Mark Reeder’s profile is definitely on the rise, and I’m not exactly sure why. Not that I think it is a bad thing, because it is quite the opposite. I mean, the man has been active in music for nearly 40 years as a musician, producer, remixer, manager, promoter and probably every other job imaginable. It’s about fucking time, if you ask me.
Maybe it’s because of some hugely well received remixes of New Order tracks? Maybe it’s because of the stunning documentary-cum-semi-bio-pic, “B-Movie – Lust and Sound in West Berlin” that has been doing the rounds for a couple of years at various film festivals. I really don’t know what it is, but I wholeheartedly welcome it and long may it continue to grow.
And if ‘Mauerstadt’ is anything to go by, it will. Coming off the back of the brilliant ‘B-Movie’ and its superb soundtrack that intertwined Berlin staples such as Die Toten Hosen, Einsturzende Neubauten, Westbam & Malaria! with Mark’s own instrumental soundtrack pieces, this album seems to ooze Teutonic dance floor perfection, with copious amounts of 4-to-the-floor tracks, littered with snappy arpeggios, thumping bass lines and dreamy chord structures. There’s a distinctive 80s feel to many of the tracks here, most of which are collaborations with young, emerging artists such as Queen of Hearts, Ekkoes, Maja Pierro and KVB, as well as remixes of long-established Mancunian bands such as New Order and Inspiral Carpets. And, much to my delight, there are a few of Mark’s own original compositions on here too, the stand-out track being the hypnotic ‘Giant Mushrooms’ with its tribal, militaristic feel, emphasised by the almost Burundi-like beat and chanting. Like a lot of Mark’s recent work, it is highly cinematic. And don’t miss the stunning final track on the album, a brooding remix of New Order’s ‘The Game’, from their triumphant comeback album, ‘Music Complete’. It was this remix that spawned the idea of New Order’s recent live appearance in Sydney with a full-on orchestra, that then morphed into their Manchester International Festival shows with a synth orchestra. Reeder’s influence has never been more powerful.
All of these songs have, as one might expect, a very Berlin-esque feel to them. Maybe that’s me just projecting Mark’s home location on his work, maybe it’s because the album’s title, German for ‘walled city’, immediately places your headspace in that most fantastic of European capital’s and the cultural bubble that existed there for nigh on 30 years. I don’t care, really. This is another collection of great tracks featuring Mark’s unmistakable musical fingerprints. And what really pleases me are those self-credited tracks, of which we really must hear more of. Previous albums have contained tracks from bands that Mark has been in, such as Shark Vegas and Die Unbekannten, but it’s great to hear his original work standing toe-to-toe with the likes of his mates, New Order.
This album sits proudly alongside previous efforts, such as Collaborator and Five Point One, displaying Mark’s considerable talents in all their splendour.
Mauerstadt is available on CD from Kennen, with vinyl and digital formats to follow soon. Stand out tracks: Giant Mushrooms – Mark Reeder
The Game (Mark Reeder Spielt Mit Version)