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Robert Turman – Spirals of Everlasting Change DVD (Hanson)

In the late 80s, at least in New York, it was pretty easy to come across some completely alien programming somewhere on the cable access late-night horizon. Flipping through random channels, one could find fortunetellers, naked talk shows or black israelites preaching, all low-budget weirdos in their technicolor splendor.  The possibilities were endless and in a pre-internet, dot matrix world, it could occasionally provide something more mysterious. Maybe you would catch a Residents video, a Harry Smith movie, etc. Sometimes you would see something incredible and never know what it was, no credits shown, no reruns, who could say? While I doubt Robert Turman’s Spirals of Everlasting Change DVD was ever transmitted via such mediums, it somehow belatedly accomplishes the same heady thrill. A visual collage created in 1988 and a live show recording from 2011, both by Turman are combined for this document. An early industrial music pioneer, Turman’s archival work has recently been getting reissued all over the place via Dais, Spectrum Spools et al. Obsessed with the loop, Turman has his own voice and navigates his sounds with alchemic skill.  Swirling, hypnotic patterns are seen through images of architecture, design and movement, the visuals looped along with the soundtrack, which sounds remarkably appropriate considering it was recorded twenty years after the fact. But Turman doesn’t dwell too long, he keeps both his audio and visual loops from becoming too static, both moving enough to captivate completely for the 33 minute duration of the release. The best industrial music has some level of psychedelia at its core, as both genres using repetition and the beat to lock in listeners for long stretches. Turman knows this too and his LSD flashes flicker throughout. This is exactly what was supposed to be seen, broadcast at god knows what hour, roping in the few mutants still awake into some videodrome/dreamachine trance. Maybe you were there too. When you woke up, you forgot what had happened but you wish you had a blank VHS ready to tape it. Fortunately, you didn’t need to.

by STEVE LOWENTHAL on 6/19/2012 in Reviews | Tags: , ,