Digitalis By Markus Reuter Hypnos Recordings, 2000 http://www.hypnos.com Hypnos Recordings always brings us fascinating music. Digitalis comes from Markus Reuter in Germany. Like Hypnos' Jeff Pearce, Reuter uses only electronically modified and custom-built guitars to make his sounds, and as in much of Pearce's work, Reuter records "real-time." Again like Pearce, you'd never know that Reuter was playing a guitar or any other stringed instrument as it sounds just like a synthesizer. Despite the commonalities, Reuter and Pearce are very different. Reuter, in Digitalis, uses the overwrought chromaticism of European twentieth-century classical music as his harmonic resource, filling his musical passages with ascending and descending scales, along with wildly swirling spirals of notes produced by some arcane gadget faster than any human hand could play them. The swirling persists through the first four or five pieces, and then fades into a more familiar "dark ambient" style of sustained, organ-like chords. The track titles are taken from the language of mysticism and occultism: "Into the invisible world," "A massive glowing three-axis cross," and "Demonic Interference." Spooky, no? But there is also an "Angelic Interference" on the album. As the album progresses, Reuter passes from his ominous chromaticism (which sinks into the abyss on track 8, "Radiating Blackness") into a more conventional, plaintive modal harmony. In the last three tracks, the listener is led towards a lighter, more hopeful mood, until with the last two, "Whole" and "Holy," the sound is purely soft, meditative slow notes with not much motion at all. It's clearly meant to be a kind of spiritual narrative done in sound, but without the heavy mysticism of the track titles it must stand on its own as pure music. And I find that I like the earlier part of the album (the chromatic whirling scales and arpeggios) far better than the rather rambling, simpler compositions at the end. Does that mean that I would rather be among the demons of the invisible world, or just that they have a better soundtrack? HMGS rating: 8 out of 10 5/19/01
Markus Reuter: The Longest in Terms of Being Markus Reuter is the master of the ambient touch guitar. Mark Warr, of WARR Guitars, is the exclusive of Markus' guitars. This instrument, in the hands of this virtuoso, produces a very distinct sound. When Markus adds manipulations and treatments, the sound goes over the top, into uncharted zones. He recorded the tracks for The Longest in Terms of Being from July, 1999 through October, 1999 with one track from March, 2000. This set is a progression and a roller coaster of emotions. Markus has chosen to take listeners on a whirlwind tour of their own psyches. It promises to be an intense journey and to run the gamut of the dark side of the self. There are brief respites of contemplative melancholia but the overwhelming moods are dark, somber and ominous. At times, the disc even threatens to go sinister. This CD, released in 2001, is an excellent companion to Markus' collaborations, group projects and solo efforts. ~ Jim Brenholts, EER-MUSIC.com Centrozoon aka Markus Reuter: Sunset Lounge Debris Centrozoon is Markus Reuter - touch guitar and loops - and Bernhard Wostenreich - synthesizers and percussion. Sunset Lounge Debris is a set of unique ambience recorded "live" in the studio. Markus's touch guitar, made exclusively by Mark Warr of WARR Guitars, creates, in and of itself, unique sounds and unusual ambience. Bernhard's synths add depth and the loops add atmospheres. It all adds up to some wild ambient journeys. The journeys are not only wild, they are also worthy. The zones are strange and delightful. Markus and Bernhard take listeners in many different directions, simultaneously at times. By juxtaposing light and dark ambience, they have created a challenging soundscape. This is a great CD from a great duo. ~ Jim Brenholts, EER-MUSIC.com Ian Boddy, Markus Reuter and Nigel Mullaney: Triptych A triptych is a picture made up of three distinct pictures. It can be folded so that each picture can be viewed separately. Triptychs are often religious images. Triptych is also a deep set of e-music from Ian Boddy, Markus Reuter and Nigel Mullaney. Ian and Nigel collaborated as Dub Atomica on Autonomic. Ian and Markus collaborated on Distant Rituals, one of the first releases on Ian's DiN label. This CD has a lot going for it. As listeners expect from Ian, there are scads of deep sequences and large atmospheres. Markus's WARR guitar has its customary distinct and experimental sound. Nigel's steady rhythms and manipulations complete the set. And what a thrill ride this is! These consummate electronicians are at the top of their games. The synth plays off the WARR guitar perfectly. Ian and Markus are in the sympatico zone. It is as if they are one. Nigel's ministrations are not secondary either. These three artistes are on the same page at the same time. The DiN label is still putting out "the finest in electronica." This CD, DiN #9, is some of the year's best space music. ~ Jim Brenholts, EER-MUSIC.com
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