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Sultry Kissing Lounge by Markus Reuter

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MARKUS REUTER Sultry Kissing Lounge (CD on Iapetus)

This release from 2014 features 78 minutes of ethereal music.

This release offers a selection of solo improvisations by Reuter on touch guitar that served as intros to concerts by the Crimson ProjeKCt Spring Tour in 2014.

The thing about touch guitars is that their sound is extremely ethereal, Okay, they can also produce some teeth-rattling shrill noises, but their overall sound is gentle and cloudlike, quite similar to Frippertronics.

So, the tunes here are all soothing and pacific. The notes reverberate like extended tonalities, hovering in the air like buzzing insects. Atmospheric vistas are established, then tweaked to undulate and often erupt with surprising teeth.

On occasion, the instrument produces conventional guitar strumming and picking whose twinkling shimmer lends a humanity to the spectral tones that dominate this tuneage. And in other instances, the instrument's voice issues forth with searing density like some tortured thunder lizard. Reuter tempers these latter outbursts with accompaniments that glitter almost like the notes of a harpsichord.

Improvs like this are mainly constructed of harmonic flows that overlap with each other, producing flowing melodies of a vaporous nature. The sighing interplay of these sonic streams can be quite calming, although it is possible that such unearthly sounds could spook your pets or plebian neighbors. The chords undergo subtle changes, mutating into alternate chords or building into eerie pastiches as darker texturals are generated and added to the flow. Sometimes Reuter adds semi-conventional guitar-like pitches to the flow, resulting in edgy passages of haunting character.

It's quite wondrous how Reuter crafts these songs, creating different moods and melodies with sounds that are remarkably tenuous. Some of the auralscapes are softly fragile, while in other pieces the shrill tones stir the soul as they strive for dizzying altitudes.

Despite the general gentility of this music, one can hardly call it ambient, for several times the tuneage achieves a blistering intensity.

(For the record, the Crimson ProjeKCt is: Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Tobias Ralph, and Julie Stick. They play King Crimson songs.

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