Over the past two weeks I have had the pleasure of listening to Digitonium, the latest album from the Brooklyn funk/soul collective Turkuaz. I had never heard before but now I am fan. Overall Digitonium is playful yet complex record featuring a whopping 24 tracks. Clocking in at seventy nine minutes total run time, it can seem to be bit of a behemoth, though this is not to discourage the average listener, as the songs are very digestable individually. Turkuaz’s Digitonium is a foot taping good time.
As previously stated Digitonium is unmistakably a concept album from cover to cover. Coming in one of my favorite album cases of the past few years. The album plays as if it were the soundtrack to a retro video game with songs that are equal parts infectious and driving in a similar fashion to the soundtracks of Mega Man, Castlevania and that ilk. Particularly I found Murder Face, European festivity nightmare, Digitonium, and King of Computer impossible to at least bob your head to. Songs flow into on another like as if they were to rivers merging, the changes in rhythms can be seamless at time and honestly it can be hard to discern if the song has changed or just switched up its melody. If you have the time, give this thing its seventy nine minutes in one straight run through, you will not regret it, but you will see the records flaws.
This album could use an editor. Not because it is just long, a work should never just be judged by length, unless we are talking about solely commercial success. Rather several of the tracks do not seem complete, well thought out, or even necessary. Mostly these are the smaller tracks that add transitions between songs, they carry no weight and disappointingly add little effect to the album, these small pieces of polish are what a good record to a great record and Digitonium does not do them. This complaint is mainly seen near the end of the album specifically in tracks such as The Time Has Come and Bermuda just leave so much to be desired in both the suspension and overall power, it seems as though they could have been left out and nothing would have been lost or gained. Similarly this problem is glimpsed at just briefly in the track Zynth where there just does not seem to be enough material to warrant its 5 minutes length.
Wholly, Digitonium is a fun album, it is groovy, bouncy, and has had me awkwardly breaking into dance all around campus. As whole it is a good album just could have used a couple more coats of polish. Individually Turkuaz has made some exciting funk songs, and it’s great to see another band giving its hand to an under indulged genre. I am giving this one an uplifting 9/10