Markus Masuhr and Tunist Dasa – Reshaping Patterns of the Atmosphere
Oppression is the first sensation felt when listening to the tracks and a quick look at their titles confirms the perception: “Oppressive”, “Concrete Resistance”; “Disturbed Entropy”; none of us will come out of the experience unscathed…
Pragmat owner Markus Masuhr is no novice as a catalyst of deep emotions. “In the game” since 1993, the veteran from Germany has basically explored all the deep genres of 4/4 electronic music as a producer: deep tech house, deep minimal house, deep Detroit techno, deep dark techno… We sensed a turning point in 2015-2016, when he went more experimental and “oppressive”, such as in his 8-tracks album “The Trepidation Lack Depth” on Pragmat.
Released some months after on Circular Limited, his drone-ish EP “The Silent Trepidation” seemed to confirm the sound signature. However, in 2020, he made a change of orientation again, with the 100% dub techno EP “The Supposed Depth of Waves“. He also explored atmospheric techno, with the remarked album “Structures of Emptiness” which we have also reviewed (here).
In brief, Markus Masuhr, it’s more than 40 deep releases digging the ground in many directions. We could think of an inability to find a musical identity, but the artist in fact claims, assumes and defends his versatility. It’s honourable because open-minded, but perhaps problematic in a competitive musical world. In another hand, the underground music spirit is a call for freedom, with the rejection of any commercial consideration. It’s not only a “theory” for Mashur, who sets the entire digital catalogue of his label at a “name-your-price” sale on Bandcamp.
It’s worth adding that Masuhr is “a jack of all trades”, a true passionate: he handles all alone the production, the mastering, the design of the cover and the promotion. It’s rare to see him collaborating with other artists, and even if he teams up with Tunist Dasa on “Reshaping Patterns of the Atmosphere”, the two producers have clearly separated their work.
Tunist Dasa however doesn’t have to blush, while having his tracks next to the veteran’s one. The emerging artist, also from Germany, started producing later in 2015, showing already great skills in his first release, by designing efficient beats and textures on his numerous gears. He develops his music through four projects, “Tunist Dasa” for deep techno, “Pyrmont” for dub techno, “Abes” for ambient and “MS9”; an experimental duo with LYU. Such musical affinities show how much Dasa’s musical world matches Masuhr’s. Both artists have already collaborated in some compilations on Pragmat and on Masuhr’s other label Insectorama, dedicated to dub techno. We recommend this EP in particular: “Hidden Purpose“, released at the beginning of the summer and having genuine character.
“Reshaping Patterns of the Atmosphere” is conceptualised as a deep-sea exploration. A specific environment often comes as the source of the oppression in Masuhr’s music, in particular, thinking for instance of “Moons on Outer Space“, which expresses the alienating cosmic emptiness and, similarly, the adrenaline of exploration.
Masuhr seems to have established music as an outlet to combat the anxious side of life, which – in his artistic message – is seemingly firstly caused by the environment before reaching the inner being. While facing a difficult situation, represented by the dark and tense tracks, the explorer is invited to keep diving down the abyss, as a call for determination and perseverance.
Tunist Dasa resumed Masuhr’s musical incantations and rises the energy of the journey, more intense, with, at the climax, the impressive track “Resilience”.
From a global point of view, the album furiously lacks of light vibes, and the only way to release the tension is to hit the “stop” button. While it could appear like an obvious imbalance for the listener, uncomfortable, it totally matches the oppressive topic…
In the end, “none of us will come out of the experience unscathed”…
WRITING BY: CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 13 SEPTEMBER 2021