Add Markus Guentner to your growing list of German producers to watch. Following the Regensburg 12" issued in late 2000, two slots on the Pop Ambient 2001 compilation, and some work for Festplatten and Ware, Guentner embarks on the path set by Dettinger and Jonas Bering as the third producer to release a full-length LP on Cologne, Germany's Kompakt label. Throughout the duration of In Moll, Guentner proves his worth as an excellent laptop ambient producer, going toe to toe with the likes of Wolfgang Voigt's finest output as Gas and All (Voigt actually provided the artwork for the record). Guentner also shows that he has several tricks up his sleeve, evading a common ill of many electronic producers by showcasing a few fully developed dimensions, rather than sticking with one gag and running it into the ground. Despite the arid, paranoid feel of the beatless second and fourth tracks (as with the previous single-artist long-players on Kompakt, none of these seven lengthy tracks are titled), there's something remotely oceanic and lilting about them. The third track features a persistent thump amidst puffy atmospherics and subtle layers of shimmering chimes; only the most dedicated fan wouldn't mistake it for a prime Gas production. The influence of Harold Budd creeps in during the sixth track; as a distant piano repeatedly plays a drifting melody, gauzy strings breezily ebb and flow. The Kompakt catalog gets richer and richer.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman