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Reuter/Motzer/Grohowski: Shapeshifters

If you are familiar with this website, chances are you have come across the name Markus Reuter in your travels. The German touch guitarist and soundscape designer is likely most known for his work with Stick Men, Mark Wingfield and The Crimson ProjeKCt, but he also has almost twenty solo recordings and has worked with many other artists, way too numerous to mention. On this 2020 release titled Shapeshifters he joins with Tim Motzer (guitars, bass, electronics) and Kenny Grohowski (drums, metals). Motzer has nine solo albums to his credit and has worked with the likes of Pat Mastelotto, Vernon Reid, David Sylvian and David Torn. Grohowski has been in the music industry for over twenty years and has collaborated/played with Brand X, Rez Abbasi, Secret Chiefs 3, Kilter, Titan to Tachyons, Imperial Triumphant, and many others. On this album the trio go for a completely improvised approach, or as it reads on the CD jacket “instant compositions”.

There are four tracks starting with the near twenty-three minute “Dark Sparks”. An ambient, electronic and moody landscape begins the piece as creative electronics and guitar effects add texture and design elements. Soon the guitar work becomes heavy and very metallic as shards of sound burst across the mood laden backdrop. Shifting moods and dynamics create quite an intriguing piece, just don’t expect to tap your feet to the melody as that is not what this is. Its all very cerebral and even eerie and other worldly at times. Next is “Transmutation” and is almost as long clocking in around eighteen minutes. If you had a nightmare recently this may have been the soundtrack. Again, very moody and near creepy vibes, a real jarring and mind expanding listen, that is if you have the stomach for it. This is completely in the realm of the avant-garde and some of the guitar work is as wild as it gets. Also have to say Grohowski absolutely goes crazy on the drum parts, very complex and off kilter. “Cyphers” starts slow before building into a cacophony of weirdness and in the last track “Burns to Aether” Motzer’s heavy bass work rumbles through crazy guitar and drum jams.

Shapeshifters will not be loved by those wanting a quick musical fix. This is some crazy stuff and I will not always be in the mood for this but when I want to get just a bit freaked out, this off the wall album will certainly take me on that road.

Track Listing:
1. Dark Sparks (22:47)
2. Transmutation (18:33)
3. Cyphers (14:01)
4. Burns to Aether (8:49)

Added: April 3rd 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 553
Language: english

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