraan - Live

    Sitting in my office listening to this now and marveling, as I often do, at just how good this is. Like, I suspect, many people, my introduction to this long-running German jamband came via their stunning performance at NEARFest 2003, where they hit the stage after the much-delayed, exceedingly bloated symph-excess of Glass Hammer's set and just let rip with a stunning set of unpretentious, freewheeling jazz-infused improv. Never has a more welcome antidote to what went before been needed! I'd appreciate some recommendations for further listening from other Kraan fans. I already have the first two albums and Let It Out, but I'd be interested to know what else from their extensive back-catalogue is worth picking up. Any suggestions?

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    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Wiederhoren would be another solid one

    The debut and Let It Out are my favs. Fun stuff when they aren't "singing"
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    Wiederhoren would be another solid one

    The debut and Let It Out are my favs. Fun stuff when they aren't "singing"
    Thanks for the recommendation! I don't actually mind the singing all that much. It's an acquired taste for sure, but for me it kind of fits with the music.

  4. #4
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    well... they took it too far on Wintrup. Had to edit that one severely
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    Sitting in my office listening to this now and marveling, as I often do, at just how good this is. Like, I suspect, many people, my introduction to this long-running German jamband came via their stunning performance at NEARFest 2003, where they hit the stage after the much-delayed, exceedingly bloated symph-excess of Glass Hammer's set and just let rip with a stunning set of unpretentious, freewheeling jazz-infused improv. Never has a more welcome antidote to what went before been needed! I'd appreciate some recommendations for further listening from other Kraan fans. I already have the first two albums and Let It Out, but I'd be interested to know what else from their extensive back-catalogue is worth picking up. Any suggestions?
    While I disagree with the unnecessary digs at Glass Hammer (Why was an "antidote" needed? Some people can enjoy both bands, you know), I've been listening to Kraan on Spotify lately and have to agree that they had some very good stuff. I'm liking it quite well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    While I disagree with the unnecessary digs at Glass Hammer (Why was an "antidote" needed? Some people can enjoy both bands, you know), I've been listening to Kraan on Spotify lately and have to agree that they had some very good stuff. I'm liking it quite well.
    Just a personal recollection from the day itself, and a view expressed by several of the friends I attended NF '03 with; feel free to ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    Just a personal recollection from the day itself, and a view expressed by several of the friends I attended NF '03 with; feel free to ignore it if it doesn't apply to you.
    I understand, and I don't fault you for feeling that way. The comments just seemed a bit out of place to me, especially considering it was a progressive rock festival. Pretentiousness is one of the things this music is kinda known for.

    But I'm glad you liked the Kraan set and are enjoying their back catalog. I'm currently considering where to explore it next myself.

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    It depends of what you like in Kraans music. But overall you have IMO one of the greatest bassplayers Hellmut Hattler shining on all of them.
    They disband all the time, and every time they regret it, and returns in a slightly different style.

    If you are strictly Kraut, kraut stops after Wintrup. On the other hand it gets more melodious.
    Andy Nogger and Let it out are the studio counterpart to Live (1974), but Kraan is a live band...
    Kraut era full stop.

    On Wintrup it gets more jazzrocky, and a great keyboardplayer is added.
    Artisticly I would recommend the Next album: Flyday, its timeless IMO. It has a great fusion livecounterpart Tournee.

    Then comes Nachtfart which includes more raw rock and pop elements. The drummer is now the american jazzfusion drummer Gerry Brown!
    Then the guitarist leaves (and a good part of the sound) and they make a softer album called Kraan X which their fans disliked. It doesnt sound like Kraan, wrong vocalist, wrong guitarist.

    Then comes a great energetic live album Kraan Live 88. original crew + a new keyboardplayer that also playes trumpet.
    This band makes 2 fine studioalbums (Dancing in the Shade, Soul of Stone) with lots of catchy melodies and IMO interesting compositions.
    And then they disband again for a somewhat longer period.

    The albums after that are fine, but somewhat more oldboy relaxed.

    Get the live albums + Flyday !

    I made this website in 1999, and its still running, kind of chaotic, but I think you can find every possible info about Kraan there.

    http://kraan.dk/

  9. #9
    One of the probs is that if you start off with the double live album, the studio ones always seem to pale a bit. First two are still pretty damn good, tho'.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  10. #10
    Count me as another who liked both Kraan and Glass Hammer at Nearfest. Although the latter had mix problems which were fixed on their CD release. I'm putting both GH Nearfest and Kraan Live in the car this morning. In fact maybe it's time for a Nearfest 3003 revisited with the boot of Camels set too

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    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    My favorites are: Kraan Live, Weiderhoren, Let It Out, and Tournee. I could be happy just owning those. My interest level dropped significantly with Flyday and Nachtfart.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    well... they took it too far on Wintrup. Had to edit that one severely
    Love that record, always approached it as a heavy rock, rather than their later fusiony music...
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Cant say I have one favorite album, I tend to think the kraut albums are a bit rustic, but there are great tracks on most albums and btw I love the goofy vocals
    I have seen them live at least 10 times.

    Here is how they sounded in 1989, not kraut, not fusion, not ordinary rock...


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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Fabulous bassolo 2013


  15. #15
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    The Kraan 2001 live album is awesome.
    Chad

  16. #16
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    ^^ But the Kraan Live 88 2 LP takes the energy level a bit up!


