Wednesday 13 July 2016

Phantoms of Dreamland - Michal Turtle

I was first introduced to the record label Music from Memory by the sound of the track Caravan Revisited by Workdub coming through the speakers at a local record shop. Check it out below but be aware that it sounds so much better and deeper on a proper speaker system. It's an unusual track of graceful synths and off-kilter percussion which seems ethereal and timeless. It is actually from 1989 and was created by two musicians, Virgil Work Jnr. and Nicholas Georgieff, messing about in their basement home studio. They released an LP and a CD and then faded into obscurity.

Music from Memory's brief is to re-release songs to a wider and more deserved audience than the original release may have received, or to finally get unreleased material onto wax. I can't think of much more honourable than that and Music from Memory pull out some gems that would have otherwise remained hidden to the majority of people. Along with other excellent reissue labels such as Now-Again Records, Light in the Attic and Soundway, Music from Memory are at the top of their game in my humble opinion. The label also has a strong aesthetic and style and it's one to follow for sure.

Their latest release is a double LP of music by Michal Turtle. Phantoms of Dreamland expands on a 12" release of Turtle's work that Music on Memory issued in 2015 with more strange, hypnotic electronica from 1983-85. The release is made up of mainly unreleased tracks that were created by the 22 year old Turtle in his living room in South London. He'd invite musicians over and mess about with synths, recording everything to tape or to cassette.

The music itself is a collection of strange experimentation, often with soothing, layered synths and clunking percussion. It can be comforting and fuzzy or alien and cold but there's something new with every listen. It could easily be a modern electro LP but there's a certain naivety in the tracks which makes the album endearing and engaging. My favourite tracks include the glittering Spooky Boogie, shimmering Ball of Fire and El Teb, which brings Eastern inspirations to synth experimentation. 
Check it out below and let me know what you think and be sure to take a look at Music from Memory too. 

Michal Turtle
Phantoms of Dreamland
Music from Memory
Double Vinyl LP out: 15/07/2016 at Music from Memory


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