So, it’s time to talk about Steve Strong. (That do sounds like a rom-com title from the 90’s right?). But the thing is, the guy is hard to describe. He is one entity recorded but is one entirely another when seeing him perform on live-clips on Youtube.
Makes me wonder if he sometime could open a Patreon or something and just fill it to the brim with “Patreon-exclusive” live-recordings or whatever. I have no idea how his current home-studio is, but that would be a dream.
Especially in 2020. Where artists have to find new ways to express themselfs (i.e. find new ways to get an income, when even fewer buys physical music, and no one goes to concerts).
That being said! My small rant will soon make more sense.
Turbo Island is not a track by track album, naught at all.
It’s a piece compriced by acts.
The different acts have different personas and they are even intertwined by interludes.
Up til track 4 (Deline Cion). We have a genious take on experimental math-rock in all it’s glory. Dissonant guitar loops drawn by the chariot that is the drum-chords.
I would like to call them more chords than actual drum-playing.
More than conventional piece of rhytmic backbone they are simply used as another field of manipulating the soundscape. They could have might as well been improvised together with the guitar-taps and the drone-loops. Improvised used in the most imaginative sense.
Because this is what the first act is:
The second act (i.e. The B-side on the vinyl) is way more “conventional” math-rock in a sense. But what makes the big impact is that the guitar have completly changed direction here. From just being a sort of “pad”, Steve Strong are more now aproaching the conventional shoegazey/post-rockian extreme-reverb sound that is so hard to describe. The closest comparison i can do is to make a comparison with the excellent Swedish post-rock act Dorena with their last album NUET. https://deepelmdigital.com/album/nuet
It’s a guitar sound that i have no other words to describe but that they are “dreamlike”. I think it’s the analogue guitar-sounds mixed with the very major-chord, downsampled guitar track laying right behind it. This “feeling” (it’s more of a feeling than a sound) is very present in the albums title track: “Turbo Island”.
The up-beat, optimistic sound continues on in “Life after post-rock” and don’t finish until the last note of “Mirapid” is played. Who beautifully kept the “happy” guitar-tone but also incorporated a small hint of melancholy.
And like i said earlier.
Steve Strong is a special guy, recorded it sounds like there is a band consisting of 4-5 members.
But live he performs everything by himself.
A guitar, loads of pedals and a drumkit.
Which obviously makes every song longer than it’s initial length. But it makes the performance way more entrancing.
Look at these clips and ask yourself why this guy is not larger in the scene than he is. Also, buy Turbo Island. It’s basicly for free.