After a decade of touring and recording their own unique brand of “powerfunk”, the most recent Turkuaz tour was cut short amidst a dramatic departure of multiple band members in 2021, leaving the two founders, Taylor Shell and Dave Brandwein with an uncertain future for the band. In recent years they graced stages from Red Rocks to Bonnaroo, The Fillmore in San Francisco to the Blue Note Tokyo, and spent nearly 200 days a year traveling the country and the globe to perform.
The band’s most recent release and tours featured Talking Heads guitarist/keyboardist Jerry Harrison, and singular figure in the world of guitar legends and innovators Adrian Belew (King Crimson, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie), culminating in their final performance at Hulaween last fall.
Fans were devastated by the announcement that the tour would not continue, and have been clamoring for the band’s return ever since despite sources repeatedly saying they have “broken up”. What fans don’t know however is that just prior to the disbanding, the recording process for two full albums of new original music were completed. Taylor and Dave have spent the last several months putting on the finishing touches and quietly preparing to unveil these two records to the world.
Entitled Paradiso and Apollyon, these two separate full-length releases feature very different sounding music, but with a common thread. The albums make reference to a dual afterlife in both heaven and hell in this time of uncertainty for the band, and though not planned to be released under these circumstances, it certainly seems oddly fitting. Paradiso features the electronic and synth inspired sound of Turkuaz’s recent years, with some added stylistic surprises throughout, while Apollyon brings the band back to their roots of bombastic and quirky funk, through a sonic lens of retro-soul.
Though these albums are labeled as “posthumous” by the remaining members, it would seem from recent activity surrounding the releases and on social media that perhaps there is more in store for Turkuaz. This music either marks the culmination of a 10 year legacy, or the beginning of the next phase. Then again, it could be both.