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Robert Turman

Aaron Dilloway’s (Ohio sound artist formerly of the band Wolf Eyes) record label Hanson Records used to have a pretty wild webshop. I would of course pick up the latest Hanson releases but his selection and especially the descriptions had me buy many many records. What to think of unmissable collector’s items like a 7” with cheerful songs by Japanese cult leader Shoko Asahara, a cut-up version of the Clockwork Orange soundtrack by Maurizio Bianchi or an audio-rip of the movie Eaten Alive on cassette released by a label called Dutch Oven.

Unfortunately the Hanson distro-section is no longer there (there is a physical Hanson Records shop now in Ohio) but one of the latest records I’ve discovered through the Hanson distro and at the same time one of my most precious lp’s is ‘Flux’ by American multi-instrumentalist and avant-garde composer Robert Turman.

It was originally released in 1981 on limited cassette but re-released on vinyl in 2012 Spectrum Spools (a label based out of Cleveland, Ohio and Vienna, Austria created by John Elliott and Peter Rehberg).

The double lp carries 6 long-stretched hypnotizing minimal compositions with piano, drum machines, tape-loops to create a unique kind of melancholic nostalgic exotica. From the first time I’ve heard this album it immediately became one of my favorite “head-clearing” records suitable for almost every occasion. Meditative but never boring or predictable.

Robert Turman used to be involved in Boyd Rice’s NON project at the end of the 70’s and has released a number of cassettes over the course of the 80’s. And since the ‘Flux’ re-issue popped up, more labels realized that it was necessary to save Turman’s music from complete obscurity and release some of his tapes on vinyl.

The excellent Dais records did a vinyl release of the 1987 cassette called ‘Way Down’ where Turman uses a industrial more beat oriented even danceable approach. And Fabrica did a vinyl release of more melodic loop-orientated music from the 90’s not so much unlike ‘Flux’ called ‘Beyond Painting’.

If you’re more interested in the more noisier side of Robert Turman, check out the collaboration with Aaron Dilloway called ‘Blizzard’ which was released on Hanson records on cd a couple years ago but will finally get a vinyl treatment in 2016 also by the good people of Fabrica records.

Robert Turman is currently recovering from a heart surgery. A big part of his discography is available digitally from the man himself. Click here to go to his Bandcamp account.

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