Refusing to retain form but resisting the call of amorphous spirituality, avant-garde triumvirate seep and seed their sonics in different dimensions.
Even though neither fierceness nor fearsomeness has ever seemed to enter these individuals’ intellectual vocabulary, the very title of their first joint effort suggested the trio comprised of Markus Reuter, Tim Motzer and Kenny Grohowski would not allow the instrumental layering of "Shapeshifters" to be set in stone. That’s why it was so important for the little ensemble to embark on the debut album’s follow-up while keeping the momentum going and start improvising in the studio right after coming off their tours before fleshing out the results with keyboard fibers. And that’s why immediacy – up to occasional frivolity – reigns here, amplifying the sanguine quality of a few pieces on offer.
Most of these are epic, yet if the imposing “Monolith” crosses the 14-minutes mark it’s where the three musicians’ desire to play with their listener’s psyche is more than apparent, as what’s supposed to turn out solid appears to be nigh on intangible and fragile, stormy bass notes reaching for flashes of high frequencies until sharp riffs and rimshots darken the ether but leave enough space for snippets of a tune to drip in and finally form a shiny melodic surface only to dissipate into effervescent funk. And then there’s the slowly emerging “Impenetrable” whose splashes are rather sparse, guitars and drums feeling for foothold, crawling towards each other and jumping onto each other once their lines get close to create a furious tangle – the change which the platter’s titular opener would predict by letting Markus’ percussive, and harmonic, passages spank Tim’s crystalline dewdrops and propel the filigreed flow along Kenny’s increasingly frantic groove. Still, near the album’s end the solemn “Free In The Now” liberates one’s soul by building a breathtaking, albeit breathing, atmosphere that the weave of soaring strings will tie to the peaceful beat, while the diaphanous “Causatum” reveals the trio’s folk-to-flamenco influence.
However, while Mellotron and Hammond launch “Oracle Chamber” and “Externalities Of The Truest Universality” to probe, respectively, heaven that’s plugged with worry and earth that’s possessed with rapture, the Fender Rhodes piano renders the march of “Sibylline” sinister and otherworldly. With the creative triangle’ styles bleeding into each of the performers delivery, it’s hardly surprising how bloody good their second conspiracy came off.