What Kraan is not - check here !  
3 important contributions to the philosphical question: What does Kraan mean, what is it really...
Thanks to Zey for thorough research and sparring -
further suggestions and contributions to this important subject are welcome :-) 

Who is Kraan :

The Kraan history - written for theHerzberg festival program (2000) - Same in German

Pressrelease from 1975 - provides a good overview (as a graphic - size: 90 kb)

Kraan information lifted directly from The Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock :
Kraan [Germany]

An excellent seventies jazz/rock/spacemusic band. Two of their mid seventies works, Andy Nogger and one other were released through Jem in the USA. I think. Hellmut Hattler's bass playing is excellent, the guitarist is superb, and they have a sax player who I think at times uses effects pedals and wah wah and can even sound like a keyboard player sometimes. They added keys later on. First couple LPs were classic space rock, and then they got a very refined sound, very fun, funky rock with a really spacey feel. Later LPs added keyboards to the original guitar, bass, drums, sax lineup. I think the Live double LP really stands out as a high point in their releases. The two LPs that made it out in the US are good, but I think are weakened a little by the vocals. I'm inclined to almost compare them to Steely Dan because of their excellant musicianship and pristine production on the later works, but they don't really sound at all like Steely Dan. The later LPs tend to get more slick and faster and faster to a point of near technical over-indulgence.

Hellmut Hattler
Hellmut Hattler - live in Denmark
Kraan is a primarily-instrumental outfit that blends the very best elements of fusion, funk, space and progressive - led by bassist extrordinaire Hellmut Hattler - into a unique style of their own. The early albums (through Let It Out) featured Johannes Pappert on sax, who did some pretty inventive stuff using special effects. With Let it Out they added a keyboardist and subsequently Pappert left, so the later albums have a slightly different feel. Most of their tracks are instrumentals, the few vocal tracks tend to be fairly eccentric. A good place to start is the Live album (a double LP on single CD) which contains the best material from the first three, or Let It Out.

Peter Wolbrandt
Photo from the album "Kraan live" 1974 (english version)
Talk about "get the funk out!": I have Kraan's Live and have heard a little of Tournee. Live is a fantastic album that owes as much to jazz/funk as it does rock. There are two players that stand out immediately: Peter Wolfbrandt on guitar and Hellmut Hattler on bass. Wolfbrandt's guitar is clean, refined, and very tasteful, whether he's in a funk or rock groove. Hattler's bass is all OVER the place. He must have six fingers on each hand! Johannes Pappert is the sax player and he usually sounds like anything but a sax. At times I thought it was a violin and other times sounded more like a synth, just like Miles Davis during his mid-70's funk/fusion era. Jan Fride, the drummer, sets up a rock solid groove. It's really hard to imagine this is four piece music. On Tournee, the sax is replaced by a real set of keyboards and the drummer changed. The funk groove is still there but no so pronounced, while the fusion groove is enhanced, reminding me somewhat of Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group. I don't know about the rest of their work, but these two are excellent.
Great space-rock/jazz-fusion mix. Led by the restless guitar and raucous rock vocals of Peter Wolbrandt, and featuring the monster bass playing of the bespectacled Helmut Hattler (he may be one of the top five bassists of all-time!), Kraan made a spacy jazz/prog type of music with some Middle-Eastern themes, yet retained true rock power. No keyboardist at this early stage, but alto-sax player Johannes Pappert often makes his instrument sound like a synth, violin, flute or oboe. This lineup reaches its peak on Andy Nogger, which is virtually swimming in crazy sound-effects. "Stars," "Holiday am Marterhorn," "Nam Nam" and "Yellow Bamboo" are all among the band's best song. The double Live album is a great introduction to the band if you can find it, including tracks not available anywhere else, and extended versions of "Nam Nam" and "Andy Nogger." Let It Out adds ex-Karthago keyboardist Ingo Bischof to the lineup, and starts to carry on toward more conventional fusion territory, but not too far. The American (Passport label) issue of this features several remixed tracks. Wiederhoeren treads further into straight fusion, but the amazing "Vollgas Ahoi" and the Caravan-like title track proves they can still jam with the best of them. Tournee is another live album. I heard some of a much later album, very conventional indeed, and not too interesting. -- Mike Ohman [See Hattler, Hellmut | Karthago | Liliental | Pappert, Johannes]

Photo from the album "Kraan live" 1974 (english version)

Are you a Kraan expert ?

Prove your skills on a small game Peter Wolbrandt has programmed. It is a small java applet.
You have to connect the written info to the appropriate picture.
If you want to try click here

What is Wintrup ?

