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Thursday, October 8

Album review: Turkuaz - Digitonium



Turkuaz – Digitonium


Only one thing comes to mind when I think of the Brooklyn-based funk powerhouse that is Turkuaz: dance party! That may be a fairly blunt way to describe such intricate work, but it’s true. Anyone who has seen them live will tell you the same thing. The band’s newest full length album, Digitonium, seeks to extend their repertoire into new realms of dance music. ‘80s synths, layered with succinct horn arrangements, lay the groundwork for an adventure into future funk. For those who have not heard of Turkuaz, it is a name you should definitely become acquainted with. The band has been tearing up the Northeast region over the past few years, and their popularity is growing exponentially as they have worked their way throughout the rest of the country. Digitonium represents a distinct turn into the mainstream that will surely plant their feet firmly as they expand their legacy. The album was released on Techne Records on October 2, 2015.
The powerful intro track, titled simply “Introduction,” serves its purpose pristinely, setting a solid tone and getting the listener pumped for a phenomenal record. The remainder of the record drives up and down the funk spectrum, from get-up-and-dance tunes like “Ready Set Go” to the relaxed interludes of “Fish Out Of Water” and “Back To Reality” to the tasty groove of “Doktor Jazz” and everywhere in between. The ‘Kuaz, as I’ve most recently heard them called, go even deeper into their inner ‘80s voices with “European Festivity Nightmare,” reminiscent of an epic combination of the late Michael Jackson and The Police. One or two of the tracks, including “Overture,” could almost pass for house music, a funky genre of electronic dance music that blossomed out of disco, while the majority of the album has a distinct live aspect to it. The title track, “Digitonium,” returns to the initial theme and groove of the “Introduction” track, completing the circle and cementing the album’s primary motif.
The most impressive attribute of the record is the maturity of the arrangements. While the mastery and musicianship of this self-proclaimed PowerFunk army comes as no surprise to those who have been following them since their early days, this album will no doubt make outsiders turn their heads and think, “Man, why have I not heard of these guys before???” Almost every member of the band plays more than one instrument, and their awareness of each other’s space within such a large ensemble is absolutely stunning. The nine member band consists of two guitarists, two vocalists, a bassist, a drummer, two saxophone players and a trumpet player, and each member could be their own bandleader if they so choose. Their commitment is to the music, however, and it shines as a continuous group effort in a modern world filled with ego.
Along with the release of Digitonium, Turkuaz continues their takeover of hearts and souls across the country with a national club tour from Phoenix to Seattle to Tampa up to Baltimore… and all of this before Thanksgiving. Check out Digitonium today!
  
Words: Ragin' Randy Harris

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