Progression and fate are two words that immediately come to mind after a few hours spent with Markus Guentner’s new record.
Firstly, I know how proud Moodgadget owner Jakub Alexander must be to have one of his heroes release a record on his own label. Ever since Jakub enlisted Markus on remix duties for his own Heathered Pearls ‘Loyal’ reworks, I had a hopeful feeling it was going to lead to something bigger. With Jakub’s warm, swirling ambient style it’s easy to see how these two have come together – two paths destined to cross.
And secondly, after seeing through a couple of Markus’ own productions recently, namely his Places Series EP ‘Talking Clouds’, and his two stunning remixes on Uncharted Places, it’s clearly evident that his sound is gently progressing into a defining symbol of lush ambient music peppered with hints of techno.
‘Chromatic Fields’, the subtle opener for the powerful six-track EP, with deep tonal-bass changes is a light-hearted lust for more and more…
‘Ashes’ re-ignites the clashing world we saw when Markus took on Heathered Pearl’s music last year, with pale textures, soaring synths and a taught air hanging over a misty landscape.
The title piece, ‘Shadows Of The City’ rekindles Markus’s heritage in techno and his recent travels into beat-driven ambient. A shuffling dark number with simple, dramatic strings.
My favourite of the bunch, ‘The Run’ is one of Markus’ most emotional pieces to date – layer upon layer, the constantly mixing colour palette paints vividness, hope and despair.
‘The Coral Crowd’ is a signature Guentner piece, shrouded in recognisable samples, flat-ended twinkles and a gentle curve upwards into the sky, akin to ‘Saint’.
And lastly, ‘Eternal’. Stepping down from the soaring sky, the focus turns to what seems like a dense jungle floor. Buzzing density and a slow murmuring beat occupy a hazy, very still, shadow-cast lake.