Turzi - Pure Groove, London - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Turzi - Pure Groove, London

by Leonora Walters Rating: Release Date:

Copies of Le Figaro, French rock mag Les Inrockuptibles and the appearance of Alsace beers on the specials board set the scene for music label Record Makers tenth anniversary London bash, part of Pure Groove's week long celebration of French music at its Clerkenwell store. The evening kicked off with two Record Makers house DJs who ranged through a variety of styles to showcase the label's various offerings, including electro house, some 80s influenced tracks and chilled funky house, working their way up to heavier baselines in preparation for one of Record Makers main acts - Turzi.

Electro rock band Turzi's distinct sound takes its influence from a variety of styles, most obviously krautrock and 1970s acts such as Kraftwerk, but its hypnotic, at times psychedelic sound also embodies a harder element which founder and front man Romain Turzi says is influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Purple, and has been compared to early Pink Floyd. This is more apparent on Turzi's most recent album, Turzi B, on which every track has a name beginning with a B, featuring names such as Buenos Aires, Brasilia and Bamako. It follows 2007 album, Turzi A, where every record is titled with an A.

With DJs concluded the stage and equipment was being prepared for the main act with each of the various instruments and pieces of equipment being played for longer and longer, becoming more and more musical. Suddenly it dawned that the person on stage was Romain Turzi playing the introduction to his performance, having made his way over from the bar where he had mingled with the crowd.

Turzi made use of guitar, violin, keyboard, vinyl, mixing deck and voice embodying much of the elements of his previous work but with a wider range of instruments and sounds, as employed on the new album - Turzi describes B as more acoustic and warmer than the earlier work. The increased use of electronically distorted vocals developed what he had started to do on Turzi A - on earlier albums such as Made Under Authority there are virtually no vocals.

Turzi played solo, rather than part of his full five piece band, as he does when the room cannot accommodate the entire group and as is the case on some of the records. The short performance - around an hour - focused on some of the new material, though Romain Turzi aims to approach his solo shows in a completely different manner each time improvising much of his performance. He lacked the force and power of the group at full strength, but the same mesmerising quality that pervades all Turzi's work still transfixed the audience.

The small stage and lack of band also did not detract from the visual element: Turzi's continual movement around his various pieces of kit to produce different sounds and textures was, if anything, more visually arresting than the band playing together. At times he played a guitar and sometimes he spoke while continually adjusting the mixing equipment and occasionally pulling a bow across a violin.

His set wound down to some softly uttered lyrics, but the performance did not end there. Even as final act Acid Washed - another of Record Makers' DJs - rounded off the night with a set of chilled house - Romain Turzi slowly dismantled the stage in the same unassuming manner with which he had earlier commanded the attention of the entire room.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet