Industrijska muzika za postindustrijsko doba koju pravi jedan od njezinih pionira (s Boydom Riceom kasnih '70-ih osnovao je NON).
Way Down (1987)
"Originally released as a small run cassette in 1987, only to fall into tape label obscurity, Robert Turman's industrial genre-bending masterpiece album Way Down finally has been excavated for a proper reissue after twenty-three years in the shadows. This album solidifies Turman as a cut above the rest with respect to his talent and his natural ear for experimental composition. Turman first came onto the industrial scene in the late 70s as the ominous other half of legendary noise outfit NON, alongside Boyd Rice, together releasing the now classic first NON single, Mode of Infection/Knife Ladder 7″ in 1977. After parting ways, Turman went on an excursion of self-released cassettes to which he fused every possible influence at his disposal, culling together past habits of experimental know-how and going forward into uncharted terrain. After his previous experimental efforts included on his Flux release in 1981, and even later in the prolific Chapter Eleven boxset, Turman turned the tables with the creation of Way Down, using synthesizer arrangements and drum machines alongside guitar solos, piano chords, tape loops and primitive sampling to create a whole new concoction of dance-like minimal synth blended together with the industrial darkwave noise he was mostly known for. After almost vanishing from the music scene, Turman resurfaced in 2005, teaming up with seminal noise musician Aaron Dilloway to not only reissue previous recordings, but to record and perform once again with new releases out on Hanson and Medusa. This vinyl reissue of Way Down serves as the blueprint of what Turman sought to render as a very accessible minimal synth/industrial album, yet keeping it just obtuse enough to make it one of the most brilliant and engaging albums to be ushered into the canon of 80s experimental culture."- boomkat
After glancing over the press release for this record I spotted a sentence in there from Elvis Von Doom “Robert Turman is one of the most underrated figures to come out of industrial music’s earliest days.” I could not agree more. The man’s music stirs something in me that’s inexplicable. It traverses the entire emotional spectrum and is a pure example of the sheer powerful force that is recorded sound. ‘Way Down’ is really unlike any other work in his catalogue. Originally issued on cassette in 1987 on his Actual Tapes label and then first appeared on vinyl via Dais in 2010, it has now once again been reissued on wax courtesy of Burka For Everyone.
Working loosely within the cold/ minimal synth template of the era Turman wasn’t one to write off the possibilities of the guitar within the format and as a result ‘Way Down’ has one of the most distinctive sounds of all the records from that generation. The foundation/ backbone of the tracks is minimal synth, drum machine but the cold minimalism is augmented with vocal samples, tape loops and as mentioned some guitar. I usually don’t go for guitar in electronic music at all but Turman successfully blends the real and synthetic seamlessly. The opening title track is pure ecstacy, with longing synths and piano. ‘Lowtek’ like the preceding tune has no shortage of infectious melody alongside a pitched down vocal sample adding a darker edge. 'Mind the Gap' sounds like Jean Michelle Jarre being assaulted by Giorgio Moroder and Chris Carter while ‘Freedom From Fear’ sounds like The Normal covering Mike Ratledge’s ‘Riddles Of The Sphinx’ soundtrack. ‘Dead King Speak’ is the most “industrial” track of the bunch with squashed mechanical rhythms swamped in fog with sinister melodies creeping through the darkness. Closer ‘Clean living’ is pure rugged, deranged proto-techno.
The overall atmosphere of ‘Way Down’ is dark but never overly oppressive due to Turman’s brilliantly executed balance of melody and texture. A stone-cold classic.- Norman Records
Beyond Painting (1990)
I couldn’t be happier about the current Robert Turman reissue campaign. First ‘Flux’ appeared a wee while ago on Spectrum Spools and now like three records in the space of a month; ‘Spirals of Everlasting Change’, ‘Way Down’ and now ‘Beyond Painting’. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve played this album thanks to Fabrica rescuing it from near obscurity with this vinyl reissue. The tracks were recorded in 1990 but only saw the light of day via 100 copies on CDr in 2010. A criminally low run as this could well be Turman’s masterpiece.
Across the record he utilizes soul stirring synth loops which are a total bliss-out conjuring widescreen vistas while summoning tears to shoot out of my tear ducts but so far I’ve just about managed to hold it together. This is a magnificent, stunningly beautiful and very organic sounding ambient record that stands out head and shoulders amongst the masses within the genre. The melodies are to die for, the lo-fi production sounds warm and enveloping and the sound palette of guitar, tapes and synth is consistent throughout - There's a real continuity and flow with each track being similar but still very different. Mind blowingly gorgeous music that I can’t recommend enough. Head over to the full preview on SoundCloud and if you’re not melted I’d recommend checking for a pulse. - Norman Records
"Flux" is the 1981 debut solo outing of Robert Turman, an American multi-instrumentalist and avant-garde composer. Until recently, Turman was perhaps best known for his contributions to the ballistic NON project with Boyd Rice, as well as other obscured U.S. industrial acts such as Z.O. Voider.
