if a child’s nursery features not a tin drum but two turntables including a mixer, the occupant is most certainly not preparing for some kind of folkloristic brass band event in his contemplative bavarian hometown of regensburg.
the specialised press calls markus guentner – who is a renowned minimal and ambient musician as well as a dj – the „inventor of pop ambient“. for quite a while he’s been creating his tracks in his home town of regensburg, but they are now equally popular with cologne label kompakt and mathias schaffhaeuser’s ware imprint.
since his debut album „in moll“ (2001), which become one the favourite albums from pet shop boy neil tennant, guentner’s tracks have increased in groove and grew into the smooth tech-housetracks on the successor „audio island“, which appeared two years later. his remix of the talk talk classic „such a shame“ ended up on the turntables of djs around the globe. and just like his songs, markus guentner is a popular guest in clubs across the usa, asia and europe.
in 2005, markus guentner released his third album „1981“. each of the eight album tracks easily runs for seven minutes and largely gets along without beats. this is ambient music at its purest. because of this, markus was part of the art-project „flashbox“ in oldenburg. ambient on one side of the city, noise-electronic on the other, connected with blinking lights on the way between them. at the end of the year, a rework album called „underarms/sideways“ was published on the legendary british label 4ad and represented a continuous ambient production for the hero of the indie shoegaze label ivo russel-watts aka the hope blister.
in march 2006, the ware-album „lovely society“ was released. on this album, the artist once again published his latest 4-2-the-floor tracks, the same as he’s been doing since 2001, but for the first time he also proved vehemently that his understanding of house and techno goes way beyond dub and minimal house.
spex magazine describes guentner as a „minimalist metropolis refuser“, who thanks to his affinity to ambient and shoegazing pop and indie manages to „put works into the world that are extremely smart from a popcultural perspective“.
however, markus guentner intends to achieve more than to just make music from regensburg. since 2006 he’s been the co-host of a regular club event called sublime, which aims to unite indie, shoegaze and electronica under the same mirror ball. meanwhile sublime became an association, and received a cultural funding from the city of regensburg.
beside that, markus also goes graphic ways. his works for his own records build the way to work as an graphic-designer, together with a friend in their own agency: jl prozess.
but back to the music. until today there where many remixes and compilation-contributions. also soundtracks and scoring is a big field in the repertoire of markus. since 11 years, markus is also a inherent part of the „regensburger shortfilmweek“. every year, djs and producers gets a shortfilm for re-scoring them with records from their collection. but that’s not enough for markus. all movies from markus are getting self-composed and produced soundtracks. the tv-station „zdf infokanal“ asked markus, to do the theme music for the show „kavka“. and on the market of sampling-dvds is markus well known. he created the dvd „ambient works“ for ueberschall.
together with mtv-anchorman markus kavka he created the project „m²“ in 2008. the very emotional but clubby sound is characteristic for their tracks.the second release will be on the berlin based label „konsequenz“ in 2012.
three years after the last album release his fifth album called „doppelgaenger“ came out on the dutch label „sending orbs“. the press praised the album as markus‘ best and again managed to grab his listeners with the „quiet tones“. after that, markus played his first ambient-liveshow in ann arbor/michigan usa. for the art-project „collapsing borders“. markus was invited to arrange together with the video and music artists „nospectacle“ on evening for that event.
in 2010 markus took a short break for planning his next projects. but he did some podcasts for online- magazines and finished his sixth album „crystal castle“ for the label „affin“. the album was much more „organic“ than all his productions before. many real instruments where used at this album. after that markus started the project „stareaway“ together with the hamburg based musician heiko badje. their music set „pop ambient“ to the top. ambient with vocals. not a typical, but for sure an amazing combination.
after that markus next solo-release ’shadows of the city‘ was released in november 2013 on us-based record-label ‚moodgadget‘ running by jakub alexander aka heathered pearls, for whom markus produced to remixes for his album „loyal“ on ghostly int.
in november 2015 markus released his eights album called „theia“ on a strangely isolated place, the record label were markus already contributed for the places-series with the three-track-ep „talking clouds“. some remixes followed on the label for the „uncharted places“ and arovane & hior chronik. „theia“ is the first solo-ambient-vinyl-release from markus since 2006. a strangely isolated place became the perfect home for markus‘ music.
especially with his next album release „empire“, markus embettled his position as an asip-artist. in 2020 the digital-album „gradient spirits“ followed, which was originally concepted as a 1hr live-stream from home during the lockdown.
and of course, there will be some more in the near future …