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Annexus Quam - Osmose CD (album) cover

OSMOSE

Annexus Quam

 

Krautrock

3.78 | 61 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Annexus Quam's legacy in the world of krautrock stood somewhere between the frontal jazz-rock fusion of Embryo and the ethnical-exotic excursions of early Agitation Free and Amon Düül II, generally leaning a bit closer to the former. Annexus Quam, as an ensemble, chooses to restrain the potential explosiveness of typical psychedelia while keeping an energetic vibe and an exploratory expressiveness to their music. Lots of inputs in the wind department (including a keyboardist who also plays clarinet), two guitarists with one of them doubling on trombone, almost every musician adding extra percussion together with the drummer - this disposition is more than ideal for the organization of extensive jams, and that's basically what AQ is all about. The guitar phrases and the solid rhythm section set up the coordinates in which the group's sound meets its functional ordainment. Their debut album "Osmose" is a feast for all lovers of trippy experimental prog. 'Osmose I' kicks off quite languidly, like a shade of light that illuminates the dawn's sky for sleepy eyes. 'Osmose II' shows a noticeable intensity increase, with a tribal-meets-funky pulsation augmented by a rocking vibe. The almost 10 minute long 'Osmose III' is the band's first expression of expansion and continuing feedback. Starting with an electric blues inspired basis in a slow tempo, very "Ummagumma", indeed. As the track goes on, the energy grows in a cleverly sustained manner, combining subtlety and intensity. The 18-minute 'Osmose IV', which filled the vinyl's B side, is the monster track. The Embryo similarities are easy to notice (although no rip-off or real imitation takes place). Juergen Jonusches' bass lines assume a leading role in many passages - in fact, it is the aleatory rhythm section's occurrences that set the mood for all the sections that go emerging as the track goes on. Some weird chanting married to tenor sax lines bring a playful lysergic mood. Between minutes 10 and 12 comes a drum solo accompanied by mesmeric pastoral flute lines and mysterious acoustic guitar phrases. After that, a series of sax, trumpet and trombone touches come by and by, creating an alternative to the duet of electric and acoustic guitar, while the drummer, once again, brings yet another solo without paying attention to what their partners are performing. This apparent sensation of chaos reveals, after a second or third listening, a clever exercise in the dadaistic textures of musique concrete and the unpredictable flows of free jazz. Full of improvisation and challenging moods, while not being excessive nor creepy, Annexus Quam's "Osmose" proves a solid hidden gem in the history of the most avant-garde side of prog.

(Review dedicated to my krautrock brother Philippe Blache).

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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