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ANNEXUS QUAM

Krautrock • Germany


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Annexus Quam biography
Founded in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1967 (as Ambition of Music)

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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Osmose [Vinyl]Osmose [Vinyl]
ohr/pilz 2009
$13.80
$48.60 (used)
BeziehungenBeziehungen
ohr/pilz 1999
$10.97
$5.03 (used)
Beziehungen by Annexus Quam (2005-07-12)Beziehungen by Annexus Quam (2005-07-12)
ohr/pilz
$50.96
$55.32 (used)
Osmose by Annexus QuamOsmose by Annexus Quam
ohr/pilz
$56.65
Annexus Quam - Osmose - Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds - LPS049Annexus Quam - Osmose - Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds - LPS049
Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds
$33.59
Annexus Quam - Osmose - Ohr Today - OHR 70004-1, ZYX Music - OHR 70004-1Annexus Quam - Osmose - Ohr Today - OHR 70004-1, ZYX Music - OHR 70004-1
Ohr Today
$27.50
BeziehungenBeziehungen
Captain Trips
$18.00
$21.69 (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)

3.78 | 60 ratings
Osmose
1970
3.26 | 26 ratings
Beziehungen
1972

ANNEXUS QUAM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ANNEXUS QUAM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beziehungen by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.26 | 26 ratings

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Beziehungen
Annexus Quam Krautrock

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.

 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.78 | 60 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

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

4 stars While psychedelic space rock may have found its origins in the mid-60s British scene most notably by Pink Floyd as well as others at the famous UFO Club in London, there is no denying that it was the German Krautrock scene that really nurtured it and took it all to the farthest trips of the day with a huge underground scene diversifying into myriad musical arenas. One of the most interesting of the lot was the Düsseldorf (nearby Kamp-Lintfort actually) based ANNEXUS QUAM who released two albums in the early 70s straddling the line between psychedelic rock and free jazz. Their roots stem as far back as 1967 as a hippy band named Ambition In Music but in the process of constant gigging and touring the members were growing bored with the predictability of the pop music scene and became more adventurous and eventually acquired seven members that added guitar, bass, drums, clarinet, flute, sax and trombone to the sound.

The band was signed to the underground Ohr label and made their first appearance on the 1970 compilation "Ohrenschmaus - Neue Pop-Musik aus Deutschland" which featured the track "Kollodium" that never made it onto the first album but debuted their interesting mix of cosmic Third Ear Band freedom with trippy folk flute, jazzy bursts of saxophone and trombone blended in a psychedelic fuzzy haze. Their debut OSMOSE (osmosis) featured four tracks with the first two shorter in length and more oriented in a drum heavy psychedelic rock with jazzy touches and the two final ones that exceed ten minutes in length and venture out into the great unknown with some of the most cosmic Krautrock of 1970. They played on the Expo 70 tour in Osaka, Japan and have the honor of being the very first German rock band to perform in that country.

OSMOSE is one of those instantly recognizable albums for its colorfully lysergic album cover that finds various scenes melting into the next and displays the perfect visual for the accompanying sound effects within. This is a free flowing sort of music with no regard to conventional song structures and instead relies on a steady Indo-raga sort of percussive drive that varies from rock drumming on the first track to the heavily jazzed up second track but as the album continues becomes more hypnotic as it merely coasts along as the other instruments flutter by in seemingly random streams of consciousness. The psychedelia is turned up as far as possible with occasional fuzzed out guitar, psychedelic keyboards and twangy echoed effects that include ring modulation. While at times it takes on an Ash Ra Temple vibe it equally straddles the jazzy Kraut sector of Embryo or Lard Free albeit well before those bands got their feet wet.

ANNEXUS QUAM were hot in the heels of the earliest Krautrock experiences such as Amon Duul II, Can or Xhol Caravan but instantly conjured up a unique spaced out style that is an instrumental journey into the cosmos and beyond with only drugged out nonsensical moans providing the only vocals on board. This is really an extended jam session based in a predominantly acoustic environment in an Indo-raga meets free form jazz and rock experience. The album is quite chilled out and plods along at a slow speed as it takes elements from many musical arenas and rides a sonic wave to infinity. Not as structured as their contemporaries in the songwriting department but quite successful in taking the psychedelia to the maximum levels. OSMOSE is one of the earliest examples of the kosmische Krautrock scene that has a timeless feel as the zeitgeist of the early movement transcended the place and time where it emerged. One of my favorites of the trippy side of the Kraut scene but i'm equally fond of the second and final album "Beziehungen."

 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.78 | 60 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Annexus Quam is one of those Krautrock groups I've been aware of for years, mainly doing research on the Ohr label. Osmose certainly came with one of the most interesting gimmick covers I have ever seen. The album consists of basically extended, jazzy jams with some minor spaciness. The band never bothered to give any of the cuts titles (like Cluster on their debut album from 1971, as Cluster that is, not Kluster), so it's basically divided into four parts, the fourth part taking up all of side two. I really don't know who to compare this with, just as I mentioned before, Krautrock with a jazzy bent. Different from the ethno-fusion Krautrock of Dzyan or Embryo. I'm guessing free jazz, avant jazz, and Pink Floyd are some references here. The last part features an interesting drum/percussion solo, doing some really creative moves with them. This is certainly one of the rarer titles on the Ohr label (nothing on the label is as rare as the "Ultima Thule" single from Tangerine Dream, though, but Osmose is still quite hard to come by). Reviewing this type of stuff is always difficult for me, as the emphasis here is on jamming rather than regulary songs and melodies, but I really enjoy what I hear here, and if you don't mind your Krautrock on the jazzy side, this is well worth investigating.
 Beziehungen by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.26 | 26 ratings

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Beziehungen
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

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,,,

 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.78 | 60 ratings

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Osmose
Annexus Quam Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Beziehungen by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.26 | 26 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.

 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.78 | 60 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.

 Beziehungen by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.26 | 26 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.

 Osmose by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.78 | 60 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.

 Beziehungen by ANNEXUS QUAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.26 | 26 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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