Wintrup is a small town in the Teutoburger forrest were the members of the music collective and band Kraan lived for allmost 5 years 1972 - 1977.

Peter and Jan Wolbrandt played guitar and drums in schoolbands in their hometown Ulm before they met Hellmut Hattler (guitar/bass) and Johannes Pappert (sax).

In the beginning they played rock with jazz-freestyle elements. The Kraan sound started to find it's form and they moved one year to Berlin. After that they moved to Wintrup. Later on Ingo Bishoff also moved in.
Ingo had his Kraan live debut in Holzminden on May 30, 1975.

In 1976 the collective started breaking up and the musical style changed somewhat - it became more smooth but also more melodic.

August 1976 Alto Pappert left the band. Oktober 1976 Kraan was on tour in Germany - line-up was Peter, Jan, Hellmuth and Ingo Bischof who had rejoined.

Believe it or not -

CIA has just provided this sattelite photo of Wintrup. It was a part of a surveilance of activities that could undermine and destabilize the BRD (German republic)...
My nose is growing as I write this...

Actually the truth is not much more likely, but never the less it's the truth.
It was taken by KGB who sattelite photographed every inch of west-germay. After the Berlin-wall came down etc., the photos were sold to a german company for 1 million DM. The CD became a hit in germany in 1995. Peter W. used quite some time to locate Wintrup !

Some european countries...
For those who have not got a clue about where Germany is, here is a chance to put it on the globe.

The choice of the adjacent european countries is totally arbitrary - except Denmark of course... (webmaster is danish)   :-).

Kraan sticker - probably from early seventies.

Below: The Kraan Company
An early statement from Kraan (1971-72 ? ) - found at http://www.germanrock.de/

Translated with help from Chrille:

We live together for one year, partly in Ulm, partly in Berlin.
We make films, photos, we draw, paint and compose.
We have no regular jobs in this society.
We can live and absolutely concentrate on the music.
From this situation we try as far as possible,
to make a kind of music wich seperates us from the usual pop-clichee.
We strive for this closed musicians-life which touches all sphaeres of our life.
We dont have any "heroes" - we make our own music.

The Kraan Company (left to right)
Alto Pappert, Hellmut Hattler, Peter Brett, Jan Fride.

The Kraan-o-phone:

Your mobilephone, cellphone, handy, or whatever you call it, can play Kraan tunes. Other Kraan fans will detect you if it rings in public places, and you will know who belongs to the secret community of Kraan enthusiast.
So spice up your life with a personal touch - show the world that you have taste :-)

One of Kraan's many enthusiast, Chrille, sent this:

" You have to give in every single note by using the buttons.
While giving in a note, the display shows the length of the notes.
The longer the note has to be, the longer time you have to push the button.

First number is the note (the second is the time).
# is for changing the octave
0 is pause
* is a half tone
This are the codes I found out so far:

### 6(4) 8(8) 4(8) 4(8) 5(4) 0(8) 3(8) 5(8) 5(8) 8(8) 6(4) 8(8) 4(8) 4(8) 5(4) 0(2) 0(8)
- Listen here (180 kb mp3)

Nam Nam
### 4(16) 5(16) *6(4) *5(8) 6(4) 8(8) 0(8) ## 4(16) 5(16) *6(4) *5(8) 4(4) 0(4)
- Listen here (130 kb mp3)

Far West
### 8(4) # 2(2) ### 8(4) 6(4) 5(4) 4(4) 2(4) ### 8(4) # 2(4) 4(2) 0(1)
- Listen here (240 kb mp3)

Yaqui Yagua
### 2/8 5/8 *6/8 8/8 *6/16 8/8 5/16 *6/4 2/8 5/8 *6/8 4/8 5/16 4/8 2/16 5/4 0/1
- Listen here (180 kb mp3)

Hallo ja ja
Timing is 8 when not shown different
### 45 688 688 688 688 #2 ### 86506 5/2 0/1
*24 5*6*6 5*6*6 5*6*6 5*6*6 8*65405 4/4 0/4 0/8 405 4/2
- Listen here (350 kb mp3)

These codes are working with Siemens and Ericsson.
Others I haven't tested yet. "

Let it Out - (Received from Lutz Wernicke)
### 2(4) 5(4) 6(2) 0(8) 5(8) 7(2) 0(8) 2(8) 3(4) 3(4) *4(4) 2(4) 0(8) 2(4) 0(8) 3(4) 0(8) 2(4) 0(8)
*4(2) 0(8) 2(8) 3(4) 3(4) 2(4) ##7(4)  
- Listen here (230 kb mp3)


Nam Nam for "Nokia": 16f2 16g2 4#a2 8g2 4a2 8c3 4- 16f1 16g1
4#a1 8g1 4f1 4 - (sent by Charles Snider, www.progressiverock.com/ )

If you have other Kraansongs for the mobilephone, send them to this and they will be listed here.

