Tabs Out | Robert Turman – Veiling Reflections

Robert Turman – Veiling Reflections
6.13.17 by Ryan Durfee


Where to even begin?

Robert Turman is easily my favorite musician, and someone I would consider the most important living American artist. He deserves much more praise than he has received and it is a shame when we talk about paramount outsider musicians, his name is not one of the first mentioned. Robert’s albums sound just as fresh and as enervating now as they did when released in the 80’s. If you have never heard of Robert Turman or his various projects before, “Veiling Reflections” is a great introduction to his body of work.

Turman recorded “Veiling Reflections” for a RBMA event held in Zurich in late 2016. It is seeing release on tape through Präsens Editionen [CDr version from Turman’s own label, Actual Tapes]. The recording is meant to be an exploration through the realm of sleep, described as sleep/dream inducing hypnotica, so I have used it to drift off every night for the last three weeks. In sound it is closer to his work on “Flux” than other albums, but it’s a new and further exploration of a soundworld he created many years ago. You’ll hear one hour-long song. A gently loping loop which minutely evolves to incorporate soft pings of noise and softly whirling synths stretches for a dozen minutes until a guitar-based piece is introduced. An element that fades into the original loop as quickly as it appeared. If we’re using this as an analogy for sleep, this would be where you start to doze off, the warm waves of sound engulfing and lulling you into a deep repose. The song really starts to pick up speed at about thirty six minutes in when a swell of noise threatens to consume the entire piece, the environment becoming louder and a little messier, which makes me think of the oneironaut, eyes fluttering as they are pulled into the darkest depths to fight the chimera of the psyche. The song ends on a gentle note, bringing the dreamer back into the cold light of the anthropocene.

Grip the tape from Präsens Editionen, or a signed and numbered CDr edition direct from Turman.

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