Boomkat Product Review:
A low-key magisterial totem of US avant-minimalism, Robert Turman’s 1981 classic resurfaces, and has since become an expensive second hand find
As an original member of NON with Boyd Rice, Robert Turman made his recorded debut on 1979’s ‘Mode Of Infection / Knife Ladder’ single, but within years he moved into much quieter yet expansive zones with his solo material. His self-released 1981 tape, ‘Flux’ is the seminal first example of Turman’s relatively drastic new direction, weaving kalimba, keys, a “Mini-Pops Jr.” drum machine, and tape loops, to create a gorgeous cat’s cradle of small sounds that absorb the listener with much subtler tactics and tactility than his previous work.
We could quite easily classify ‘Flux’ in that category of albums whose endings are much fuzzier to the memory than the start, due to the fact they tend to lull us pillow ways with each listen. Shy of any hypnic jerk snags, the thing flows with a steeply mesmerising sandman quality, coaxing mottled rhythmelody and shimmering harmonics from his set-up in a way that was far ahead of its time, but can’t help but seduce the senses to more atavistic, dreamlike states. It’s no doubt a total wonder of its ilk, and understandably an influence on everyone from Aaron Dilloway to Helm, and quite possibly you if you haven’t heard it yet