In music, we find self-expression. Innermost feelings are committed to sound, be it carrying the fervency of Soul, the delicacy of Classical, or the honesty of just a person and a guitar. All of these genres are the most well-travelled avenues to convey the intensity of emotion – yet Electronic music is the path hardly taken. It is only now that the Electronic genre has entered upon its apex, having made leaps in advancement; no longer is it strictly generic lyrics set to infectious beats reared only for nightclubs – it can be a little more than that. Turtle’s album, “Human”, is the proof.
With every pulse, every rhythm, every beat, Turtle manages to carefully craft an electronic spectrum of both heightened sensitivity, to sounds of a magnitude that are at once contagious and arrestingly hypnotic. Just like the album’s title, “Human”, the music pulsates: it beats, it breathes. It seems to have an autonomy all of its own.
The first track of the album, “Time”, is so lithe and graceful that it seems to make you lose track of it. It has a direct effect on the listener – it carries such a sonic weightlessness that you seem to drift along with it, and can’t quite stop listening. Like all the songs on this album, it’s so minimal, yet pure it becomes cinematic. Fabric – the track succeeding “Time” – “Brother”, and “Note To Memory”, which are toward the end of the album, seem to usher in the listener the same way as they are ushered out: with a gentleness.
“Human” also features vocals from Mariam The Believer and Eliza Shaddad. The track, Human, sharing the name of the album employs Mariam The Believer’s unbridled, prophetic vocals to cast a mystical ambience over the song that drums the words “we are the future” like an incantation. Her vocals resurface on “Your Love”, this time revealing how they can adapt to a new sound: they are imbued with a tenderness and perhaps are more down to earth, showing how together, Turtle and Mariam The Believer can straddle the boundary of this world to the next.
“Blood Type”, featuring Eliza Shaddad, transfigures into an entirely different sound to its predecessors. Shaddad’s vocals are hauntingly celestial, at once hushed with the heavy, droning beats of the verses, yet still soaring far above the twinkling tone of the chorus. Overall, the sound is intoxicating, just “like a drug”.
But perhaps the greatest aspect of “Human” is the weightier sounds with more addictive, multi-layered beats that form tracks with such bursts of intensity that they would be destined to be synced to our adverts and films. “Calculate” carries fast-paced drumming stratified with entrancing vocals and flitting chimes, whereas “Elephant” is firmly rooted in dance origins, embracing the far more typical form of Electronic music, proving that Turtle can cover all the bases of his genre.
If you’re looking for a fresh, innovative Electronic album that encompasses and pushes the genre’s boundaries to innovative, unexplored territory, then “Human” is the one for you.