Turing Machine CD review [French Kiss]

Music Reviews
Turing Machine CD review [French Kiss]
Oct 19, 2004, 16:49


What do you name your second album if you're krautrocky instronauts? Why, Zwei, of course (that's German for Two, in case you missed that episode of Sesam Strasse). It doesn't matter if your band is named for a British scientist's theoretical computer, or even if you live in NYC and don't eat sausages, as long as you engineer your album with an impeccable synchronization of interlocking guitar-bass gears (courtesy of ex-DC angular kings Pitchblende) and drums playing motorik-ish rhythms that sound ready to  run the entire autobahn without losing a single drop of oil. Geekboys who dig that ol' extendo-jammo, indie prog-wank can scratch their whiskers to this, no doubt. Turing Machine generates songs that keep their revs going over 10 minutes at a clip, with nary a lyric or vocal chortle to interrupt the smooth transitions between curves.

But the trio has a trick under its hood: Where many indie-progsters continually shift time and key signatures and impatiently fly off on rocketing fret-rides just to prove their dexterity, Turing Machine is content to drive a groove… and drive it hard… and drive it long.

This, then, is prog-disco.

And why not? The hipsters like their indie-prog and their disco-punk, so I see no problem in atom-smashing the two together as long as it moves. And Zwei moves. The guitar zaps and zips around post-punk dissonance and melody with equal skill (pardon an awful pun and a despicable Eagles reference, but you could say he's got the Mercedes bends), while the bass takes turns between slaloming thru guitar counterpoints and providing simple low-end reinforcement for the rhythmic drivetrain. In short: Zwei is essentially funk without the funk, punk without the punk, and a Giorgio Moroder remix of Donna Summer without either Moroder or Summer. For that, it's going to piss off a lot of people who need to know, once and for certain: Can I dance to this… or am I just supposed to stand around and look like I appreciate it, man? [French Kiss]

-J Graham

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