Title - 'Sun Trance'
Artist - Markus Reuter
For those unaware, one of the 21st century's most joyously unconventional, innovative musicians and composers, Markus Reuter, supported by an eleven-piece ensemble cast, embarks on a most ambitious project of sorts.
Recorded in front of a live audience in Mannheim, Germany, in 2017, Sun Trance (out October 16th, 2020 via MoonJune Records) could perhaps best be described as a sort of trance-avantgarde-psychedelic sonic hybrid.
His enticing textural work aside, Markus Reuter's guitar work has never sounded bigger or more commanding. His huge, shrieking overdriven tones carry the music to some shimmering (and pleasantly surprising) heights.
The guitar passages expose complexities, nuance and harmonic possibilities that reflect not only the perspective of an imaginative, intuitive improviser, but also the insight and acumen of a profound composer.
You can get lost in this music, but, rest assured, it will find you. Essential feeding for the more ravenous, yet refined, of progressive and avant-garde packs.
Reuter, a German composer who has earned critical acclaim throughout Europe and America for his work as a composer, guitar player, guitar designer, sound designer, producer and teacher, now brings forth this quite wondrous new album, that, and together with cover artwork by Ritxi Ostáriz, not only showcases a musician at the top of his game, but also highlights a textured, cultured rhythm of self being.
Commissioned by Prof. Dennis Kuhn on behalf of Mannheimer Schlagwerk (a percussion ensemble based in Mannheim, Germany), Sun Trance brings forth a quite magnificent, fluid, heartfelt and layered recording, performed by six percussionists, plus six additional players on bass clarinet, electric guitar, electric bass, synthesizer, drums, and the composer's own touch guitar and soundscapes.
Having listened to this piece twice now, I find it absolutely amazing to since learn that Reuter's guitar work was largely improvised on the day, his musical expertise being just so profoundly dedicated, so expertly grounded.
Given that Reuter is an exceptional soloist, you should know from the off that his work here is most definitely not a guitar concerto based around the great man.
No, for Sun Trance is a slowly evolving piece that alluringly centers around a base line of pattern repetition and lush use of percussion, all laid down on a bed of harmonically structured soundscapes throughout.
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