Random Touch – Turbulent Flesh LP
2009 Roadnoise Productions
Anybody who has ever worked or shopped regularly at an independent record store, and I mean a real record store, not some corporate conglomerate that sells ‘what’s hot,’ I’m talking about the (unfortunately disappearing) places of gathering for people who dig music, those who eat ramen noodles just so they can by the new limited 180 gram pressing of the new Wilco or Guided by Voices reissue – that said, you might have come across one of those exotic, or ‘exotica’ albums that strike wonder – music that is incredibly strange, hard to classify, but at the same time collectable & neat in it’s concept approach. New albums in this era are something hard to come by in the age of CD’s and downloads but experimental architects Random Touch have brought that ideaology back on their limited edition vinyl pressing of Turbulent Flesh.
That exotic musical approach, along with the recoding technique that is similar to the ‘direct-to-disc’ format is used here. Of course, fining an actual master groove cutter would be expensive, so the band opts to go directly digital, and in this day and age it is forgiving – not to mention you have to admire the idea of having no overdubs, no multi-tracks, or anything like that, just levels of multiple microphones set up properly in a barn, collecting this one-time performance in one take; no holds barred any outside noises are captured and it adds to the atmosphere.
The band themselves in the past have used provided a cinematic soundscape in their musical endeavors and Turbulent Flesh is no exception – it’s this whole new aura of free form jazz impov fusion, but is hard to categorize; nevertheless they always push the envelope – on this one they basically beat on junk, creating this concussion ensemble where there is no exact melodic form, but it’s more relevant to artistic integrity, along the lines of John Cage where all types of objects are beaten, piano strings are strummed, sheet metal is pounded and warbled, and so on – you try to imagine, like with many of their releases, some type of visual backdrop – it would certainly be interesting, but it might take away from what these visionaries originally intended – certainly the vinyl LP factor heightens this as being something unique.
Turbulent Flesh is something that isn’t necessarily easy on the ears, but it fits in the mold of modern day collectable music – especially for those who seek something out of the ordinary, beyond what Zappa did, beyond Trout Mask Replica and beyond even The Residents’ most notorious moments; hearkening the era when there were artists who really dared to make music in real experimental fashion, real experiential fashion…