Harold Turgis – The Sentinels
1.6.22 by Matty McPherson
I am sent an astronomical amount of things and I have to tip my hat to the individuals that brave import fees and customs checks to bring something to Tabs Out to have sent across the country for play in my Yamaha; you all are heroes in my eyes, people that truly believe that the right ears will get what you are doing. Anyone who reads this though should know, I’m not always the right ears, and that I come into 2023 with a chip on my shoulder and a belief there is more out there than I am often immediately able to give credit for.
In 2021, I did receive a tape from Harold Turgis, and let my biases get the better of me. Turgis is “members” of a post-punk band known as Hygine. An act that existed at both ends of the 2010s, early as an act pushing records out on La Vida Es Un Mus and Static Stock, and on the other end in 2019 emerging as on Upset! The Rhythm. In that time, a figure known as Pat Daintith emerged that provided keyboard and seemed to be doing something of their own under this Harold Turgis nominer. Harold, I know at the time I was undervaluing your Satellite: 1997-2021 compilation. The fact that the Quietus decided to cover The Sentinels release already warranted a “hmm, I should probably see if I got that in the mail” from me sort of confirmed that I’d been a big dingus here. Turgis has been staunchly off the books when it comes to social media–sans using Twitter dot com to express a fascination and affinity for modernist architecture. But neither the Satellite comp nor “the Sentinels” wasn’t pressed on brutalist grey or modernist carbon or what not. He used a half red, half black shell, and his cuts of ambient synth charging and drum experimentation that sorta teetered a weird unclassifiable realm.
Side A’s tracks were edited all as one piece and side B itself is just a long form. But it does pay off. Side A is able to metamorpihize through almost-industrial experiments and video game interlude music that seems too cunning for its own good. And it is! Especially as it coalesces into The Sentinels (West) and The Shining Pyramid, where it feels a little gurgle-laden and aquatic, as much as sandpaper laden and splashy. It makes for a gripping seventeen minutes. Although, the journey of Xeethra seems to warrant the tape itself. Picture yourself on a train coming back from the new year’s festivities and passing through a series of crossing and unregulated stops. The kinds where ghastly aberrations and misnomers seem to haunt and almost pierce the veiled windows. All while the gentle lulling and loops of the train’s systems continue on schedule. That’s what side B sounds like, and if you learn to conquer your demons (via going downstairs to the cabin car for a 22oz bomber), you’ll actually find that you can get quite a lot of work done; especially as it lulls and bobs into a stable reference motion. The kind of reference point that seems to play out in reverse and lull you into a breathing routine and blissful out of body state. It’s a morose loop at first I’ll credit that, but it’s stability and near-trancey qualities it gives off as it pushes down into a blissful state warrant me genuinely curious as to what this Harold Turgis figure is all about.
Limited Edition Tape Available from the Harold Turgis/Noble Lowndes Annuities Bandcamp