ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski - 2020 - “Shapeshifters"

(63:59; Moonjune Records)


On August 18th, 2019, three musicians went into Shapeshifter studios with the aim of creating some special, and when one considers the trio were Markus Reuter (touch guitar, electronics), Tim Motzer (guitars, bass, electronics) and Kenny Grohowski (drums) it is not all surprising that is exactly what they achieved. All three are well-known in the scene, not only for their musical techniques but also the way they bend and move music in a live environment when they are improvising with others, and that is exactly the case here. One never knows where the music is going to lead, because at that point neither do the players, who are looking for visual and audio cues as to where to go next. The result is something which is far removed from mainstream, music which is created as a one-off, never to be repeated. Luckily for us, this took place in a studio, so it is now available to those who were unable to witness the actual event itself. In these Covid-wary times it is much harder for musicians to get together and record one-off sets before going their separate ways, and whenever Reuter is involved, one knows there is going to be something quite special, which makes this such a delight. More than an hour in length, the album is broken into four sections, but none of them are really totally separate, as in each case the three musicians are watching and listening, seeking for the indication that a move is going to be made by one or the other, and making those instant decisions on what note to play, or not, as the case may be. This is improvised jazz being taken to a totally different level, with distorted instruments, electronics, and a focussed sense of abandonment. Here we have music which refuses to conform to any normalities such as structure, time signatures, key or melodies, but instead is a demented living beast in its death throes, or birth, who can tell? Reuter continues to be at the forefront of experimental music, and with Motzer and Grohowski (who are both currently working in PAKT with Percy Jones and Alex Skolnick (yes, THE Alex Skolnick from Testament)), he has others who can assist him in taking it to new levels. Not for those who want their music to be the same as everything else, but for those who want to be challenged in new directions then this is essential.

Progmessor: August 2021

Related Links:

Markus Reuter Tim Motzer Kenny Grohowski Moonjune Records


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