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Monday, September 21, 2020

Markus Reuter - Sun Trance

 The genesis behind this incredible project came when Dennis Kuhn came across Markus Reuter’s work six years ago as he contacted him about collaborating with his ensemble team, the Mannheimer Schlagwerk. It was almost as if Don Corleone from The Godfather once said, “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

Dennis has been around since 1979. He founded the Basler Schlagzeugtrio in 1984 and joined the Deutsches Schlagzeugensemble (German Percussion Ensemble). He collaborated with two composers, Wolfgang Rihm and controversial figure, Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Sun Trance was written quickly for Reuter to compose after finishing up Daimon Fu a few months earlier. Recorded three years ago at Alte Feuerwache in Mannheim, Germany on May 23rd and released on the MoonJune label, distributed my Iapetus Media, Sun Trance gives you the front-row seat to unveil this incredible live recording that has been unfolded and finally brought to life.

You can feel this lullaby going into a deep, dark area from the dissonance that is like a pin dropping at any second. It’s like something straight out of two films; Spike Jonze’s 1999 classic, Being John Malkovich and Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides. It has these mysterious edges towards the composition as if the ensemble has given audience members pieces of the puzzle set on to their tables.

And for them, they have to put the pieces together to see what happens next. The vibraphones that Ti-Hsien Lai and Dennis Kuhn are doing while the Glockenspiels between Luis Andres, Lukas Heckmann, and Chavarria Baez go into this dangerous maze that is very challenging.

It turns into a Goblin-sque approach that is deepish red and following into the Suspiria sessions that the ensemble challenge. Reuter’s instruments walk upwards on this spiral staircase by raising the temperatures up a notch. It has a walking dance in 4/4 with some shakers going in hot pursuit, and moody atmospheres to channel Jean Sibelius’ The Swan of Tuonela.

Sun Trance is a mesmerizing composition by Reuter and the Mannheimer Schlagwerk. It will keep you guessing until the very end. And for MoonJune, they’ve got something special, and it is the ultimate trip.

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