Turnstone is sort of a new ?supergroup? and brings together Michael Shannon, Tom Carter of Charalambides and Robert Horton. While Michael Shannon and Robert Horton have already recorded together under the name Broken Mask and Carter and Horton have also released several collaborative albums together, ?Turnstone? is the first joint effort of the three. The recordings on the album?s five lengthy tracks are culled from five hours of live recordings made in 2005 in California.
So how does Turnstone sound? Not so different from the previous Horton and Carter albums and not so different from Broken Mask, actually, yet somehow not as organic. The predominant instruments on all five tracks are string instruments like Tom Carter?s lap steel guitar or Shannon?s Indian Dilruba. All five tracks don?t really evolve, but keep going with instruments and parts coming and going. You can?t spot many atmospheric differences between the five tracks, but most of them have one specific element setting it apart from the other tracks. On the first one ?Really?, it?s Henry Kuntz? saxophone while it?s the electronics on the self-titled second track, the warm sounds on ?Wingstripes? and the more aggressive noise elements on the final track ?Large and Notoriously Dim?. All these specific elements make the tracks more interesting at first, although they start sounding very similar after a short while. The only exception is the electric guitar fuzz of ?String-Board on the Horizontal Plane? which has its very individual feel to it.
Taken as a combination on album length thoguh, Turnstone? is missing that certain kick that would set it apart from other improvised drone albums. ?Turnstone? is nice to have and listen to and better than a lot of the improvised drone work of many other artists. Still, it seems like all three artists tried to find the lowest common denominator for their individual capabilites to come together. 6/10 -- Stephan Bauer (29 August, 2007)