Ramp with Marcus Reuter
Ceasing to Exist
CD / 7 tracks / 63.16 mins
Play Sample: 56K Dialup Broadband
Download Sample: 500K 1.5Mb
(Excerpt from track(s) 'Seelenmord')
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Essentially the music on this release is based on electronic treatments to sounds produced by the touch guitar improvisations of Markus Reuter. Contrary to what you might expect, for the most part those "sounds" produced are warm and whilst it might be the music of horror films to some, at least the film wouldn't be set in the frozen wastes of the Antarctic!
There are seven tracks altogether, and like so many releases these days they morph into each other, however a few words on each are I think necessary to tempt you further. The title track gets us underway, and is the only one that does not apparently feature Reuter. Barely perceptible as it starts off, the electronics kick in and a great wall of sound like massive engines moving, or an aeroplane taking off at the 3 minute mark almost takes you by surprise, before it fades away. Regular repeated patterns of washes of electronics take us straight into the next track. This is great stuff, but not perhaps for the faint of heart amongst you. The next track initially sounds like more of the same, but the guitar is much more prominent, at least early on, but again the atmospherics are fantastic.
Jeanne d'arc is next (and not to be confused with the TD track or CD of the same name), and I was instantly reminded of Meddle era Pink Floyd with the treatments to what I imagine might even be some old analogue keyboard sounds! The electronics on this are way down in the mix, and unlike its predecessors this sounds like the most normal of the three tracks so far. The wittily titled - yet another ambient track - immediately follows, and boy what a masterpiece it is. Don't let the title put you off, or make you think you are listening to some filler, for this is beautiful drone music, which is way beyond my ability to write about here. Excellent stuff.
This segues into the fifth track, labelled number nine, just to keep you on your toes! More top class atmospherics. Track 6, otherwise called my guitar gently weeps, could not possibly be confused by anything by George Harrison and nor should it. I thought it rather hymnal, and as this leads straight into the last piece, called holier, I suspect this might well be intentional.
If ambient drones are your cup of tea, then this is, well, the bee's knees, a honey pot of aural delights that is also best sampled on headphones. The rather silly track titles are to be ignored, and if they make you think that this is a less than serious release, that would be a shame, because whilst as I said at the outset, this sounds nothing like anything they've done before, then nor did Bob Dylan (who I am not a fan of), ever sound much like a folkie afterwards. To put it another way, (and to excuse the analogy about castles) sometimes you have to stick your head over the parapet to get noticed, and with this, well Ramp certainly got my attention, and I suggest they ought to be worthy of yours too. An essential purchase in my book. (SJS)
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