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TEAR — Secret Music
(Iapetus no#, 2019, DL)
TEAR — City of Memories
(Bandcamp no#, 2019, DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-01-29
In late 2019 Markus Reuter (Touch Guitar, electronics) and Mark Wingfield (electric guitar, electronics) released two albums of music under the moniker TEAR. Both of these were previously recorded live radio sessions that the duo wanted to make available; the first, Secret Music, was recorded live at Scott Raymond's "Secret Music" radio show (WVKR-FM, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY) on August 12, 2018, released at the end of October 2019, and the second, City of Memories, was recorded live on the Irene Trudel radio show (WFMU FM, Jersey City, NJ) on February 14, 2017, and released November 16th 2019. Both sets were made available as downloads only (no physical media at this time) at a price anyone can afford: pay whatever you like. No telling how long these will remain available, or if there will be any future releases, but the two artists have chosen to bring in new listeners this way. The WVKR set consists of two extended ambient improvisations, both around sixteen minutes each, just guitar, touch-guitar with electronic pre-and-post processing, a truly calming listening experience, not quite floating ambient – both Reuter and Wingfield are constantly adding sounds and blending them together in real time, swelling and shimmering, that wander and evolve freely, sometimes capturing glimpses of melodic color, other times just pulling back and presenting dark and light moving textures as they proceed forward in a dense cloud of power. If one is looking for flashy playing, that’s really not what this is about, instead offering a spirit of calm and beauty and a mingling of ideas. Both pieces are similar in nature, but readily distinguishable from one another. The WFMU set, which was recorded over a year earlier, offers three tracks of varying length, each being ten minutes or longer. The sound here is not quite as combinative, the guitar parts standing out from the ongoing swells in the backdrop of the fourteen minute opener “Threshold 9,” while on the shorter “Misty Iron” the improvisers seem to switch places within the mix, and on closer, “Almost Light,” they begin with some eerie experimental sounds and slowly evolve the concept over its eleven-plus minute duration. All of these improvs, across both sets, have plenty to offer any listener who is tuned into such things.
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