  17. #17
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    Fun stuff when they aren't "singing"
    IMO Kraan's vocals are usually as good as Trey Anastasio of Phish (whom I see as in a similar zone), and I'd definitely rather see Kraan live.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  18. #18
    Over at dimeadozen are a lot of Kraan boots (even FM!). They´re really worth it.

  19. #19
    Gotta say, even though it has that 80s sound, Dancing In The Shade has some pretty cool stuff on it!

  20. #20
    Tournee, their other live album, is very much worth your while. The other gaps in your studio collection are Andy Nogger and Wiederhören. The latter starts getting a bit slick, a tendency that continued with their subsequent studio albums, alas. It does have some classic tunes on it, though, “Vollgas ahoi” in particular (oh, that bass riff!).

    Some people have been trashing the vocals. Yes, they’re not the best technically as singers, but Peter Wollbrandt and Hellmut Hattler have lots of “character.” Funny, keyboardist Ingo Bischof sang a couple of songs (the ones he wrote) on the second Karthago album, but never sang during his stint with Kraan.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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    Of course I may be a bit biased, but……..although I enjoyed the NEARfest performance I think it pales in comparison to their appearance at ProgDay in 2002. I know there are quite a few people here on this board that were at both shows and I would be interested to see how other people remember it. Anyway…….the ProgDay performance by Kraan, remains one of the festival’s all-time great shows, and that is saying something for a fest that has been around for more than 20 years. It is rare that a band at a prog festival can get an entire audience up on their feet clapping along, but that is exactly what Kraan did at the highest attended ProgDay in history. It was one of those magical moments in my concert going life. Going into it I had never heard of them before. Michael Bennett brought them up on the band selection committee, and I was like “Kraan who?” But like you, after hearing “Kraan Live” I was immediately hooked.

    As for their albums, like others have mentioned, all of their live ones are worth owning. They are all really good with varied lineups. If you are looking for a good compilation “The Famous Years Compiled” is a very nice overview. I am also partial to the studio album “Soul Of Stone”. It is not perfect, but is a quirky collection of mostly cool songs that don’t sound like anyone else. I also have a soundboard recording of that ProgDay performance. I put it on every once in a while to take me back down memory lane.

  22. #22
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Of course I may be a bit biased, but……..although I enjoyed the NEARfest performance I think it pales in comparison to their appearance at ProgDay in 2002. I know there are quite a few people here on this board that were at both shows and I would be interested to see how other people remember it. Anyway…….the ProgDay performance by Kraan, remains one of the festival’s all-time great shows, and that is saying something for a fest that has been around for more than 20 years. It is rare that a band at a prog festival can get an entire audience up on their feet clapping along, but that is exactly what Kraan did at the highest attended ProgDay in history. It was one of those magical moments in my concert going life. Going into it I had never heard of them before. Michael Bennett brought them up on the band selection committee, and I was like “Kraan who?” But like you, after hearing “Kraan Live” I was immediately hooked.

    As for their albums, like others have mentioned, all of their live ones are worth owning. They are all really good with varied lineups. If you are looking for a good compilation “The Famous Years Compiled” is a very nice overview. I am also partial to the studio album “Soul Of Stone”. It is not perfect, but is a quirky collection of mostly cool songs that don’t sound like anyone else. I also have a soundboard recording of that ProgDay performance. I put it on every once in a while to take me back down memory lane.
    I had only discovered Kraan a couple years before the 2002 show and was just beginning to figure out there was some sort of "prog scene" going on. I heard they were going to be playing at ProgDay, but there was just no way I could do it financially at the time. It would have been my first prog fest.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  23. #23
    Felt the same way about GH and Kraan.
    One of the cool bands I discovered via NF as well.

  24. #24
    Regarding Glass Hammer, I'm not sure if everyone in this thread knows this or not but they're members of PE and post here from time to time. Just in case that adds any context.

    Regarding Kraan, I just bought Psychedelic Man and Dancing In The Shade after hearing some of those tracks. Gosh, the song "Dakar" is really lovely. So breezy and beautiful.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Of course I may be a bit biased, but……..although I enjoyed the NEARfest performance I think it pales in comparison to their appearance at ProgDay in 2002. I know there are quite a few people here on this board that were at both shows and I would be interested to see how other people remember it. Anyway…….the ProgDay performance by Kraan, remains one of the festival’s all-time great shows, and that is saying something for a fest that has been around for more than 20 years. It is rare that a band at a prog festival can get an entire audience up on their feet clapping along, but that is exactly what Kraan did
    I think 2003 was one of the years that I skipped NEARFest, so I can't compare the two, but I fully agree that Kraan's 2002 ProgDay set was one of the best in the festival's history. They not only got people up and clapping, but by the end of the set there was actually a decent number of people dancing in front of the stage. As far as I can remember, that's the only time that's happened at ProgDay.

    I got ahold of that soundboard recording you mentioned, but the CDR it was on had been burned on a glitchy burner and was full of dropouts and repeated bits. I wanted to hear the "clean" performance so much that I fed the glitchy version into my computer and used a WAV editor to go over the whole thing second-by-second, patching up the bad spots. Took a couple days but was worth the effort.

    When I went back to work after ProgDay that year, I loaned the Kraan CDs I had bought to a co-worker who plays bass, and he was so blown away that he immediately went online and bought every Kraan album he could find, and even a solo album by Hellmut Hattler.
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