Markus Guentner Lovely Society

His second full-length release on Ware, Marcus Guentner’s Lovely Society displays his signature taste for a rich sound of ambience — thick walls of static and synth — recognisable from his multiple contributions to Kompakt’s Pop Ambient compilations. Yet with this album, Guentner demonstrates his sophisticated understanding of the roots of techno, house and disco by adding clean and incisive beats, dance floor-driven bass lines, and a splattering of funky keys and hi-hat build ups. Given the ambient backdrop, this music is incredibly spacious. Heiko Badje provides vocals and shares production on "All the Time,” while a notable remix of this track is done by Renato Figoli. The Ziggy Kinder remix of "Options 2” sounds to be a tribute to epic tech-house tracks of recent years — it begins with a beat that sounds to be sampled from Matthew Dear’s "Dog Days” and comes to meet an elastic-like synth that develops into what sounds like Matthew Johnson’s earth shaking bass-y synth from his dance floor hit "Decompression.” "Back in the Days” begins with a slap-you-in-the-face electro beat while a deep disco wobble creeps up before you consider it to be more bland electro. Lovely Society is unquestionably a refreshing listen. (Ware)