donderdag 17 februari 2011

Annexus Quam - 1970 - Osmose

Annexus Quam 

1. Osmose I (4:15)
2. Osmose II (3:11)
3. Osmose III (10:36)
4. Osmose IV (18:20)

Total Time: 36:22

- Uwe Bick / singer, vocals, percussion
- Jürgen Jonuschies / bass, vocals, percussion
- Werner Hostermann / clarinet, vocals, percussion
- Peter Werner / guitar, vocals, percussion
- Hans Kämper / guitar, vocals, percussion
- Ove Volquartz / saxophone
- Harald Klemm / flute, vocals, percussion, trumpet

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.
Starting out as early as 67 under the name of Ambition Of Music, AQ is one of those early 70's wonder in Krautrock, all the more legendary for having their two albums released on the famous Ohr label, even if both are fairly different from each other. On this debut album, AQ is a septet with most of the members being multi-instrumentalists, and their debut contained four unnamed tracks (two short and two long ones), the whole thing packaged in a many foldout artwork sleeve making this album rather expensive in its vinyl form. Not everything is perfect on this album, especially in the numerous fade-outs (some in-built in the tracks), but overall the album is a pure joy to have.
The music presented on this album is strange form of psychedelic jazz-rock (a bit like if Nucleus met the Saucerful-era Floyd), which reminds me a bit of Missus Beastly's early albums. The first two tracks are the short ones but not necessarily the easiest to cope with, far from it, really!! The first is a very-slow track that is unbelievable heavy which freaks out completely into heavy spacy-echoed sounds. Grandiose. The second track is a much faster three-minute affair, which stands a bit alone out of line with the rest of the album's style, but it is absolutely nothing shocking. This is the rockiest and least jazzy track on the album and the weakest. The first of the long tracks (rounding up side one) is an altogether different affair with its almost 11-mins and its Nucleus-styled brass section cross with an organ that you'd swear is played by a certain Mr Wright, while the wordless vocalizings is reminiscent of a raunchier Wyatt on Third. This is, along with the leadoff track, Osmose's apex.
The second side is taken up by the sidelong 18-min+ track, which bases its sound on the previous tracks but it has some lengths, especially in the percussion passage about two thirds of the way into the track and losses itself.
As their following album will follow two years later, under a fairly different line-up, being much more improvised free jazz, Osmose is from far AQ's best works and very much essential to early Krautrock history. All I have seen so far is a Spalax label reissue of this album (which I heard is OOP), but hopefully this will be reissued with the Kollodium bonus track on the Ohrenschmaus sampler album. Much worth the eavesdropping even if it is flawed.

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