Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Tu-Ner — T-1 Contact Information
(7d Media 7D2303, 2023, 2CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2023-12-10
At some point along his musical journey, Robert Fripp truly created a monster, and that monster was called King Crimson. The web of connections formed by all the musicians who have been involved in the band is extensive and almost seems to be of fractal complexity. The 80s-90s incarnations of the band have been especially productive. Tu-Ner is a fine example, bringing together Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn with Markus Reuter. Gunn and Mastelotto have released music as TU; Mastelotto and Reuter have recorded as Tuner; put all three together and you have Tu-Ner, which could alternatively be regarded as Stick Men with Gunn swapped in for Tony Levin. In any case, the basic style of the music is quite recognizable between all the different variations. You will find atmospheric improvisations backed by expansive washes of notes with touches of dissonance (dubbed “soundscapes”), rhythmic grooves which are often in odd meters, noodly lead lines reminiscent of Fripp solos, and crashing ensemble sections full of dark tonality. T-1 - Contact Information is a prime example of the form, and I expect most fans of the extended Crimson family will enjoy it a lot. Mastelotto’s percussive work is as inventive as ever, blending electronic and acoustic sound sources into a fascinating hybrid style — his playing is generally the highlight of any recording where he appears. This album consists of nine tracks and runs nearly two hours in length, with two pieces, “Contact Information” and “Forcibly Taken into the Future,” which run over 20 minutes each, and two more topping the ten-minute mark, “Crowfin (Having Some Fun Now)” and “Poem for a Sad Horse.” As such, it’s a bit much to take in at one time, and as much as I’m into the sound, I find the tracks dragging on at times, taking ten minutes to accomplish what might have been better done in five. Outside the core audience of existing fans, I don’t know that Tu-Ner will make many inroads, but for devotees, it’s a wealth of what they love.
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