Week in Pop: Barbarian, Jimmy Turturici, The Gods Themselves

Sjimon Gompers

Escaping into the solar illuminated atmospheres with Jimmy Turturici & more; cover art appears courtesy of Keith Rankin.

Jimmy Turturici

Gotta get back in time—Jimmy Turturici checks his watch; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Gotta get back in time—Jimmy Turturici checks his watch; press photo courtesy of the artist.

There is a certain kind of mystique & spark that never dims along the foggy & sleepy coast of the Monterey peninsula. Beyond the lore of the Jazz Festival, Monterey Pop & histories that date back to the founding of California; one of their many great local icons Jimmy Turturici has been busy working on a wealth of material, readying the release of his new EP Celestial Tabernacle available November 25 via his imprint Natural Satelite, presenting the premiere of “Cold Star”. Jimmy’s latest single takes audiences to the iciest dance floors of the cosmos, following his recent ambient work Beyond Dissolving, his extensive compilations The Past & The Future recently showcased the soundscapes previously embarked upon with a compass pointed to influential & exciting new directions from the elusive artist. His lauded Noumenal Loom single “Dancing By The Radio” & it’s follow-up “Aurora” were rumored to have partially informed & inspired aspects of the audio aesthetic Molly Nilsson’s Zenith where anachronisms of the digital & brass ages collide together in the synthesis of the audio ore created now in the current & common era.

The making of Celestial Tabernacle saw Turturici employing Ben Herod once again on both tenor & baritone saxophone, and Harvey Birrell on mastering duty while commissioning Giant Claw/Orange Milk sound & visual art-maestro Keith Rankin to make one of his Salvador Dalí of the thirty-first century album cover art pieces. The result is a three-dimensional rendering of a statue bust of a cartoon like figure staring forward & skyward amid a backdrop with a deep blue, yellow, magenta, pink & silver color palette that resembles cross sections of the stratosphere seen through psychotropic lenses that reveal the layers & levels in all things. Jimmy tunes the controls to mirror & mimic the brightest & most brilliant moons & satellites seen from observatory stations & high powered telescopes beamed toward the most keen constellations & cosmic coordinates. But don’t let all the outer space allusions & motifs get it twisted, “Cold Star” is one of the biggest dance singles the Sicily by Monterey artist has ever made. Having been part of countless groups & projects over the years with an amassed solo arsenal that continues to grow with time; Jimmy Turturici’s “Cold Star” provides a ballroom blitz of tested patience where a stoic & fashionable dance party breaks out amid a rumble of rhythms & kinetic beat coordinates that pilots some of the most jagged & frenetic work built around paranormal synth hooks that will stay with you. Join us following the debut listen for an exclusive interview.

First tell us what the fall to winter passage has been like for you in Monterey.

It’s been kind of surreal to be honest; a lingering feeling of uncertainty has been building up. The weather is great though, as a member I visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium often to daydream; finding moments of happiness only after orchestrating my version of a synth opera. Definitely been more contemplative of late; the sadness in the passing of David Bowie has definitely crept into my music. Hence my recent release of Beyond Dissolving was pretty much a result of that.

Tell us about how your singles “Dancing By The Radio” & “Aurora” have brought about this evocative four track cycle with Celestial Tabernacle EP.

Almost immediately after completing “Dancing by the Radio” and “Aurora” I had began working on Celestial Tabernacle. In fact, I came up with the EP name on my way back home form my short European tour in 2015. Working with such a perceptive and amazingly talented musician like Ben Herod—who plays the saxophone—helped me to set the creative bar a little higher this time around. I was definitely more prepared and had a clear vision of what I wanted when recording Celestial Tabernacle. Any artist will tell you, being able to hum or simulate an instrument and then hearing it played back to you exactly the way you heard it in your head is an inspiring experience and one I only found when working with Ben…therefore it only made sense to incorporate more of his talents when creating Celestial Tabernacle. I’m definitely looking forward to incorporating more of the talented brethren in the local Monterey jazz scene.

cover of Jimmy Turturici's Celestial Tabernacle, by the prolific Keith Rankin.

cover of Jimmy Turturici’s Celestial Tabernacle, by the prolific Keith Rankin.

What sorts of discoveries did you find along your path during the making of Celestial Tabernacle?

Solitude facilitates creativity and when feeling down or overwhelmed meditation can be used like a candle lighting your way out of a dark tunnel—metaphorically speaking. Also it’s best to record music on an empty stomach.

As someone who always has multiple burners going so to speak, what are you currently developing in the studio?

I’m currently working on a minimalistic [sic] electro synth pop set with a good friend local singer & songwriter Kristen Gradwohl [of local Monterey County band Valley Soul], her amazing voice and warm positive personality enabled a great working relationship, kindly helping me sift through while taking notes on most of my music form the past two years finding over 40 potential songs and ideas to work but the work always continues, even if I wanted to I’m unable to stop.

Hopes for 2017?

That its better then 2016, man… it’s been a very sad year for so many people on this pale blue dot.

Ways that people can have a voice in today’s weird times?

Take chances, be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

Jimmy Turturici’s Celestial Tabernacle EP will be available November 25 through his label Natural Satelite.

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