Music

Turing Machine: Zwei

Jon Goff

Turing Machine

Zwei

Label: Frenchkiss
US Release Date: 2004-10-19
UK Release Date: Available as import
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Oh math rock instrumental, let me count the ways in which I love you. One: the icy veneer of your cold calculated fury is entrancing. Who is your creator? Who speaks for you? Why can't you just love me for who I am? You're like that German exchange student in the 10th grade who so impressed with his ability to cipher and keep to himself. What is the answer, Herr Kusen? You'll never tell. Two: you build and build and build to no satisfying conclusion. You leave me dangling in a netherworld, a void, a dark pit of faceless static. Why do you tease me so? You are a vixen! Last, but not least: you go on so long. Your drone is incessant. Eight minutes? Pshaw! Nine minutes? Child's play! Thirteen minutes? Do you dare? Yes, you dare. Oh, math rock instrumental let us be together forever.

What's that you say? I'm a cad? I'm not worthy of your love, Turing Machine? Alas, I will live. You're a tight little three piece, and your Brooklyn address is certainly appealing, but I like my dates a little sloppier. You could use a drink. The business of day-to-day living is far from an exact science. Take Zwei, for instance. Somewhere in the middle of your first nine-minute opus "Bleach it Black", I'm comatose, completely distracted by my dog sleeping. Sure, I recognize that you boys have more technical ability in the rims of your glasses than I have stewing in depths of my fat, sweaty gut, but I'm just not having any fun. Your pieces are all locked in place; your machine-like perfection tires me. It's stiff, stuffy, exacting. Same with "Bitte, Baby, Bitte". I got a laugh out of the name, but the song isn't exactly a barrel of monkeys now is it? I gather you boys enjoy the Krautrock thing. I can see your wheels spinning. You're like a precision instrument knifing through the asphalt. But your speed isn't reckless. This isn't a joyride. It's an exercise. You'll stick to your lane and you'll like it. And I've tried liking it. I once played Audubon by Kraftwerk on one of those "download the song of your choice" jukeboxes. But before it could get to the end of its 21 minutes the management of the establishment cut it off. I have to admit that the synthesized odyssey was somehow otherworldly, but you boys aren't even trying to get us off the planet. Your insistence on bass, drums and guitar is borderline maniacal and frankly, its keeping your songs from going the exciting places they could easily go. P.S.: Everyone likes Can better anyway.

I know I've been awfully hard on you. So here goes: "Don't Mind If Don't" is much more palatable. At just over four minutes it's far less labor intensive. It's barely a task at all to enjoy its insistent rhythms and somehow Satriani-esque guitar melodies. Did I say melodies? I didn't mean it, I swear. And, get this: the gothic drone of "Whodu Wudu" is only a mild annoyance. But soon enough the respite is over and you're back on the nameless highway. "Synchronicity III" occupies a bit a slower lane than "Bitte, Baby, Bitte" but 30 seconds in I know exactly where it is we're going: straight ahead. No breakdowns. No one stops to pee or screw in the rest area, you're making good time. Unfortunately for me, I figured out a long ago that you don't even have a destination. At some prearranged moment in time you're going to turn around and take us back the way we came. The danceable high-hat on "Rock. Paper. Rock." isn't fooling anyone. If I don't stop you now you'll go on forever. I saw a biker bar a couple miles back, or was it forward, whichever. Let me off here. I'm dying to be all screwed up.


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