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Markus Reuter: The Truce

Chris M. Slawecki By

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Markus Reuter: The Truce
Markus Reuter's first steps into music were as a pianist. But then Reuter learned to play the Chapman Stick, studied in Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft, and mastered the digital U8 Touch Guitar. The freedom of these electronic sound palettes, combined with his genuine guitar virtuosity and piano background, all give Reuter's guitar playing structure and vision that are truly amazing. Reuter is also a linchpin of the experimental trio Stick Men (along with Chapman Stick master Tony Levin) and served in the Europa String Choir.

A set like The Truce could be a disaster in the hands of a lesser talent, but Reuter never repeats himself in this hour-long guitar showcase. The Truce is a truly international affair (a hallmark of the MoonJune imprint), as it teams German-born guitarist Reuter with Israeli drummer Asaf Sirkis and Italian bassist-producer Fabio Trentini, and was recorded live in a Spanish castle.

This three-piece ensemble embodies the term "power trio." Even though it explodes in digital sound and color, the unbridled exploration yet rigor and discipline of the opening title track crackles with the influence of progressive-rock bands born like King Crimson more than half a century ago. Sirkis and Trentini sound like they could hold down a groove forever, which helps because the leader's guitar quite often threatens to blow the groove up. (Five minutes in, it does!)

The extended drum and bass intro to "Let Me Touch Your Batman" builds tension and anticipation for the angry guitar sound that eventually buzzes through to the other side of their deep rhythm, swarming and stinging the music and eventually circling downward to land on the ground and rest.

Bassist Trentini sets up the closing "Gossamer Things" with a fun little bounce, popping up and off of Sirkis' unshakeable beat. The trio coalesces into sheets of hot sound and just when you begin to think the sound couldn't possibly become even hotter or harder, they smack headlong into a freeform segment, regroup, count off and then stomp back into the tune with even more sonic power. Gossamer? Molten lava is more like it.

The press announcement of Markus Reuter's The Truce calls it MoonJune Records' one hundredth release. This is true but not completely accurate. Music this fearless and ferocious is not released—it is unleashed.

Track Listing

The Truce; Swoonage; Bogeyman; Be Still My Brazen Heart; Power Series; Let Me Touch Your Batman; Gossamer Things.

Personnel

Markus Reuter: guitar, electric; Asaf Sirkis: drums; Fabio Trentini: bass, electric.

Album information

Title: The Truce | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: MoonJune Records

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