Way Down

by Robert Turman

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about

Originally released as a small run cassette in 1987, only to fall into tape label obscurity, Robert Turmans industrial genre-bending masterpiece album Way Down finally has been excavated for a proper vinyl reissue after twenty-three years in the shadows. This album solidifies Turman as a cut above the rest with respect to his talent and his natural ear for experimental composition. Turman first came onto the industrial scene in the late 70s as the ominous other half of legendary noise outfit NON, alongside Boyd Rice, together releasing the now classic first NON single, Mode of Infection/Knife Ladder 7” in 1977. After parting ways, Turman went on an excursion of self-released cassettes to which he fused every possible influence at his disposal, culling together past habits of experimental know-how and going forward into uncharted terrain. After his previous experimental efforts included on his Flux release in 1981, and even later in the prolific Chapter Eleven boxset, Turman turned the tables with the creation of Way Down, using synthesizer arrangements and drum machines alongside guitar solos, piano chords, tape loops and primitive sampling to create a whole new concoction of dance-like minimal synth blended together with the industrial darkwave noise he was mostly known for. After almost vanishing from the music scene, Turman resurfaced in 2005, teaming up with seminal noise musician Aaron Dilloway to not only reissue previous recordings, but to record and perform once again with new releases out on Hanson and Medusa. This vinyl reissue of Way Down serves as the blueprint of what Turman sought to render as a very accessible minimal synth/industrial album, yet keeping it just obtuse enough to make it one of the most brilliant and engaging albums to be ushered into the canon of 80s experimental culture.

REVIEWS:

"The overall atmosphere of ‘Way Down’ is dark but never overly oppressive due to Turman’s brilliantly executed balance of melody and texture. A stone-cold classic." - 10/10 - Ant (Norman Records Zine)

"Turman’s contribution to the industrial and synth wave underground in the late 1970s and 80s was unique and substantial. He first rose to prominence as part of NON, collaborating with Boyd Rice on the classic 1977 single ‘Mode of Infection’/'Knife Ladder’, before leaving to pursue his own more expansive solo vision.

Turman released a number of cassettes over the course of the 80s, drawing on a wide range of experimental techniques. On Way Down, first released on Actual Tapes in 1987, he combined the psych noisy industrial drone aesthetic he was best known for with a spry, danceable minimal synth sound, albeit one fleshed out with guitars, pianos, tape loops and samples. Cold, but not too dark, with a reliance on melody not expected from this area of music. It’s a great record, murky as hell but also engaging and accessible. Robert Turman is one of the most underrated figures to come out of industrial music’s earliest days. “Way Down” is a cold 80's freak-out." Elvis Von Doom

credits

released June 6, 2014

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INFINITE FOG PRODUCTIONS Russia, New York

Label & mailorder since 2005. www.infinitefog.ru
Ambient/Industrial/Weird Drone/Neoclassic/Neofolk

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