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TAUK Rocked a Two-Night Run at The Pour House (Interview + Photos)

Photo: Everett Zuraw

In late September, New York-based progressive rockers TAUK released the full-length follow up to their mid-2018 EP, Shapeshifter I: Construct. The new album has been dubbed Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, and is all about the transformation of an organic entity to an analog entity. The album art gives a nod to sci-fy culture and the music feels the same. Imagine being in the room when the first A.I. run robot is built. Shapeshifter II: Outbreak is what’s playing when that robot comes alive.

On Saturday, October 13th and Sunday, October 14th, TAUK played a two-night run at the Charleston Pour House. We linked up with Alric “A.C.” Carter (keys) and Isaac Teel (drums) of TAUK when they first arrived at The Pour House to talk about the new album, their growth, and some of the new elements that they’ve incorporated into their sound.

Zach Ubaldini: Listening to the album, two songs that really popped out were “Checkmate” and “Pioneer”.

A.C.: Checkmate is much more like a drum and bass kind of vibe. I like a lot of fast paced drum and bass. Some of that early 90’s stuff. Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, stuff like that. Those guys really get you goin’ and I really like that kind of duality.

Where did you get the voice for the opening track, “Prelude”?

A.C.: I found this voice translator online. We typed in the text, recorded it into the album and we play it.

How’s it been transitioning this album into the live setting? Did a lot of it come from opening up the hood in the studio or just playing it more through this tour?

Issac: I think really all of us continue to write, just even individually. It adds to our flavor, it adds to our musical dynamic. We’re always listening to something different and making something different.

What are you guys listening to on the road?

Isaac: I was just listening to the BIGYUKI album which I like a lot. PJ Morton too, just super soulful stuff.

A.C.: Before we hit the road I had the chance to see Robert Glasper. He did the trio at Blue Note (Jazz Club in NYC). That was great. It was Derrick Hodge and Chris Dave… It was cool to see who was in the building like Esperanza Spaulding and Justin Tyson.

When I was first getting into the scene, you guys had just started. Seeing that development and integration of more tech has been awesome.

A.C.: When you think about the context with so much dubstep coming in, you think about the context of it and it is instrumental music in all mediums, not just jam. Its one thing I really like about our band we can kind of fit in wherever.

Isaac: Yeah we could do Bisco then do Boston Calling in Boston, or Governors Ball in New York.

Shapeshifter II is centered around this A.I. mentality. It has a lot to do with the organic nature of the bands relationship and exploring the sci-fy sounds. What kind of new tech did you guys get to help out with that?

A.C.: I have the Dave Smith Prophet6 and another Dave Smith Rev2. I used those two a lot on the record. The amount of different sounds you can do and soundscapes I can make to do with what Isaac can do is just awesome.

What’s your favorite set of keys?

A.C.: Still like the analog stuff man. Nothing like a Fender Rhodes.

Isaac: They just have raw sound. No distortion, no plug in.

Yeah we have a Hammond sitting up in a basement in Detroit we need to go get.

A.C.: That’s how I got my Leslie. This rental company in New York just grabbed it from a Grandma in Pennsylvania, ya know, just sitting there. It was a 1968 147 that was just untouched. It was great.

You aren’t touring with a Hammond though are you?

A.C.: No, I’m touring with a digital Hammond but I still hook it up through a Leslie so it makes it sound a little better.

Isaac: It fills it up.

A.C.: It’s kind of homage to that 60’s Rock, 70’s Rock and psychedelic feel.

Big thanks to A.C. and Isaac meeting up with us during their load-in at The Pour House. You can check out their new album Shapeshifter II: Outbreak on Spotify and the official music videos for “Checkmate” and “Recreational Outrage” off the new album below. At the bottom is a collection of photos from both nights. All photos by Everett Zuraw.

TAUK: Night One

TAUK: Night Two

All photos by Everett Zuraw: @thatezguy