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Annexus Quam


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Annexus Quam Beziehungen album cover
3.26 | 31 ratings | 7 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Trobluhs el E Isch (5:29)
2. Leyenburg 1 (14:05)
3. Dreh Dich Nicht Um (16:20)
4. Leyenburg 2 (3:35)

Total Time: 39:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Werner / guitar, percussion
- Hans Kämper / Spanish guitar, trombone, panpipes
- Ove Volquartz / tenor & soprano saxophones, flute
- Harald Klemm / electric zither, tabla, bendir, jew's harp, prepared guitar
- Martin Habenicht / bass, double bass

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Geitner

LP Ohr ‎- OMM 556 028 (1972, Germany)

CD Ohr ‎- CD 14811 (1993, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANNEXUS QUAM Beziehungen ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ANNEXUS QUAM Beziehungen reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BaldJean
3 stars This is certainly not an easy album to listen to, and also not an easy album to review. It is one of the most extreme albums using free-form improvisation; the first album of Annexus Quam had much more structure. The music has its inspired moments and is at times beautiful even, especially in "Leyenburg 1", but one has to be in the right mood (in essence be really stoned) to be able to listen to this album. While "Osmose", their first album (which had one of the most intersting gimmick covers of all time in the vinyl version, by the way) managed to get to the point in the improvisations, the improvisations on "Beziehungen" often seem to lose the thread. Hence only 3 stars for this album.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars AQ's second album, Biziehungen, is the logical continuity of their debut album, even if it has fairly "progressed", although not exactly to my liking. Indeed the balance between Nucleus-like jazz-rock and Tippett-like free jazz (in favour of the first one in their debut) has been reversed. The album cover is a bit misleading as well as the joyous space rock artwork clashes completely with a good deal of the album.

Only four tracks on this baby and after the great opening track Trobluhs, which is reminiscent of their debut album, the album veers into a senseless and way too lengthy (IMHO at least) free improv Leyenburg 1, where the group seems to be doing so, just because it seems like the "thing to do to be considered a serious muso". Although there are lapse where the music does come back to more charted territories, the bulk of it is lost to this writer.

Indeed the second side does start better (with a good intense third of the way into the lengthiest track of the album, it again veers into indulgent free improvs, and even if the track does come back to reality every so often, by coming back to the opening feel, it is simply too much that will eliminate itself from a relatively frequent and infrequent spinning rotation in your deck. This is so, especially given that the last track is the second part of the difficult Leyenburg of the first side, even if in this case, the "thing" is not senseless.

This second album is unfortunately a wasted opportunity to take their music in adventurous territories without becoming obtuse. Not one of the legendary label Ohr's better releases, this album is only for those who are familiar with the more difficult side of their Osmose album.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Annexus Quam underwent a radical change of experimental rock style between the splendid debut album "Osmose" and their sophomore effort "Beziehungen". For this album, the band got rid of a permanent percussive section and focused more decidedly on the free-spirited elaboration of horns and flutes and the enhancement of the avant-garde potential (already present in "Osmose" but handled within a more explicit frame). In this line of work, the band had it clear that they better highlight their talent to create and develop atmospheres as a conjunction of individuals instead of going for a compact collective sound. The album kicks off with 'Trobluhs el E Isch', a track softly relying on partially defined textures that feature vivid dialogues between sax and trombone, with the dual guitar strumming and controlled bass lines preparing a pertinent harmonic foundation, pretty much in the cosmic vein. In fact, this track is related to the quieter aspects of the band's debut album (and I'm not the first one to notice this). The grayish atmosphere delivered in this opener is succeeded by the inscrutable 'Leyenburg 1', a mysterious yet delicious exercise on free jazz-meets-contemporary chamber. Once again, the sax and the trombone indulge in dialogues that set relevant moods for the track's development, but this time the structure is less solid: it is something that goes on deconstructing and reshaping as the interactions go on. Ambiences vary from deceitfully relaxing to exhilarating and back again. The guitar phrases and percussive tricks stand somewhere between the chaotic side of late 70s psychedelia and the musique concrete-friendly trends that were at the time followed by Faust and Cluster. Meanwhile, the contrabass stands on the jazzier side of things, delivering discrete cadences in calculated places. The 16+ minute long 'Dreh Dich Nicht Um' is set on a languid, hypnotic structure of rhythm guitars (one of them Spanish) and bass subtle ornaments that states a tricky hint to jazz atmospheres: the jazz factor is first capitalized by the flute, and then by the sax. Volquartz shines here like he had never done it before on any AQ piece: when his sax is left alone, he knows how to feature even in those instants in which the void is utilized. At one point, chimes and hand percussions emerge to prepare the road for the reappearance of the Spanish guitar, which now plays a series of stylish arpeggios in a contemporary chamber mode. The flute lines are created with a sense of encapsulated energy, while the soft pulsations displayed on the two guitars bring an exotic mood similar to Amon Düül II's ethnic moments or Agitation Free (without the drums, of course). 'Leyenburg 2' retakes the avant-garde determination of 'Leyenburg 2', until we get to the 2'20" mark, which is when the marriage of trombone and bowed contrabass set the foundation for the controlled coda, whose fade-out comes too soon. This is a weird album, indeed, yet its musical excellence in terms of prog krautrock-style is perfectly patent (at least, to my ears). Many AQ connoisseurs reasonably prefer the debut album, but "Beziehungen" is the album that should reveal us the floating side of their music.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars ANNEXUS QUAM's second and final sudio album is a big departure from their excellent debut. It seems like they decided to make free-form improvised music without any structure whatsoever. For me this makes for a tedius listen although this album does have it's moments.The cover art of the band in a dingey floating in space pretty much sums up the music here (haha).

