Boomkat Product Review:
As promised, Music From Memory pay up a stellar set of Michal Turtle’s myriad, inventive creations, making available tracks off his keenly sought Music From The Living Room LP together with 13 previously unreleased gems created circa 1983-1985, all in the wake of his remarkable introduction via Are You Psychic in late 2015.
Phantoms of Dreamland forms an in-depth investigation into Turtle’s most fruitful period while he was based out of his parents’ living room in London, joined by a stream of friends with whom he’d jam and record the results; loose ribbons of groovesome “real” and synthesised percussion, overlaid with lissom bass, guitars, synths and tape loops suspended in webs of FX and found sound.
Unless you’re a lucky owner of the OG Music From The Living Room plate then it’s quite unlikely that you’ve ever heard any of the tracks inside. But rather than some completist or elitist exercise, this is best considered a testament to those fascinating corners of the soundsphere, and particularly that which surrounded the early ‘80s advent of new age and home recording, and that private seam which remains tantalisingly beyond the reaches of even the most ardent, frayed cuticles.
Only a cursory listen and educated guess would correctly time-date this collection to the early ‘80s, but you’d also be forgiven for tripping up on its unusually stripped and modern sounding rhythmic axes, whose precise yet sloshing patterns and direct effect clearly foreshadow many strains of house and experimental, electronic rhythm-driven compositions which followed its release.
Turtle’s naive prescience is notable, imbuing each cut with a prototypical, worldly avant-charm that simply comes from following your own nose to wherever it goes; taking time to enjoy the ride, rather than just the end result.