All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

208

Markus Reuter: Digitalis

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Hypnos Recordings always brings us fascinating music. Digitalis comes from Markus Reuter in Germany. Like Hypnos' Jeff Pearce, Reuter uses only electronically modified and custom-built guitars to make his sounds, and as in much of Pearce's work, Reuter records "real-time." Again like Pearce, you'd never know that Reuter was playing a guitar or any other stringed instrument - it sounds just like a synthesizer.

Despite the commonalities, Reuter and Pearce are very different. Reuter, in Digitalis , uses the overwrought chromaticicism of European twentieth-century classical music as his harmonic resource, filling his musical passages with ascending and descending scales, along with wildly swirling spirals of notes produced by some arcane gadget faster than any human hand could play them. The swirling persists through the first four or five pieces, and then fades into a more familiar "dark ambient" style of sustained, organ-like chords. The track titles are taken from the language of mysticism and occultism: "Into the invisible world," "A massive glowing three-axis cross," and "Demonic Interference." Spooky, no?

But there is also an "Angelic Interference" on the album. As the album progresses, Reuter passes from his ominous chromaticism (which sinks into the abyss on track 8, "Radiating Blackness") into a more conventional, plaintive modal harmony. In the last three tracks, the listener is led towards a lighter, more hopeful mood, until with the last two, "Whole" and "Holy," the sound is purely soft, meditative slow notes with not much motion at all.

It's clearly meant to be a kind of spiritual narrative done in sound, but without the heavy mysticism of the track titles it must stand on its own as pure music. And I find that I like the earlier part of the album (the chromatic whirling scales and arpeggios) far better than the rather rambling, simpler compositions at the end. Does that mean that I would rather be among the demons of the invisible world, or just that they have a better soundtrack?


Title: Digitalis | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Hypnos Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Falling for Ascension

Falling for Ascension

Ronin Rhythm Records
2018

buy
Descending

Descending

1K Recordings
2010

buy
 

Digitalis

Hypnos Recordings
2001

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "The Nobuki Takamen Trio" CD/LP/Track Review The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 11, 2018
Read "Landfall" CD/LP/Track Review Landfall
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2018
Read "FABEL" CD/LP/Track Review FABEL
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Grime Scene" CD/LP/Track Review Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Solos" CD/LP/Track Review Solos
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "Jazz Triangle 65-77" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Triangle 65-77
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 20, 2017