Tauk Share Sci-Fi-Themed Video for “Checkmate”

New York-based instrumental quartet TAUK will issue Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, an all-instrumental blend of progressive rock, hip-hop and jazz, on September 28. In advance of its release, the band has unveiled the video for one of the new album’s tracks, “Checkmate.”

According to the band, the Zack Bernstein-directed clip revolves around A.C., a man who creates a virus he ends up forming a love affair with. However, their relationship is cut short when a group of people comes to take his love from him. He doesn't go down without a fight.

"This is our first real look into the Shapeshifter universe," says guitarist Matt Jalbert. "It's creepy, funny, bizarre, there are elements of sci-fi... all ingredients that can be heard and felt in the music."

Equally inspired by classic sci-fi like Blade Runner and more recent films like Ex Machina, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak embeds that narrative into TAUK's most sonically adventurous, emotionally expansive work to date. A continuation of their early-2018 EP, Shapeshifter I: Construct, the new album picks up its predecessor’s narrative thread left off.

True to its thematic terrain, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak blurs the boundaries between organic and electronic with TAUK broadening their sonic palette to include a vast spectrum of synth sounds and programmed effects. In sculpting the album’s intricate arrangements, TAUK called on such esteemed musicians as the Naughty Horns, Ghost-Note’s Nate Werth (a percussionist who’s also played with David Crosby, Q-Tip, and Snarky Puppy), and Juan Alderete (longtime bassist for Racer X and The Mars Volta).

TAUK are currently on tour across the U.S. through the end of the year. A festival run continues this weekend at Waterloo, including Wormtown and Meeting of the Minds as well as a performance at legendary Red Rocks on September 8, supporting STS9 and also featuring Cut Chemist.

Full tour itinerary can be found below:

Sep 07 – Austin, TX – Waterloo Festival

Sep 08 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre (supporting STS9)

Sep 15 – Greenfield, MA – Wormtown Music Festival

Sep 21-Sep 22 – Thornville, OH – Resonance Music & Arts Festival

Sep 29 – Schuylkill Haven, PA – Meetings of the Minds

Oct 04 – Rochester, NY – The Music Hall @ Funk ‘n Waffles @

Oct 05 – Burlington, VT – ArtsRiot **

Oct 06 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre ^^

Oct 07 – Harrisburg, PA – Club XL $

Oct 10 – Lexington, KY – Cosmic Charlie’s #

Oct 11 – Knoxville, TN – Concourse @ The International #

Oct 12 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre #

Oct 13 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Pour House *

Oct 14 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Pour House ^

Oct 17 – Huntsville, AL – Sidetracks Music Hall #

Oct 18 – New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s #

Oct 19 – Houston, TX – The Secret Group #

Oct 20 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada #

Oct 21 – Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge #

Oct 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Last Exit Live &

Oct 25 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room &

Oct 26 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst (Atrium) &

Oct 27 – Berkeley, CA – Cornerstone Berkeley &

Oct 31 – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub &

Nov 01 – Eugene, OR – Wildcraft Cider Works &

Nov 02 – Seattle, WA – Nectar Lounge &

Nov 03 – Portland, OR – Star Theater &

Nov 06 – Missoula, MT – Top Hat Lounge &

Nov 07 – Bozeman, MT – The Filling Station &

Nov 08 – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room &

Nov 09 – TBA

Nov 10 – Winter Park, CO – Ullrs Tavern &

Nov 13 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House &

Nov 14 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi &

Nov 15 – Louisville, KY – Headliners Music Hall &

Nov 16 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom &

Nov 17 – Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Iron Works &

Jan 15-Jan 21 – Jam Cruise 17 – Port of Miami, FL

@ w/ Flux Capacitor

# w/ Funk You

* w/ Dynamo

^ w Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

& w/ Exmag

** w/ Kudu Stooge

$ w/ AMFM and Sun & Rain

^^ w/ McLovins


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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.