England - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 11 - 09/16/97
Well, Turn On is not a regular band. This might be a one record only combo, on an
intermissionary mission inbetween what they usually do. Tim Gane of Stereolab (and
once of McCarthy), and Sean O'Hagan of High Llamas (and, back in the 80's, Microdisney),
who also has been recording music (playing organ) with Stereolab now and then. Together
with Andy Ramsay (the drummer/percussionist from Stereolab), they've written 11 tunes,
which they perform by playing and doing electronics, samples, and a drum-machine, alongside
ordinary instruments such as guitar, bass, organ, and drums.
But this isn't what I expected. Well, in one way it is. But on the other hand I think the
whole record is somewhat like a studio-flip-thing. Because this sounds much like some leftovers
from the darkest corners of their cupboards. Much too uninspired and monotonous, as being some
arty stuff. I had to ask myself: is the whole thing just a hoax? It might be so. When going
through the titles you get the feeling of quite some tongue-in-checkish kitsch: United States Of
Surrealism, Gimmickry Sensational Hoax, plus Gimmickry Hoax Sensation. Other titles
could be taken straight off a Stereolab record, such as Electrocation Of Fire Ants, Plasmids,
and Jumbled Palipsest. With one exception the album is a fully instrumental one. On the song Ru
Tenone Laetitia Sader (Stereolab, as well) take care of the vocal part. Not exactly lyrics, only some
ba-ba-bah and du-du-duh. Still it's the most structured song, and obviously very Stereolab-ish.
Is it just me or does it sound like a strange remix of Ball And Chain by XTC?
Triple Cause Of Poetry has got sort of a eastern feeling, with the electro-psychedelic Oriental
sounds. Very ethnic indeed. I'm sorry to say so, but I find this album very tiresome. To much electronic
gobbledygook. But still I look forward to hear the upcoming Stereolab album which is to be out soon. Well, excuse me,
but I'll have to use the word Stereolab just once more, in a last question: Is Turn On and Stereolab
really the same? Turn Off.
Copyright © 1997 Håvard Oppøyen