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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MARKUS REUTER: Sultry Kissing Lounge (2014)

“This is mainly going to charm the fans of Eno/Fripp with long abstract guitar laments which plunge us into the dark territories of ambient music”

1 Kandi 6:41

2 Patricia 4:58

3 Francesca 4:38

4 Lorena 5:45

5 Olga 5:05

6 Veronica 6:35

7 Valentina 4:12

8 Julia 6:05

9 Brigitte 4:44

10 Josefine 6:57

11 Roberta 5:29

12 Michaela 6:32

13 Gabrielle 9:54

(DDL 78:06) (V.F.)

(Ambient & experimental Touch Guitar)

We know the name of Markus Reuter for his numerous collaborations with Ian Boddy and more recently with Stephen Parsick. A dominant figure in the circles of progressive ambient music, he presents here his last solo album since Trepanation, released in 2009. His 7th since his Taster in 1997. Whether it's with Centrozoon and his long-time partner Bernhard Wöstheinrich, or in duet, the German guitarist brings a sulphurous dimension in sonic atmospheres which grow rich of his abstract vocabulary. Needs to hear Colour Division with Ian Boddy and Ceasing To Exist with Stephen Parsick, to seize all the dimension of this skillful sculptor of enigmatic vibes who sheds his burning tears and hissing guitars' strata among which the slow loops and the long agonies are merging into some nebulas vampiric waves and give an intriguing soundscapes to a meditative music which is dying of black. In solo, the effect is rather different! SULTRY KISSING LOUNGE is a sonic collection of 13 music pieces where Markus Reuter tortures and exorcises his Touch Warr Guitar to give it some Robert Fripp's airs. A six-strings which looks for the linear vibes of Brian Eno in sonic capsules devoid of rhythms. Moreover, the reference to this duet is quite indicated to describe at best this album. So much that our ears are sometimes quite confused.

It's within the framework of The Crimson ProjeKCt's tour, which took place in Europe in spring 2014, that the bases of this album were conceived, played and mostly recorded in improvisation sessions. This project, which includes the participation of artists as famous as Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Tobias Ralph, and Julie Stick, is an homage to the work of King Crimson. And it was Markus Reuter who opened those shows with short interludes to which he gave feminine names. Kandi appears at our ears in a shy way. Soft Cartesian waves float as spectres in the black. We hear delicate pulsations which are smothered by slow lifeless momentums from which the swirls are doing immense sonic waves and add a quite affectionate mood. Intelligent in his presentation, Markus Reuter establishes a kind of sound crescendo which rises gradually in the course of the tracks. Tracks for the greater part improvised where the Frippertronic waves are gliding in the air as recollections misled in our drawers of incomprehensibility. Because here, the survival of this project is bound to our degree of tolerance. Behind these walls of crushing, frying and organic tones of a metal fauna are hiding pads of a guitar with a shape of languorous floating solos as in Patricia, Veronica and Roberta which inhales the airs of the ambient nomad that is Erik Wollo. Airs that we also find on the beautiful and penetrating Michaela. Most of the tracks here are quiet and disturbing, but some have lot of emotions. Exactly like Kandi and also Francesca, the sweet and dark Olga as well as the very ambient Valentina and Julia, without forgetting Gabrielle which wraps us of her black wings. There are dramatic odes. Sonic tapestries black and intense as in Lorena, Brigitte and Josefine which bathe in some heavy Frippertronic resounding guitar pads and laments. Guitar pads which glide here and there all over this collection of sound improvisations from Markus Reuter but which float on these titles with more insistence. And the way Gabrielle concludes the album, we understand that Markus Reuter still had lot of juice in his magic fingers.

SULTRY KISSING LOUNGE is an album which is not within the reach of all ears. Moreover, there are many ears that would believe to hear the same airs so much these ambient structures of Frippertronic vibes are molded in the same hallucinogenic perfumes. It's an album filled by a lot of very ectoplasmic vibes where Markus Reuter's Touch Guitar is roaring lamentations of metallic fluidity as is singing somber bewitching airs which scratch a hearing of the most curious. The fans of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, as well as Centrozoon and Markus Reuter are simply going to delight in it.

Sylvain Lupari (July 5th, 2014) ***½**

Available at Markus Reuter Bandcamp

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