The first thing that drew me to the new album Future 86 by Brooklyn’s Turkuaz is the name. Having grown up a child of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions of NY, I’m very familiar with these signs that have adorned the shoulders of NY route 17 for at least a decade. My mind immediately began to reminisce about a myriad of journeys down this roadway. To see old friends, for music, for business, or just to simply go for a ride. No doubt Turkuaz, who tours relentlessly, has passed the signs thousands of times.
This title, seemingly indicative of the present being past and pursuit of futures anew, is an excellent analogy for the band’s sound. While deeply rooted in old school funk, the band, in parallel, shows no fear in approaching the genre in uncharted ways: To boldly funk where no man (or woman) has funked before.
The album, from the opening notes of first track “Bubba Slide” to the closing single “Pickin’ Up (Where You Left Off)” consumes you like a blissful virus. The contagion first infects lower extremities: toes start to tap, feet quiver; it moves upwards to the hips which are helpless to not shake. It then invades organs: heart starts to pump and feel warm, the brain forgets those daily doldrums and commands arms to fly skyward. The confinements of life are momentarily gone. From beginning to end, this release bleeds happiness and joy. It’s music of the soul, of hope, freedom and redemption. The production and song selection truly capture the ‘kuaz experience and intensity. Bells and whistles are minimal and unnecessary. This band excels live as ever-growing audiences across the North East can attest to and “Future 86” delivers that outstanding experience directly to the comfort of your armchair and headphones. While the future of NY’s Route 17 may remain in question, Turkuaz’s seems destined to be glorious. Go buy it and you can thank me later.
Key Tracks Bubba Slide, T.V., X.Y.Z. (Feelin’ Tough)