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"Over the past decade, Tortoise have produced some of the most innovative and influential albums in all of music. From the deep and understated rhythms and tones on their 1996 landmark, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, to the bombastic rock of 2001's..

Tortoise - Beacons Of Ancestorship

The sixth album by this excellent and now even better band. They've been changing their sound since their last one, and this completes the change in sound towards something different and ever more 'progressive rock' sounding (and I mean that in a totally sincere and good way). Interesting guitar textures and a lot of synthesizers give this a sound that starts off on the 1st track reminding me a lot of Mats/Morgan (having said that, keep in mind that all the players here are great and their drummer is excellent, but no one can touch Morgan Agren...). I also hear elements of modern progressive bands like Zombi, Canvas Solaris and Birdsongs too. Highly recommended!

"Beacons Of Ancestorship is Tortoise's sixth full-length album, and their first release of new material in five years, since 2004's It's All Around You. A characteristic Tortoise album is one that traverses an encyclopedia of styles and reference points, a document of where musical intersections and dialogue are occurring at a given moment in time. Beacons Of Ancestorship is no different, with nods to techno, punk, electro, lo-fi noise, cut-up beats, heavily processed synths and mournful, elegiac dirges. We see these ideas working out in compositions like 'High Class Slim Came Floatin' In,' an eight-minute track which playfully references the world of ecstatic rave and dance culture with a curiously ambivalent, multi-part suite overlaid with robotic, machine-sounding melodies that stop and start in several different time signatures before the song's ultimate resolution; and again in 'Yinxianghechengqi,' which begins as a straightforward uptempo math-rocker before steadily accelerating into a wall of fuzzy atonal sqwonk. There are many moods, styles, and modes in the Tortoise songbook, of course -- often, in the course of a single composition. Consistent throughout, however, is what might be called a pervasive element of group play, or ensemble-mindedness, as opposed to emphasis on a virtuoso soloist or frontman. (Think Robert Altman versus Robert Plant.) In the same sense that the string quartet and all small-ensemble chamber music can be thought of as an intelligent conversation among equals -- violins, viola, and cello taking turns, expressing opinions, joining voices and then coming apart, as also occurs in elevated discourse -- so, too, the calling card of a Tortoise song is the experience of a sound being worked out as a conversation among the individual and interrelated parts -- of an ensemble thinking collectively and in group dynamics through the expression of a multi-layered musical thought."

Tortoise "Prepare Your Coffin" music video
  • LabelThrill Jockey
Your Price $16.00

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