The Kraan-o-phone - Artist: Hellmut Hattler

The kraan-o-phone
What are the Kraan members doing today:
  • Hellmutt Hattler worked with Tab Two from 1991 to 2000. Tab Two is having a break now. Possibly a permanent break.
    Hattler has just (feb. 2003) released his third album Malberry Moon' . He lives in a house nearby Ulm. He has also made a teaching book about Bass playing (AMA-Puplications).
    bassbookAMA-Puplications also offer a book named "Masters of Bass Guitar" incl. CD from 1997 (www.ama-verlag.de order-no. 610117 EUR 23.80) wherein a bass teacher exlains and plays concepts and techniques of 40 years bass guitar? Hellmut is shown with history, background and 4 pages typical HH samples with notes/tablatures. The ascending agenda lists him as No. 10 out of 15 of the most unique and innovative bassmen among others like Jack Bruce, Chris Squire, Jonas Hellborg, John Pattitucci , John Entwhistle, Jaco Pastorius, etc.

    Book Hattlers band 'Hattler' through the agency A.S.S. in Hamburg. Email 'Mick' for contact.
    Hellmut Hattlers website

  • Peter Wolbrandt lives in Sontheim, works with multimedia production and programming, and has, among other things, made a CD-ROM about the town Ulm together with his brother Jan Fride. On his website http://www.wolbrandt.de/ you can hear some new samples of Peters recent musical work 1997 - 1999. He released a cd in may 1999 'Under An1x' , a kind of technomusic - can be purchased through his website, where also other rock albums are available. In july 1999 a mpeg/video cd-rom with a Kraan koncert from Tuttlingen 1987 was made.

  • Jan Fride (Wolbrandt) - Is running a headshop called OKAY together with his girlfriend through 21 years Willa (they have a daughter with the same age), selling all sorts of things. He made a website for the shop. Here is also soundsamples of music he has made during the last years. Some of it is a collaboration with Peter Wolbrandt - mostly in the techno vein. Large interview in German here.

  • Johannes Pappert (Alto). Alto lives in Berlin, ownes a sound/light hiring Company (that has a website - http://www.mixed-media.de/ choose the German version ). He still plays the sax !

  • Joo Kraus worked with Tab Two together with Hellmut for some years. Now he makes jazzmusic with a larger band. A search at Klaus Kuhnke's archiv will show several other cooperations.
    Joo Kraus's website

  • Ingo Bishof - Has worked with many bands/musicians and styles (try the Klaus Kuhnke's archiv). Played a long time with " Heiner Pudelko" and after his death with "Carsten Schmelzer & Band". He is currently playing in a Band called TAVIL (with Butze Fischer & Günter Reger).
    He is also playing on one tune on the newest Tab Two CD - Between Us 1999.
    Released an album 2001: Reger/Bischof/Fischer: Images of Trance and Rythm (DA Music- 5284 Selected Sound). Have also made meditation music. He is (2003) currently working on a new soloalbum. Large interview here.

    Udo Dahmen is currently active musician (jazz a.o.) and professor in percussion at "Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg". He has also written a drumbook. He has drummed for such as Charly Mariano, Lake, Dozenten, Herb Geller, Inga Rumpf, Joachim Kuhn, Achim Reichel, Eberhard Schoener, John Lawton, (feat. Sting, Nina Hagen, Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker) and others. Website. (try the Klaus Kuhnke's archiv) Personal website here: http://www.udodahmen.de/

  • Gerry Brown - (webpage at http://www.drummerworld.com/ ) - a search at Klaus Kuhnke's archiv reveals more than is relevant for this website. He is (among other things) known for playing drums on Stanley Clarke's Schooldays album.
    Latest news (jan. 2002) he is working with bassplayer Kam Falk www.nativetongue.com

  • Eef Albers - (website - has been updated in 2001 - requires flash plugin)

  • Mark McMillen - www.geocities.co.jp/MusicStar-Live/1959/.

Udo Dahmen - Copenhagen 1979
Photo taken by Skiold

  Udo Today
  Udo's current website

   Another Udo page.