Dutch imprint Music From Memory gather eight tracks from the archives of Michal Turtle. 'Return To Jeka' is the label's third release in collaboration with the English artist. Previously, they raided his tapes for the 'Are You Psychic?' EP and 'Phantoms Of Dreamland' 2LP. Like those records, this rewinds back to the 80s and features eight previously unheard cuts of obscure Britsh synth music, produced between 1983 and 1985. We can hear his background in jazz and classical, and even the funk and dub influences that run through this electro-ambient-tropical doozy.
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The delightfully named Michal Turtle is one of Music from Memory’s prized gems, a British synth artist making often unfathomable sounds from remote dream regions. His time as a writer of jingles seems worth noting; not only can you hear the playful, anthemic side of his writing, but you can also hear him eschewing it, offering instead the strands of sound too weird and wild for public access.
Their latest archival dig of Turtle works gives us ‘Return to Jeka’, opening on the quixotic, muted noise jumble of “Snow” -- an immediate precursor into this artist’s sound, which can be as warped and busy as it is laconic. “Uiko’s Return to Jeka” sounds like three different dance songs playing quietly on top of one another, the synthline soloing its way around a goofy spoken monologue, a funky bassline and whistling affectations. It sounds like an off-the-cuff, in-the-bin cut, most likely because it is: the song doesn’t form as a whole but instead offers a wonderful, nauseating vision of other times. “Dub This Heavy” is an autopilot dub tune with lovely little effects and synthetic handclaps, its piano chords sampled exuberantly.
Please expect yourselves to have fun. Even with his guard down, on the low, making music at its most disorganised, Turtle makes tunes that are giddy and sunstruck. The chords and chirps of “Jovan’s Island” are vivid, gorgeously transportive considering their stringent rhythm and sparse deviation. “Uiko’s Dream” is a new age jammer that is simply oodles of joy, like smiles bouncing off one another in a tank. A must have for the Turtle heads.
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