Renowned touch guitarist Markus Reuter has been one of the stalwarts of the DiN label, having been there right at the beginning in 1999 with his initial collaboration (Distant Rituals DiN2) with label founder Ian Boddy. Since then he has been involved with several other collaborations with Boddy, as well as with other artists such as Zero Ohms & Bernhard Wöstheinrich.
Looking to do another collaboration with Boddy, Markus composed several long soundscape improvisations over the summer of 2020. The duo realised that with the pandemic they would not be able to physically work together in the same studio this time, as they had with all their previous work. Boddy then took these ambient starting points and using his vintage Roland System 100M modular synthesiser started to arrange, cut up and shape these into a coherent album. As well as a CD release this time both artists wanted this music to be presented on vinyl, so the work was conceived as two long 20 minute suites that would take up one side of a record each.
Each suite is comprised of three distinct sections that seamlessly segue into each other. The music feels like a sonic journey, opening with the grandeur of “Citadel”, before heading off with the rhythmic slice of electronica that is the second track “Parallels”. Interlocking sequence lines and modular rhythmic treatments of Reuters soundscapes propel this piece along overlaid with beautiful guitar parts soaring overhead. The first suite closes with the title track “Outland” with a gentle, yet slightly unsettling atmosphere.
The second side opens with “Brood”, a huge claustrophobic track, before taking a gentle breath before the journey recommences with the beautiful rhythmic piece “Trails” that once again features Reuters trade mark liquid guitar solos. Finally all comes to rest with the end of the album and “Home”. A beautiful pastoral combination of Reuters exquisite guitar playing and Boddys emotive synth solo using his analogue Ondes Martenot style keyboard.
Composed to make the most of the vinyl format the fascinating musical collaboration between Boddy & Reuter continues to produce music of the highest quality.
Every track on this compilation is excellent. They all have an overarching "meditative progressive synthesizer landscape" vibe, but it's very stylistically diverse. It's exceptional for deep concentration. Highly recommended. Nick Suda
I love this record A LOT. Every track. I have different favourites for different activities/times of day, and I listen to the whole album while running: it’s my new favourite soundtrack. If I have to choose just one fave, it’s the Bluetech remix of Steve Moore’s Gutter Talk, it’s an absolute belter. But honestly the whole thing is sublime. Cheers folks! emmaseymour