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J. Peter Schwalm / Markus Reuter — Aufbruch
(RareNoise RNR129, 2021, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-12-03

Aufbruch Cover art

I’ve encountered J. Peter Schwalm in a variety of different contexts over the last 15 or so years, including collaborations with Brian Eno and his own electroacoustic atmospheres, and of course Markus Reuter is well known to Exposé readers, having featured in dozens of albums we’ve reviewed (and dozens more we haven’t) ranging from heavy progressive rock to electronic music to orchestral pieces. Aufbruch is what happens when these two talented musicians get together, and it’s a fascinating succession of sounds spanning identifiable instruments such as keyboards and Reuter’s Touch Guitar, to atmospheric washes and noises of uncertain origin. I’m often reminded of the creative soundtrack work of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson (think Arrival) with occasional touches similar to Stick Men improvs. Many of the tracks are built around drones — long tones that fade in and out, slowly building chordal structures and morphing them in ambiguous sequences — both with and without heavily processed percussive noises. There are a few places where Touch Guitar or synthesizers set up a kind of rhythmic pattern, but never anything like a steady groove. The album ends on a most satisfying mood with “Abschied,” a piece which features stately harmonic movement, like a meditative processional. It’s all the more effective when experienced as a variation or callback to the earlier track called “Ruckzug.” These two musicians are magically creative on their own, and together they’ve made something worthy of both catalogs.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Markus Reuter, J. Peter Schwalm

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