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December 1997

Markus Van Such
A Change in The Weather
Chartmaker Records

Despite its unique, gothic-sounding name, the duo Markus Van Such (H.C. Markus on keyboards and David Van Such on saxophone and violin) treads little new ground on A Change in the Weather (Chartmaker CMR 1440; 47:29). If anything, the duo's big, bright keyboard sound hearkens back to the early days of '70s pop synthesizer composition. Markus and Van Such have an ear for hooky melodies like the George Benson-like "Spring Dance" and sweet, upbeat "Happy Go Lucky," but couch them in ringy, hyper-synthesized arrangements. "The Merry Irish," for example, sounds like a music-box version of a jig-especially when you factor in Barby Boarman's sing-song vocals. The duo goes for an electronic Tangerine Dream-styled trance atmosphere on "Baxter's March," but kills the mood with a hyper pulse beat. The overall effect is so over-the-top bright, that it's a bit grating. Markus and Van Such are clearly strong players (Van Such's presence is especially emotive on the anthemic "The Innocent"), but could use a greater variety of textures to emphasize their skills.

Originally published in December 1997
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