Turzi

B

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Parisian sonic mastermind Romain Turzi likes to keep things alphabetical. His first album was called A, and consisted entirely of songs whose titles began with that letter, and he has followed suit with the follow-up, B. But this time around, all the songs are also named after cities all over the world, from "Baltimore" to "Beijing," making for a bit of an international travelogue. While Turzi ostensibly operates under the umbrella of electronic music, there's as much rock to these tracks as there is electronica. As with its predecessor, B is heavily influenced by Krautrock and psychedelia, and the tracks are divided between synthesizer-based soundscapes -- like the Tangerine Dream-esque "Bogota" and the Kraftwerkian "Buenos Aires" -- and the snarling, fuzz-toned guitar growls of tracks like the Eastern-tinged "Bombay" and the intense, Pink Floyd-meets-Goblin "Bangkok." A couple of well-known guests pop up along the course of Turzi's journey, too. Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie lends his voice to the thumping electro-rock of "Baltimore," whose combination of throbbing synths and psychedelic guitars recalls the sound of his own band circa Evil Heat. And legendary French avant-garde songstress Brigitte Fontaine makes a rare appearance on the nearly ten-minute epic "Bamako," perhaps the spaciest, trippiest cut on the entire album, where ethereal, interstellar-sounding synthesizer sets a dreamy mood atop a gentle bed of percussion, with Fontaine's heavily processed voice offering spoken lines in French above it all. As the closing track, it ends Turzi's second album on a hypnotic, otherworldly note, seeming to leave the possibilities for the next release floating somewhere in the cosmos along with Fontaine's voice. Well, at least we've got a pretty good idea what the next album will be called.

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