As heartbreaking as the dissolution of an artistic endeavor is, Turkuaz couldn’t have done it more gracefully and completely than they did. Today, they released two albums – a total of 26 songs – within two overarching genres, conveying two concepts that fall hand-in-hand. Paradiso and Apollyon.
“The very big picture concept is that Heaven and Hell are two human constructs. The only place that they really exist is right here on earth, and which one you inhabit depends largely on how you conduct yourself and what you choose to believe,” explains Brandwein. “Life isn’t as simple as black or white, this or that. It’s not binary. We’re all a little bit of both… Beautiful and tragic chaos.”
Paradiso opens with a very alien appeal. Not only is the song titled “Strange People (Strange Times)”, but the vocals layered in with the synth action and sound effects make it feel especially otherworldly. A literal manifestation of the words in the track, it is a powerful opener to one of the two releases.
Turkuaz continues with this disposition – an effortless blend of upbeat synth-driven pop and standout vocals – throughout, guiding the audience through an oft-autotuned adventure of sorts. Favorites from this release include “Shakin’ in My Sheets”, steadily-paced “Rewind”, and literal disco dream “Disconnect in the Discotéque“.
Apollyon follows suit in its substance, however, its sound exists in a completely different realm. Funk-inspired and flavorfully layered, they approached this release as a full band in a room together. You can feel the party atmosphere palpably in the twelve-track album’s span. Favorites include “The Ever Watchful Eye” and leisurely “Pleasure and the Pain.”
Turkuaz’s Dave Brandwein is now focusing on work with New Originals and solo music under the moniker Band For Sale. Taylor Shell is now a member of Ghost Light, and the two plan to collaborate more in the future.