In the summer of 1981 Turman decided he would take a drastic turn from the noisy/electronic/industrial work of his compatriots, and began work on what is now the classic "Flux" cassette. "Flux" was originally self-released in extremely limited numbers. Weary of the noisescapes of old, he set out to create long-form minimalism utilizing kalimba, piano, "Mini-Pops Jr." drum machine, and tape loops to create a complex bed of interweaving micro-stasis'. The results of these new experiments were as beautiful as they were perplexing.
A curious dusty fidelity carries these classic tracks across four sides of vinyl, including all of the original "Flux" content. These compositions glow with a sprawling, slow motion haze that's light years ahead of its time. "Flux" reveals wide spectrums of sound from melancholic kalimba and percussion patterns to slowed down, syrupy Exotica. Turman had complex ideas in his mind yet only the simple technologies of the day were at hand. Hear the click of the stopping and starting Tascam 3340 open-reel tape machine as one hand presses the "record" and "play" buttons and the other plays piano phrases. While there are similarities in style to Classical Minimalism, Turman's sound and vision is his own and is exclusive to his limited discography.
Released in a limited edition 2xLP set, Lovingly remastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering from the original c-60 cassette master.
Original cassette artwork and scans provided by Aaron Dilloway.- editionsmego.com/
Spectrum Spools delves into the distant past - well, 1981 - for its latest tranmission, a reissue of the debut album by revered multi-instrumentalist / avant-garde operator Robert Turman. Turman first came to cult prominence as a member of Boyd Rice's NON, before going on to enjoy a sporadic solo career that has taken in DAF/Normal-style electronics (Way Down) and superior noise outings (Blizzard, with Aaron Dilloway). Flux, which Turman self-released on cassette, is a one-off - a patient investigation of classical minimalism and new age tropes, an attempt to create "a complex bed of interweaving micro-stasis" with kalimba, piano, drum machine, and tape loops. The results are certainly sparse and meditative, but they're also deeply engaging, and occasionally unsettling. We're particularly into 'Flux 4', its marriage of plaintive piano and cotton-wool wrapped kickdrum coming over like a precursor to the Miasmah label or those early Dettinger records on Kompakt. Remastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates + Mastering from the original c-60 cassette master and pressed on vinyl for the first time, this is the definitive edition of a very special work. - boomkat
This is sweet! It's a double LP reissue of a cassette that was originally released in 1981 in miniscule numbers for the masses of folks who bought cassettes back in the day. Perhaps more famous for the 'Non' Project with Boyd Rice, Turman has been making industrial avant-garde music for some time. On 'Flux' he felt like breaking the mold and indeed he has with four sides of sweet sounding music comprising of kalimba, piano, mini pops jr. drum machine and tape loops. It's a beautiful chilled sound he's created. It's very percussive though the whole thing is so minimal that you might just think of it as a collection of twinkles and chimes. It's a very sparse sounding record but one that takes you to another place and gives your mind chance to absorb the intricacies of what's going on. It's background atmospheric music but it's done so well that it ends up in the foreground. I'm pleased this has been reissued as I'd never have discovered it otherwise. - Norman Records
|Spirals of Everlasting Change (1987) |
|“Spirals was originally conceived in 1982 as two separate cassettes, each consisting of a series of seemingly random, yet carefully selected loops, usually one to three minutes long. The two cassettes were played simultaneously on small portable cassette machines, started randomly, so the interweaving of rhythms was different every time. Several years later, the two tapes were committed to a single mix, with overlays of sounds and tones to create melodies, connecting the rhythms, yet still leaving enough open space for the listener. Lonesome Echo was based on a long loop, with irregularly repetitive guitar and keyboard parts played over the top, with a dub-style mix. It was inspired by the solitude and melancholy of the Jackie Gleason album, Lonesome Echo. Lower World is an experiment using a 3-minute endless cassette, all tracks played with an electric bass. Slow counterpoint between the elements, to create an extended whole.” – Robert Turman|
Robert Turman at RCNCAVE, 5/12/11
photo by Leonarda BealRobert Turman was a member of pioneering industrial band NON (alongside Boyd Rice) and has been a prolific member of the underground industrial/noise music scene since the 1970s, playing alongside artists like Aaron Dilloway, Boyd Rice, Timothy Hendricks, Jandek, and others. Robert now resides in Oberlin Ohio, and recently I caught up with him before a live performance at Akron Ohio's Rubber City Noise Cave to talk with him about his recently released double-LP Flux(Spectrum Spools) and his upcoming double-LP Beyond Painting (Fabrica Discos).
So the first thing I wanted to talk about, I'm actually confused as to the history of Flux, I read somewhere that it was a reissue, but I was actually under the impression that it was never before released material, so which is it?
It was a very very limited release. Originally I started putting cassettes out in reel to reel boxes, and the very first edition there were, maybe... not even 10 copies, and then I made it with the colored cover like it turned out to be, and there were... not even that many more, and then I made some after that in 5 inch reel boxes with black and white art on different colored paper, and there might have been 25 of those or something, and that was all over a few year in the early 80s.
