Karat (Ger. for “carat”) is a German rock band, founded in 1975 in East Berlin, then part of the German Democratic Republic. Karat also gained a strong following in West Germany when its 1982 album Der blaue Planet (The Blue Planet) was one of the year’s top sellers in both East and West Germany, making Karat one of the more prominent bands in German-language rock music.
Karat developed out of the East Berlin jazz-rock fusion group Panta Rhei, which lost much of its focus in 1973 when its lead-singer Veronika Fischer left to pursue a solo career, and dissolved in 1975 when three further members left to form a new band named Karat. The initial Karat lineup consisted of: singer Hans-Joachim “Neumi” Neumann, keyboardist and songwriter Ulrich “Ed” Swillms, bassist Henning Protzmann, drummer Konrad “Conny” Burkert, acoustic guitarist Herbert Dreilich, and electric guitarist Ulrich Pexa. The following year Burkert was replaced by Michael Schwandt, and Pexa by Bernd Römer. Neumann left in 1977 due to military service, after which Austrian-born Dreilich became the band’s vocalist.