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Annexus Quam - Beziehungen CD (album) cover

BEZIEHUNGEN

Annexus Quam

 

Krautrock

3.26 | 27 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars ANNEXUS QUAM went from a 60s hippie band to a bizarre mix of psychedelic rock mixed with free form jazz when they debuted with "Osmose" but after that release they spent the next two years more emerged in the jazz side of the equation and performed at many jazz festivals. The band had shed two members and on their second album BEZEIHUNGEN (relationships) they were just a mere quintet. While this band had already developed one of those far out sounds that reached toward the furthest reaches of psychedelic musical experiences, on BEZIEHUNGEN they relied a little less on the psychedelic rock side (but it's still there) of their equation and went full force toward the free jazz experience with more prominent roles for the tenor and soprano saxophones as well as the unusual appearance of the trombone.

While the number of musicians had been streamlined to a mere five, the number of instruments they played was another matter altogether with each performer handling many different roles. While the guitar, bass, drums, flute and horn section made a reprise for the sophomore album, on this wild journey into the cosmos we are also treated to all kinds of completely non-rock and non-jazz instruments such as the electric zither, bendir, jew's harp and panpipes. As with the debut there is still an Indo-raga sort of meditative flow to the album and the tabla offers some ethnic percussive drive at various stages. The album only contains four tracks and much like the debut has two short ones and two lengthy pieces that clock in over fourteen minutes.

While progressive rock and its many constituents such as Krautrock and psychedelic rock are fairly non-commercial and eccentric by nature, ANNEXUS QUAM was one of those bands that went for the avant-garde jugular and thus created bizarre sonicscapes that may be too much for many to handle which explains why BEZIEHUNGEN was their second and final album of their career. While many German bands emerged with equally bizarre and mind-bending albums, many learned to tame things down in order to attract a larger following and some (such as Amon Duul II and Can) to the point where all the magic had been replaced by predictable fluff. In the case of ANNEXUS QUAM, instead of taming things down, they got even more cosmic and free form to the point where there is no backbone such as a groove or a predictable beat as there was on "Osmose," well most of the time. Sensitive ears find patterns.

Given that the rock aspects have been tamed down, BEZIEHUNGEN is a much mellower experience with less percussive drive and a rather "conversational" type of instrumental interplay. There are parts in "Leyenburg 1" for example where they instruments really sound like they are having a discussion in an alien language. While it may come off as totally non-musical, it's more that the instruments are all engaged in their own musical world that come together in a bizarre collage effect of a greater sonic reality that is trying to break into our dimension to enlighten us into some higher vibrational frequency. This is not an album that one can analyze from a traditional compositional point of view but rather one that takes the deconstruction movement of the Krautrock scene and rates it on the trip-o-meter. For my money, BEZIEHUNGEN is neither superior nor inferior to its predecessor but rather a superb complimentary experience. Both albums have different flavors and this one definitely takes the spaced out out-of-body experience to new levels. One of my favorite "out there" Kraut bands.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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