Turing Machine - Zwei (Cover Artwork)

Turing Machine

Zwei (2004)


I have found that instrumental music works well in two situations. One is on long car rides to keep you alert and motivated and the other is as background atmosphere for reading, writing, or just hanging out. Turing Machine is most definitely a band to be driven to.

Turing Machine is a three-piece instrumental act that roots all of their songs in a strong rhythmic foundation based on repetitive yet detailed movements, and then covers that in thick, swirling masses of psychedelic feedback and echoing melodies. This is math rock, but Turing Machine is much more controlled than a band like Hella. The music is not spastic and the changes aren't sneak attacks that punch you in the back of the head with their stop-on-a-dime antics; instead, the shifts are much more organic and smooth.

Songs like "Bleach It Black" and "Don't Mind If I Don't," even with all of their guitar noodling, are able to establish a bouncy rhythm thanks to bass lines in the vein of !!!, while songs like "Bitte, Baby, Bitte" and "Synchronicity III" have more of a mod meets post-punk pounding feel to them.

One of the troubles with Zwei is the length of the songs. While most of them seem appropriate, others run a song's main jam into the ground with extensive lengths that leave you glancing to see if you are still on the same track (see "Bitte, Baby, Bitte" and "Synchronicity III"). While other tracks like the opening "(Dr. R. Von) Poodles," which is just building noise for a minute, and "Whodu Wudu," which is just lo-fi stomping for two and a half minutes, just seem pointless and unnecessary.

So Turing Machine is a band to be driven to, but because Zwei offers songs that are too long and songs that just aren't necessary, you may be spending more time skipping tracks than focusing on the road.