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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MARKUS REUTER: Trepanation (2006)

Updated: May 9, 2020

Despite the beauty and nobility behind the basics of its creation, Trepanation remains an opus difficult to tame. But the insistence is worth it

1 The Key to Conscience 6:48

2 Preparation 5:29

3 3–4 Days Before The Echo 16:42

4 No Part of me Could Summon A Voice 10:09

5 A Prospect that is Simple 6:55

6 Beat 9:23

7 Oneness to Deceive 6:54

8 Number of the Mind 17:09

(DDL 79:33) (V.F.)

(Ambient Textures)

I've had this album for a while. Ben Cox of Spotted Peccary told me about it. Warning me that it would take some listening before getting used to the atmospheric envelope of Markus Reuter. I tried a first listening and froze at 3–4 Days Before the Echo. Then I heard [´ramp] and Ceasing To Exist. And that's where I discovered the intricacies of the Markus Reuter universe. A daring guitarist who manipulates the famous Warr guitar. A strings guitar struck with an amplified sound.

TREPANATION is an operation which consists in removing a piece of frontal bone in order to let go a little pressure on the brain. An abandoned practice that was to create a climate of tension and paranoia on the subject. And this is absolutely what Markus Reuter transposes with emotion and skill on his last opus. A journey inside a tormented mind, in the depths of its incomprehension. And it starts with The Key to Conscience. A long sluggish movement where modular loops and their bass tones cross the reverberation of guitar's chords resonating in an empty space. This resonance attracts more harmonious and chimes which flutter through explosions of scattered strings. Preparation breathes reality with its delicate bass hypnotic pulsations which rest on a beautiful synthesized path and that dreary voice which tries to infiltrate our state of hypnosis. Once the sound explosions have been assimilated, 3–4 Days Before the Echo finds its reason for being. A long atmospheric piece, very ambient and very spatial with internal voices which increase the stress of schizophrenia. The light cracks infiltrate a static firmament where everything seems to coagulate in the sound filters. The synth modulates impulses with fluidity without really taking a rhythmic form. Pure suspension music which develops through the accumulation of synth pads with cosmic sound effects whose scattered explosions have that metallic / industrial taste of Blade Runner. No Part of me Could Summon a Voice progresses on acute modulations that allow children's voices to filter through mechanical rattling. A Prospect That is Simple brings a warmer and more human touch to the dull and tortured universe of TREPANATION. The synth layers float in a serene ambience where the modulations cross short harmonious segments. Beat picks up the chime keys from the beginning that tinkle on the heavy buzzing pulsations of the Warr guitar. Hypnotic and bewitching, the title resonates with a chimes opacity which needs the tenderness of Oneness To Deceive; a long movement shaken by backfires that seem to find silence in an echo of emptiness. Number of the Mind ends this opus with a long inert movement. A lullaby for minds tortured by misunderstanding, by ignorance of technology in the face of deviance and human absence.

Despite the beauty and nobility behind the basics of its creation, TREPANATION remains an opus difficult to tame. But the insistence is worth it, especially if the unusual sound experiences appeal to you. A dark and tortuous journey in the spirit of mental perdition. This is the background of a work elaborated with meticulousness by Markus Reuter; a brilliant German guitarist who offers us an enriching sound crusade which is ideal for testing the calibration of your loudspeakers.

Sylvain Lupari (July 4th, 2014) ***¼**

Available at Markus Reuter Bandcamp

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