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ANNEXUS QUAM

Krautrock • Germany


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Annexus Quam biography
Another fine jazz influenced krautrock band which delivers ambitious, inventive sounds. As it was said, the geographical roots of the band are from Kamp-Lintfort near Düsseldorf back to 1967. At this time the musicians were connected with a local religious brass band and then they decided to form a "cosmic" rock band to expand their own musical ideas and to put the stress on the jazziest side of their music. Very interlocking their first album released in 1970 for the ohr label definitely represents the fusion between "cosmic" music and jazz rock. Their strange, psych improvisations are mixed with weird space / electronic effects. Wind instruments (mainly the flute and the trumpet) are associated to the electric organ and conventional electric guitar parts. These combinations offer a tasteful musical ensemble. Recorded in 1972, their following album is maybe more elaborated, more evident with a very accomplished improvisatory approach. Consequently two remarkable efforts which contributed to the development of the Krautrock scene.

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE : : :

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OsmoseOsmose
ohr/pilz 1999
Audio CD$12.41
$20.34 (used)
BeziehungenBeziehungen
Import
2006
Audio CD$21.18
$12.95 (used)
BeziehungenBeziehungen
Captain Trips
Audio CD$18.00
$17.00 (used)
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ANNEXUS QUAM discography


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ANNEXUS QUAM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 43 ratings
Osmose
1970
3.23 | 17 ratings
Beziehungen
1972

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ANNEXUS QUAM Reviews


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 Beziehungen  by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.23 | 17 ratings

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Beziehungen
Annexus Quam Krautrock

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,,,

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 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.80 | 43 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

2 stars You really get the urge to give these guys a slap around the face to waken them up. It sounds like they're playing their instruments while half asleep lying in bed.

I was misled by the superb front cover. It's a bit of a misnomer. I expected something a bit stranger and more original, Basically you get the usual early Kraut sound from the early 70's. There's a few flutes are thrown in once in a while which livens things up, but it's really an album that has no idea as to where it's heading... It has all the trappings of early Kraut but sorely misses a vocalist amongst the excessive jamming that is clearly going on.

Luckily for Osmose, the last track (all 18 minutes of it!) is something of a dramatic improvement even if some of the drumming seems poorly out of time. They've finally arisen from their beds and have started playing with a bit of conviction, but it's all too late... I'm fed up with this.

I'm probably being a bit hard on this album, but there's so much better and original music available from this period of Krautrock, that I feel justified in the rating I apply.

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 Beziehungen  by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.23 | 17 ratings

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Beziehungen
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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.

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 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.80 | 43 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Osmose is a prime example of the psych jazz-rock direction in the early Kraut scene. In this area everything has to answer to Miles Davis, but with this strong collection of songs, Annexus Quam's debut deserves to be up there with the best.

The first track is short but heavy, sounding like Pink Floyd doing a slowly grinding funeral march. The drum parts remind of Nick Mason's early style, slow but entrancing, with hallow pounding toms. The second piece is more upbeat, with dazed organs and stoned wordless vocals accompanying the snake-charming pulse.

The longer pieces present a mix of early Floyd (Careful With That Axe) with jazz-rock similar to Nucleus' and Soft Machine's early albums. The music flows freely in unexpected directions and might probably sound too disjointed or too experimental for most listeners. I adore it though; it evokes a dream world full of weird and mesmerizing scenes.

This album remained largely unnoticed, unknown and buried under the weight of 40 years of rock history, but it has been an outstanding discovery. Not an essential title but an excellent companion next to your Nucleus, Soft Machine and Dzyan albums.

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 Beziehungen  by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.23 | 17 ratings

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Beziehungen
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.80 | 43 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Buze

2 stars I do not know a lot about this group. But as I see there's only two albums to their credit, I must conclude their career did not went well... This is pretty much the same in this album. We find 4 songs, 2 short and two very long songs, a standard for 1970. It seems to be improvisation all the way, with space textures, bizarre voices, and a lot of exploration. Another standard for 1970. The overall sound feels like sitting in a basement, with friends and beer, recording a live band, at the age of 17. Remembered me some souvenirs !

This music is not bad, but if you never listened to music while smoking fresh herbs, you will be kind of lost. ;) And yes, it was another standard for the early 70's. But seriously, the music is so out of space, you don't know where you're going. There is not really a melody, only loops and the sounds of life on a foreign planet. With 7 musicians making sounds as they feel it, this sounds like a melting pot.

But suprisingly, we reach the end of the album without pain, and the 18 minutes song pass like a fresh summer breeze.... in a space shuttle. :)

If you want to discover some music, go ahead, you'll have a good time.

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 Beziehungen  by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.23 | 17 ratings

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Beziehungen
Annexus Quam Krautrock

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.

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 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.80 | 43 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is pretty much an all instrumental album with some vocal melodies here and there.The seven member band play a variety of instruments including flute, sax, clarinet, trombone, bass, organ and guitar with most of them playing percussion. The sound is mostly relaxed with some psychedelic passages making an appearance once and a while. I guess you could say this is music to veg out to.

"Osmose I" is a slow moving track that opens with reserved horns and flute for a minute.Then guitar, organ and percussion enter this psychedelic soundscape. Various spacey sounds follow with more relaxed horn melodies. "Osmose II" is more uptempo with percussion and vocal melodies leading the way. "Osmose III" is over 10 minutes long and closes out the first side of the album. Dual horns, percussion and guitar a minute in as the organ arrives. Vocal melodies after 3 minutes in this relaxing and dreamy tune. This sounds so good. Guitar and flute dominate 5 minutes in with that relaxed beat.

The final track "Osmose IV" is a side long suite at over 18 minutes in length. It opens with piano as a catchy melody of percussion, horns and guitar follow. 6 1/2 minutes in the song calms down as we are left with mostly percussion. Flute joins in 11 minutes in as it helps create a nice sound. 16 minutes in the melody stops as we get different sounds coming and going the rest of the way.

Another excellent Krautrock album for you fans to check out.

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 Beziehungen  by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.23 | 17 ratings

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Beziehungen
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

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.

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 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.80 | 43 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by jasonpw.

4 stars Here is my review of ''Osmose'' by Annexus Quam.. "Osmose 1'' has a slow,steady beat with some psychadelic influences,while ''Osmose 2'' is a psychadelic rocker. "Osmose 3'' start's off mellow,then build's up halfway through, which reminds me of the Pink Floyd song ''Careful With That Axe,Eugene''. "Osmose 4'' kind of has a doo-wop feel to it with it's rhythm part's, along with flute,trumpet,and a few weird chanting sounds. Plus, there is a short drum solo, which sounds similar to the drum solo in the Pink Floyd song "Grand Vizier's Garden Party''. If you like late 60's Pink Floyd, you may like this.

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