Markus Apitius, Los Angeles
REVIEW By Willard Manus


The distinguished European rock musician/singer Markus Apitius made a trip to Los Angeles last year, then returned to Cologne to reflect on what he had seen and felt during his six-week stay. Now he has released a new CD that powerfully captures everything that touched his soul in L.A.

MARKUS APITIUS, LOS ANGELES contains twelve original songs, plus two instrumentals. Apitius, who wrote all the music and lyrics, plays keyboard (and other instruments) on each of the cuts and is also the lead singer throughout (he even dubbed the backup voices). Where necessary, though, he brought in outside musicians to provide texture and color: e.g., Robert Gasper on brush snare, Vera Junker on e-cello and Rudolf Konen on acoustic guitar.

Apitius also pays tribute to some of his favorite artists. The Village and Goodbye songs, for example, were inspired by the Beatles; Adore You by Syd Barrett; Ghost on Abbot Kinney by Brian Wilson, whose albums Pet Sounds and Smile were major influences on him.

There is nothing derivative, though, about Apitius's work. He may tip his hat to others, but he is an important artist himself with a distinctive voice and point of view. He plays keyboard with uncommon skill, sings equally well and writes songs that linger in the mind, as evidenced by the lyrics to Peer Pressure, a mordant comment on 21st-century conformity:

"please, join the group, please join the group.

please, join the group, please join the group.

welcome to our company.

we will help you achieve.

welcome to the inner circle.

we will make you believe.

please join the group...

(we will make you superior.

now you have a cause.

but for the non-believers

our heaven's gates are closed.)

we've got a job for you, brother.

we call it 'hit & run.'

you're going to meet our Messiah

if you don't care about the setting sun.

(Contact Markus at