In a rare departure from their usual sound, nine-piece funk band Turkuaz deconstructed six songs from their catalog for a live acoustic EP, recorded at Sugarshack Sessions in Miami, Florida. The EP boasts six Turkuaz tracks cast in a whole new light, including fan-favorites like “European Festivity Nightmare” and “Life In The City,” plus the classic “Tiptoe Through the Crypto” and deep cut “Desert Island.”
Listen to the Turkuaz Live At Sugarshack Sessions now: ffm.to/turkuazshack.
As a band generally performing within a genre defined by rhythm, explosive instrumentation, and hard-hitting grooves, the thought of recording songs from the Turkuaz catalog acoustically was initially unthinkable for frontman Dave Brandwein. “Though I loved Sugarshack’s work and had so much respect for what they do, I never could conceptualize a scenario in which Turkuaz would do it,” Brandwein reminisces. After encouragement from his wife and Turkuaz’s then-creative director–Dani Brandwein who correctly asserted it would be a mistake to turn down the opportunity–as well as some creative re-imagination and arrangement, the stripped-down versions came to fruition.
Set against subdued, stripped-back instrumentation, the lyrical content takes centerstage and familiar Turkuaz songs cultivate a wholly new, intimate experience of the nine-piece ensemble. Though the band forwent their signature, commanding instrumentation to hone the acoustic sound of the EP, Turkuaz made sure to keep the groove.
“Performing these songs acoustically definitely felt more vulnerable,” admits Brandwein. “There’s something about having a blaring, hard-hitting force of a band performing alongside you while singing that takes some of the pressure off. But then again, with the vulnerability of the acoustic atmosphere comes a greater awareness and a more emotional connection to the music.”
What started in 2014 as a digital music series filled with intimate acoustic backyard sessions in Bonita Springs, Florida has grown into a full-fledged digital media production company, creative studio, and independent record label known as Sugarshack. With over 100 million views across their YouTube channel boasting 222,000 subscribers, Sugarshack Sessions are a fundamental piece of the southeastern music scene where artists can deconstruct and rearrange their music, and listeners can discover emerging talent or hear a new spin on their favorite tune.
To celebrate the fifth-anniversary of Digitonium, the special-edition vinyl pressing of the LP is still available while supplies last (here) and the band has since released never-before-seen in-studio footage of the record’s recording. Stay up-to-date with the band via their Facebook and YouTube channels, with more music and announcements surely to come.