So altogether less than 100 copies?
Okay. So how did John [Elliot, curator of the Spectrum Spools label] find out about this, did he have a copy or was this something you had told him about?
No, he probably heard it from Aaron Dilloway (Hanson Records). Aaron talked about putting it out on Hanson, and that was taking too long, but Aaron had transferred it, and done cleaning up on it, and that's probably how John first heard it, on a CD from Aaron I would imagine. Aaron had sent me, when he was still thinking about putting it out, he had sent my original cassette, which I had mixed onto a really cheap, used, low noise cassette, that was the master and so that was the only copy ever, he had sent it to a guy in England who was supposed to master it, and this was like... a year and a half ago, and the guy did a little bit on it and sent it back. [During this time] I had been gone for a while and came back and Aaron had these rough mixes and I only heard, maybe, part of the first two tracks, one of which sounded really good, and the other sounded horrible, and Aaron was supposed to make notes and send it back to the guy and... Anyway it kinda got neglected, and when John got more interested in it and he got the label he said "well let's just put it out" and so he ended up getting the tape from the guy in England. And Rashad Becker did and amazing job. I had tried with a friend of mine... cleaning it up, and just ended up making it worse, though I had done some transfers myself that I thought were pretty good, with a little bit of processing, but he (Becker) made it sound really good.
I also recall reading that you had said you recorded it (Flux) while you were having trouble sleeping and it was the only thing that helped you sleep at night. Is there more to that story?
Um yeah, I mean there was a period where I was having trouble sleeping and it was the only thing that would help me sleep.
So is that the only recording from that period, or is there more?
Umm it's hard to say, its been so long. I'm sure I have other stuff from that period but from that exact time period, that's probably about all there is.
Okay and the reception so far has been generally positive, now looking back that it has been released, is there anything you wished you'd done differently?
The only thing I wish I had done different was, there was another piano piece that was done probably right around that time that would have been nice to include on the CD. It MIGHT have made it too long, but it might have just fit. I think as it is, it's just over 60 minutes, so it might have just fit on the CD.
So is the recording just piano, or what other instruments did you use on it?
Well the first side... The first three pieces are xylophone and kalimba and one of them has a tape loop, and one of them is just xylophone. And the last three pieces are just piano and one of 'em has a very crude little drum machine that I play with the tempo through the whole track, so it's a constant speeding up and slowing down through it all.
Okay cool. So what about your new double-LP, Beyond Painting, that is coming out on Fabrica? What can you tell me about that?
That was, from what I can remember, about 1990 and was some of the last recordings that I did by myself. I ended up, shortly after that, getting into a rock band and didn't do any recording by myself for a long time. Well pretty much. I was still doing some things but it was side projects and stuff, so it was different. Like country western reggae and some stuff like that, and that was all recorded after the Beyond Painting tracks and it was always some of my favorite stuff, and I finally decided I was going to do something with it so I did the CD-R and now the double-LP.
Cool. So are people who have Flux and really liked it going to be kind of, shocked at what Beyond Painting sounds like, or does it fit within that same theme?
It's a lot different. It's um, I'd say a lot heavier or darker, and Flux is more... sombre. Beyond Painting is fairly dark. As far as instrumentation, it's a lot different, also in overall sound, but I don't know if someone who didn't know me or anything about it, if they were to hear it and say "oh it's the same person", I really don't know. But it's mostly all just this cheap, crude sampling keyboard that I had for a long time and a lot of it is just samples of my voice.
So what are you going to be playing tonight then?
What I've been doing lately, live, is... well, most of the stuff I've always done is kinda loopy and repetitive, and what I've been doing live lately changes a bit more, still loopy, but more abstract, not so much like a piece where it has a basic sound and it's that way for the whole piece, it's sort of ...extended. It goes through a lot of changes.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Uh, no that should be about it.
Robert's set that night was, as expected, a shifting, morphing trip full of cut up tape loops of vocals, strings, and god only knows what else. Robert's record Fluxis available now (and highly recommended), and Beyond Painting should be available in the next few months. - olive-music.blogspot.com/2012/05/interview-robert-turman.html
"Turman’s contribution to the industrial and synth wave underground in the late 1970s and 80s was unique and substantial. He first rose to prominence as part of NON, collaborating with Boyd Rice on the classic 1977 single ‘Mode of Infection’/'Knife Ladder’, before leaving to pursue his own more expansive solo vision.
Turman released a number of cassettes over the course of the 80s, drawing on a wide range of experimental techniques. On Way Down, first released on Actual Tapes in 1987, he combined the psych noisy industrial drone aesthetic he was best known for with a spry, danceable minimal synth sound, albeit one fleshed out with guitars, pianos, tape loops and samples. Cold, but not too dark, with a reliance on melody not expected from this area of music. It’s a great record, murky as hell but also engaging and accessible. Robert Turman is one of the most underrated figures to come out of industrial music’s
Robert Thurman Doesn't Look Buddhist