Thursday, February 19, 2015

Annexus Quam - 1970 - Osmose

Annexus Quam

01. Osmose I (4:15)
02. Osmose II (3:11)
03. Osmose III (10:36)
04. Osmose IV (18:20)

- Uwe Bick / drums, vocals, percussion
- Jürgen Jonuschies / bass, vocals, percussion
- Werner Hostermann / clarinet, organ, vocals, percussion
- Peter Werner / guitar, vocals, percussion
- Hans Kämper / spanish guitar, trombone, vocals, percussion
- Ove Volquartz / saxophone, flute
- Harald Klemm / flute, vocals, percussion

 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.

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