Ghostland Observatory

The story of Ghostland Observatory is of one man who knows his way around a synthesizer and another who is a natural showman. Sequencer-obsessed beat wizard Thomas Turner demonstrates an innate skill for balancing simple but transfixing synth parts that are undeniably animalistic in their ability to make you dance. Though his stage presence is no match for that of partner/front man Aaron Behrens, who is arguably a better dancer than singer — imagine a pop-locking hybrid of George Michael, Zack de la Rocha and Freddie Mercury — the be-caped Turner (yes, he wears a cape) is clearly the one to keep an eye on. Turner's rapid evolution and innovation are most apparent on the Austin-based duo's most recent album, 2008's Robotique Majestique. He chops and splices Behrens's voice, and makes the drum sounds full and resonant, a product of his new favorite method of constructing drum tracks. "For the Robotique album, drums were recorded live," says Turner, "then sampled to create a unique drum machine sound with live reverb and natural tones." Even if Ghostland's music often feels of the moment, its sex-appeal-drenched live show and constant experimentation at least make for some damn fine dance tunes.


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