"Trobluhs El E Isch" is mellow with gentle guitar and sax. It does build some. It turns a little dissonant including the sound of people pouring drinks and other weird sounds. Not much in the way of melody until very late. "Leyenburg 1" opens with bass as horns join in. It stops and you can hear people breathing and other strange noises. Bass and sax are back as they come and go.Then it almost stops again with intricate sounds.The sax is back and dissonant before 4 minutes as the bass throbs. It settles again as the rest of the song slowly plays out.

"Dreh Dich Nicht Um" builds with guitars.This sounds good. Bass before 3 minutes then the flute joins in. Sax 6 minutes in until it's sax only before 7 1/2 minutes. Strange sounds join in. It picks back up with guitars and flute before 13 minutes. Bass follows. "Leyenburg 2"' opens with experimental sounds and sax. Very avant with no melody really.

A tough listen for me and I think i'll stick with their excellent debut. Barely 3 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The least you can say is that this album doesn't sound anything like what you might expect from the artwork. It may look like a bunch of hippies on a symphonic loveboat through space, but the music is almost entirely free-jazz, abandoning much of the delicious psychedelic jazz-rock from the debut.

When touring their Osmose album, Annexus Quam gradually turned towards experimental jazz music, abandoning drums and electric instruments for a primarily free improvisational style. In doing so they sure progressed far outside their fans' comfort zone, who hurried to abandon the sinking ship. It's quite a bit out of my way as well, but after continuing to digest this album in small portions, I've really come to like it.

Things start out quite welcoming with the beautiful Trobluhs el E Isch, a melancholic duet of trombone and sax, later joined by jazzy guitar chords and some melodious bass and percussion.

It doesn't warn the listener for the disturbing free jazz that follows. Leyenburg is a 20 minute improvisation (divided in two parts) without any structure, tonal restpoint or soothing harmonies. Instead it offers snappy disconnected shreds of melody and sounds that clash about in irregular and unpredictable ways, an instrumental "Trout Mask Replica" is the closest comparison I can think off. Now I can't tell you why, but somehow it works for me. The seemingly random dialogue between the instruments creates a new sort of language that - even if unintelligible - still is striking and intriguing.

Dreh Dich Nicht Um has similar free jazz traits in the middle section, but it also offers pleasant acoustic guitar arpeggios in the long opening and closing sections. The lazy-hazy psych mood of it reminds of Mythos and Dom, two other obscure Kraut bands inspired by the dreamy pastoral side of early Floyd.

Beziehungen is an awkward album for Prog Archives, the tracks vary between uncompromising free-jazz and abstract psychedelic experiments that, even for most kraut and jazz-rock fans, will be very much a hit or miss. Approach at your own risk.

Review by Dobermensch
2 stars Blimey! This one's just as irritating as their first! At least 'Beziehungen' is a bit more lively but by God those random tuneless horns hurt my brain...

Another meandering album that has no idea what it wants to be or where it wants to go. Give a bunch of kids a handful of wind instruments and I'm sure they could concoct something similar to this. I guess it's still Krautrock in the loosest of terms.

Thankfully 'Dreh Dich Nicht Um' - the 2nd track - has some nice acoustic guitar, but the whole tune still wanders about aimlessly. That annoying saxophone rears its ugly head again half way through spoiling what was verging on a decent song. How is it possible to play an instrument with so little tune or skill? Mercifully it evaporates and we're left with that cool guitar and the inclusion of a flute. This sounds SO 70's you wouldn't believe it but at least the last 7 minutes have been pretty good.

'Leyenburg 2' the last track - has that horn thing going on again - it sounds like an episode of 'Paddington Bear' from the 70's after he's missed his train.

Bahh! Not good,,,

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
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.

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