Exposé Online banner

Markus Reuter — Falling for Ascension
(Ronin Rhythm RON018, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-06-10

Falling for Ascension Cover art

It’s beginning to look like a reviewer could make a full-time job of just writing about the music Markus Reuter releases. Even taking into consideration that many of them are live improvisations like Centrozoon, there’s a lot of them. This particular one is a bit of a different beast than other recent releases. The music is based on somewhat minimalistic patterns on different instruments that are fit together and repeated with different permutations, a technique that was pioneered in rock music by the 80s incarnation of King Crimson. Reuter’s take on it here ventures into more esoteric territory than Crimson ever did, without any concessions to song forms (and certainly no vocal parts). To manifest this vision, he’s enlisted the Swiss band Sonar, and if you’ve heard their minimalist rock, it’s immediately apparent that they are the perfect collaborators for the project. But when playing Reuter’s compositions, they stray from their obsession with C and F#, giving this music much more harmonic variety than their own recordings. Combine this with the composer’s own playing and production, and this is a very satisfying work of art. I suppose that, given the generally understated nature of the music, it could function in an ambient role, and given the lack of hummable melodies, might come off as lacking substance or emotional engagement for some listeners. To some extent, it seems like an intellectual exercise, but for someone who goes in for that sort of thing, it is a gem. And to be fair, there are elements of human expression involved, mainly in some parts that might be called solos (almost certainly Reuter’s own playing) which have a vaguely Frippian tinge and tone. Falling for Ascension is a bit like a halfway point between Stick Men and Todmorden 513 – I’m not going to say it’s for everyone, but it definitely gets my synapses firing.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Markus Reuter, Sonar, Stephan Thelen

More info
http://markusreuter7d.bandcamp.com/album/falling-for-ascension

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ars Nova Biogenesis Project - Biogenesis – Biogenesis is the kind of overblown sci-fi epic that has both a built-in audience and legions of detractors. The fact that it comes from Japan’s Ars Nova, not exactly known for subtlety, does...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues