I have a great respect for Markus both as an artist and a dear friend. If you don’t know Markus – or even if you think you do – please listen to his album ‘Shades’. That is a great way to start getting to know Markus Setzer. I have written a long article about how we have met and eventually started working together. That article is called Gimme Steam, and you can find it here.
When Markus was still in high school the school band was looking for a bass player. Markus really wanted to play keyboards, but he was anxious to join the guys and play his heart out. The days of piano sonatas were over… Markus decided to pick up the bass and since then he has been deeply in love with the instrument.
He started learning with old Led Zeppelin records trying to translate the lines on the still somewhat unfamiliar fretboard. He continued to transcribe pretty much everything he could get his hands on. Transcribing from recordings was the best training he could possibly get. He slowly incorporated many of the coolest licks by his idols into his own repertoire. In addition to Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, John Patitucci and Geddy Lee his inspirational roots are musicians like Chick Corea, John Scofield, Charlie Parker, Stu Hamm and many more.
Markus’s dream crystallized later on – to form a duet with a female singer. Sabine Reimer made this dream come true. With Sabine by his side Markus was able to transform everything that came out of him into music. To accompany her tunes was such a great pleasure and his bass arrangements evolved naturally. In return she blessed his bass compositions with beautiful vocal lines which he could have never dreamed of. Check out Reimer Setzer on web.
In 2008 Markus founded the Bass Academy to teach students and preparing them for the business as open minded bass players. The german music press calls him “the bass instructor of the nation“ because he gives so much clinics and masterclasses all over the country.
In 2013 Markus released his first solo album ‘_shades‘. One of the reviews says: “Uncommon for bass as a musical instrument Setzer takes the term solo literally. Together but alone with the bass an intimate vicinity is created. With his ears directly in the sound-sculpting process the auditor can hear countless sounds created by fingers on strings. Six baladesque compositions touch with openness and depth. An artist who opened his heart and soul. In contradiction to the faster, higher, further paradigm of the nowadays society the auditor will be decelerated by Markus Setzer. The electrifying dynamics will shake every woofer. A real archaic experience of sound! Even HiFi nerds will encounter an audible highlight.”
"I enjoy the unique sensitivity of the Steambass – whatever nuances I play, all can be heard. The harmonics are also very rich and well defined. This bass blows me away – it’s so inspiring!"
- Markus Setzer