Spring is here and with it the boundless possibilities of life and happiness. If you’ve been following the past few weeks as my passion and drive for this project collapsed under the weight of battleship skies and April blizzards; you know it’s about bloody time. The trees are turning green and I’m dreaming vividly again. The warmth of the air and sheer joy in my heart has subconsciously made me switch over to a more summery playlist than the one that saw me through the bitter winter. As I mentioned during my piece on Brian Eno and John Cale’s ‘Spinning Away’; though music shouldn’t really be classed as “Summer” or “Winter”, sometimes you can’t really help it if it ticks all the boxes and enters your life at the right time. No more death. No more eulogies. The sun is shining and I want to listen to shiny sun songs. I want to listen to my shiny sun songs; the ones I forged in my happiest moments. Cycling through my music I come to Turboweekend. Further skipping takes me to Fault Lines. I can’t help but smile.
My love and respect for Turboweekend is slightly more entwined than most. I was one of the few English speakers in attendance when they played London many moons ago, ‘Your Body Free From Mine’ was a staple of my early rryrry sets and I recently finished a rather snazzy remix of ‘Drums in the Dark’. It’s unreciprocated, of course (bar a stolen hug from Silas) though I’m sure they’d work wonders with rryrry given half the chance. If I’m honest, I’m not sure why I’ve taken such an interest. I can’t explain it and I think that’s half the romance. They dropped in my life as a recommendation at a time when I was pretty broken and quickly formed a balm with such gems as ‘Into You’ and ‘Erase Myself‘. There’s a remarkable freedom and joy in their arrangements that set them apart from other keyboard-led bands. It’s just so vital and real. Behind all the production flourishes and electronic chirping of the foreground, there’s a power trio (and now quad) holding it all together. You can hear the movement of Morten’s fingers and shuffle of Martin’s sticks keeping them honest. It’s a music that couldn’t be wholly synthesized alone in a bedroom. This is before even mentioning the soaring quality of Silas’ voice, by far and away the greatest in Scandinavia (if not the world). I’m serious. Bigger blogs than this have re-printed my opinion on the matter so it must have some clout. You just need to hear the break in ‘Multiple Voices’ or the climax of this live version of ‘Into You’ to see what I mean.
Fault Lines released back in 2012 during a particularly hot London summer. At the time I was working at Hamleys Toy Store and having a fairly wretched time as the air-conditioning had broken and all the chocolates were melting throughout the building. The Olympics were on the horizon and the store was a humid mess of mania and discomfort. The sole respite was leaving on my lunch hour, sitting out in Golden Square and listening. By this point my world away from Hamleys was a brilliant place to be as joy had come into my life and filled my soul; the music I discovered during that long summer imprinted itself heavily upon me. Fault Lines did it more than most. It is a nigh on perfect album that is at once both incredibly familiar and utterly unique. ‘Fire of the Stampede‘ hits you with an insidious funk beat that accompanies chords that constantly skirt the boundaries of non-functionality, it’s disconcerting but wholly danceable. ‘Reflections on Chrome’ has the soul of the new-wave running through it and is a prime example of how the live nature of the bass and drums fill the accompaniment with soul. Don’t even get me started on ‘Douglas’ because I’ll go full on fanboy; a gorgeously languid, soulful strut of a piece. I could go on and on about how each song balances delicately between maintaining an individual personality whilst remaining a solid part of the album’s whole but that would read rather dull. Just go and listen for yourself, you won’t be sorry.
My winter jackets are in the closet and I’m taking the bold risk of leaving the house in nothing but a shirt and trousers so I think we can safely say summer is coming. It looks like it’s going to be a good one and I’ll likely find another album to track it’s ebb and flow which I’ll fill you with at a later date. But for now I am happy to listen to Turboweekend and let all those good, warm memories wash over me. That summer I fell in love with the band. That summer I fell in love with the album. That summer I fell in love for real.
Last summer’s choice album: John Wizards – John Wizards
Two summers obsession: Kashmir – Pedestals
An early post on the wonder of Danish music: We need to talk about Denmark.