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Tuner — Totem
(Unsung UNSUNG0501001, 2005, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01

Totem Cover art

Tuner is the two-man power group featuring Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) and Marcus Reuter (Centrozoon). Mastelotto is at home playing modern electric percussion while Reuter is better known as a prolific ambient player with Ian Buddy in their series of successful tone poems. Together the two have gestated a unique hybrid of latter Crimson moods, jam band, and techno grooves. The disc begins with the funky “Flinch,” where the players immediately establish a rhythmic dialogue within a clever sampling phrase. Reuter handles Hammond organ in parallel by creating a spacious chordal foundation for steady grooves in the vein of Martin, Medeski and Wood. The duo is keen to create mystery-laden tones heavy with imbedded samples that have been morphed into malleable shapes for them to infuse their song constructs. The best example of this is on “The Morning Tide Washes Away”; it features female spoken word and sampled vocalese from Sirenée. The duo relied on Albeton Live software to manipulate their guest star’s performances into not necessarily recognizable performances. “Better Take Your Head Off” begins with some light beats before evolving into s grinding set of clanging percussion. “Kiss the Earth” relies on a downward facing chord progression that carries with it a lush theme and light back beats. Ending the collection of ten collaborations is “Dexter Ward” from the HP Lovecraft novel about obsessive desire. In lieu of new King Crimson material, I find this recording adequately fills the void.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Tuner, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter

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