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Monday, September 21, 2020

Markus Reuter Oculus - Nothing is Sacred

Recorded last year at La Casa Murada in Spain on May 15th, Oculus is one of the most interesting projects that is like finding long lost hidden treasures that haven’t been opened for a long, long time. Released on the MoonJune label, Nothing is Sacred is a challenging release this year that will make your spine crawl. And to be allowed to feature Fabio Tentini, Asaf Sirkis, Robert Rich, David Cross, and Mark Wingfield, it shows that Oculus aren’t just a band, but a family.

Listening to Nothing is Sacred is like walking into an area of the Twin Peaks universe that has never been seen before. With its dissonance, increasing temperatures, and chambering echoes of gothic cathedrals, Reuter takes the listener into the unknown. Solve et Coagula (Ghost I) is a cross between Philip Glass and Andy Summers’ Behind my Camel from The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta-era.

Fabio’s bass goes upwards as Wingfield and Reuter’s soundscapes take a deeper voyage into some of Schulze’s arrangements. The themes on here are darker, nightmarish, and very creepy. Sirkis’ drums sound like as if they’re locking the doors very tight inside the mental institutions so that the inmates won’t take over the asylum for a while until all hell will break loose.

Bubble Bubble Bubble Bath (Wink) gives Reuter go into this psychedelic trance as we hear film-noir mellotrons with vocalizing whispers while David’s violin adds the beat with Asaf’s heart-pounding bass drum. And once Wingfield follows Markus in hot pursuit, he follows him into those eerie rabbit holes with a morse code.

The Occult (Dice I) has Asaf’s click-clacking percussion effects to fill up the entire studio by channeling Nine Inch Nails meets Gong’s You-era. The bass section that Fabio does, channels two unsung bass masters; Mike Howlett and Paul Jackson from the Head Hunters-era of Herbie Hancock. With an echoing effect, it has this intensive drive between Markus, Fabio, and Mark driving 900 miles per hour.

Nothing is Sacred is one of a kind. It may not be everyone’s cup of Joe, but Reuter and Oculus take you into those areas that are surreal, mythical, and Lynch-like. But the twists and turns can keep you guessing to see what will happen next.

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