Markus Reuter has become known for the brainy, brooding and atmospheric ambient music he creates using a touch guitar, a metal stringed guitar-like instrument designed for two-handed playing and extended sound generation. His musicianship moves beyond the virtuosic with the addition of several layers of echo, reverb, pitch shifting, long and short delay lines and other forms of digital processing. On Trepanation (79'33"), Reuter asks the often missed yet most basic question: What kind of music can be made using this gear? The result is a confluence of processes, intuition and innovation. Perhaps his recent re-imagining of loop music comes by way of collaborations with the likes of Bernhard Wostheinrich and Ian Boddy. Their works with Reuter are more about improvisation and turning sound inside out than floating textures and breathing washes of sound - as on Reuter's earlier releases. On this album, Reuter creates a truly unique dream-like mood. The 8 tracks are reminiscent of the sleeping mind as they wander unconsciously from theme to theme in a free association of half-thoughts, lost memories and forgotten places. Each composition eventually settles into its own odd ambient area. Characterized by the reiteration of extended phrases and weighted by unpredictable shifts in timbre, Reuter's work is in some ways minimalistic. But the primary force shaping Trepanation is Reuter's bold creativity and technical skill as he effectively combines the ethereal with the surreal.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 26 October 2006