Jung Turks
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Jung Turks

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Band Alternative Rock

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By Kernan Andrews

INSTRUMENTAL ROCK is a notable feature of the Irish indie scene. Just think The Redneck Manifesto, Rest, Tenpastseven, etc. However Jung Turks approach is unlike that of any other.

Jung Turks will bring their fearsome tribal percussion and aggressive classical and Latin jazz guitar to Strange Brew at the Róisín Dubh tonight at 9pm.

The Turks are brothers Edward and James Rooney, originally from Co Westmeath. They have played music together since their teens but it was only when they moved to Galway to attend college that they decided to pursue it seriously. Living in student accommodation and not wishing to annoy the neighbours led them to create their unique sound.

“We couldn’t do a full drum kit set up where we were staying and I didn’t have an electric guitar with me,” Edward tells me. “I was drawn to the nylon string Spanish guitar and James played bongos. It meant we could practice without disturbing the neighbours. A lot of our first pieces came from that set up. When we eventually got the full set up, James just stuck the bongos onto the drum kit and that’s when it started to become the strange beast it is today.”

The Jung Turks’ sound is a strange but wonderful beast. Small wonder Ghostwood Project drummer Thomas Delay said to me as we watched them one night: “It’s great to think Galway has something this original!”

Edward can’t get over the positive reaction the Turks have received. “The unsolicited positive comments you get after the gigs, people saying ‘It’s very original’, is heartening,” he says. “It’s very encouraging when people recognise your honesty about what you are doing.”

The Rooney brothers intent is to follow the musical as it leads them, regardless of trends. All new bands say this, but talking to Edward you sense he means it. “We enjoy trying to challenge ourselves. We’re trying to go beyond the comfort zone of cowboy chords and square beats.”

As a guitarist Edward also draws from a wide variety of influences. “I listen to everything from Pierre Bensusan to Son House to Fantomas - anybody who is doing it for the love of it and because they have to - not because they just want to sell records.”

On stage the brothers seem to go into a trance, as if physically letting the music take them where it wants. Yet because of its rhythmic nature, they never become self indulgent.

“Music by its very nature is meditative,” says Edward. “In Asia music is often used as an aid to meditation. It’s about getting in touch with your better self. We try to do that but we still have a long way to go.”

While the brothers have a no-nonsense attitude to music, they don’t allow themselves to become po-faced about it either. As www.jungturks.com says: “We just want to see how much we can get away with before being hauled away”.

Edward laughs, “You have to be honest to the music that comes through but you can’t take yourself too seriously. You’re just the instrument as much as the guitar.”

The Turks hope to begin work on their debut album after the current tour is over. They also want to further expand and develop their sound by introducing electric guitars. “Not at the expense of the classical and jazz elements,” says Edward. “It’s not just the instrument. It’s the way you play it.”

- Galway Advertiser


All the past spotlights have been shone on undisputed legends of the Irish rock scene, but this time we are going to focus on a band consisting of only a drummer and guitarist who have not even released a debut album at the time of writing. That should give you some indication of the high esteem IrishRockers.com has for Jung Turks. This Galway based band of two brothers (James and Edward Rooney, originally from Westmeath) are something special; they combine their superb musicianship on both the drums and guitar with an eclectic mix of genres (including Latin jazz, classical guitar, Steve Vai style guitar rock, surf guitar) to create intricate and highly original instrumental rock music. Most importantly, their music makes great listening - this is some of the best instrumental rock music out there. So, check out their profile and then follow the MySpace link over to their MySpace page and give their stuff a listen and you're in for a treat! - www.irishrockers.com


Discography

Jung Turks (2005)
1. Old Toms Bowlegged Baroom Shuffle
2. On The Brink
3. It Can't Rain All Day
4. Mellonta Tauta

4 Track EP independantly recorded and released. Distributed through Zhivago Music Stores, Galway and at live performances by the band.

Photos

Bio

BIOGRAPH

Jung Turks are James P. Rooney (drums, percussion, mandala) and Edward D. Rooney (baritone nylon string guitar). They play what is known as Œjãipha - this musical form is based on the belief that the artist is a channel through which the infinite reveals. Through study of Œjãipha masters from Duluth, Calw, Paola, Algeciras, Jajouka, Belfast and Aracataca the brothers' pallette has developed and musical boundaries diminished.

Since their inception in the spring of 2005 they have performed over 100 shows across Ireland, on occasion in the company of such subterranean heroes as Adjagas, The Redneck Manifesto, giveamanakick, The Jimmy Cake, The Dublin Guitar Quartet, Ten Past Seven, Blood On The Wall, Larrikin Love and Orson.
2007 will bring further touring, with recording of their debut album planned for the summer.

CONTACT

www.jungturks.com
jungturks.bebo.com
www.myspace.com/jungturks
jung_turks@hotmail.com

PRESS

'Jung Turks are something special; they combine their superb musicianship on both the drums and guitar with an eclectic mix of genres to create intricate and highly original music...this is some of the best instrumental rock music out there.' irishrockers.com

'Jung Turks approach is unlike any other...a strange and wonderful beast' - Kernan Andrews, Arts Editor, Galway Advertiser

'With just classical guitar and drums for comfort, Jung Turks sound like the offspring of the White Stripes and Rodrigo y Gabriela; lost musical children who were reared in a South American gypsy camp by former Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, before being sent to boot camp with Frank Zappa, who in turn sent them to the bog where they dug turf and fusion music.' - Ronan Casey, Westmeath Examiner

'Really, really crazy and innovative...amazing band' - Ed Larrikin, Larrikin Love