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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Porta Westfalica 1975

Review by Gary Hill

Kraan are a long-running progressive rock band from Germany. This live set from 1975 has recently been released. It's largely instrumental with a lot of fusion in the mix. It's also very potent and compelling, and there is some exceptional instrumental work. This is just such a great live album. It should be noted that the stage banter is not in English while at least some of the lyrics seem to be. 

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Track by Track Review
Prima Klima
This comes in fairly sedate and mellow. There are hints of the Doors as it gets underway. It works out to some killer fusion jamming that still has some prog elements in the mix. I can definitely see comparisons to Zappa being appropriate. They work through a number of twists and turns along the road.
Holiday am Marterhorn
Starting with more driving prog, there are some hints of space rock as it gets underway. I can make out some healthy helpings of jam band music in the mix here, too. This grows out to more pure melodic prog. The bass has some prominent moments along this road. There is some decidedly powerhouse jamming built into this thing as it continues to evolve.
Andy Nogger

This is a hard rocking tune. It has vocals in a break from the stuff we've heard to this point. It also has some smoking hot bass work. This is more of a mainstream progressive rocker and a lot of fun.

Andy Nogger - Gutter King
Coming out of the previous piece, this is essentially a continuation of it. There are definitely some funk and space rock elements at play here.
Kraan Arabia
I really dig the rhythm section jamming as this gets underway. It has plenty of funky fusion at its core. The whole track really grooves along that road. The bass and guitar really shine on this jam. This gets very intense before it's done.
Hallo Ja Ja, I Don't Know
There are a lot of Zappa elements at play along this musical road. This is another that includes some vocals, but not that many. It's quite a cool jam.
This is another smoking hot fusion-based jam. It has a healthy helping of funk in the arrangement, too. There are more hints of Zappa. There is some amazing instrumental work built into this beast. I really love the drum and bass workout later. Both instruments get the chance to solo in this piece. The bass solo in particular is extensive.
Sarah's Ritt durch den Schwarzwald
Another fusion styled stomper, this is a killer track. It has some more of the amazing instrumental work we've come to expect. This works as a great closer.
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