Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (UNSPK)

 |   |  <1 min read

Tortoise: Minors
Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (UNSPK)

As the band most likely to be cited when the discussion turned to "post-rock", this five-piece from Chicago have been critically acclaimed for their magpie tendencies (they lift from prog-rock, free jazz, punk, post-punk, electronica, Can and other equally unconstrained Krautrock bands) but largely haven't connected with an audience beyond the cooler-than-thou crowd.

Let it be said this album -- which opens with an eight minute track that moves into some Phillip Glass/Terry Riley/Laraaji minimalism in its closing overs -- is unlikely to change that. In fact older heads might start shaking at the somewhat lame prog (Prepare Your Coffin) and the utterly annoying electronic bubbling of Northern Something. But if you've followed Tortoise you will recognise that moving on (and outwards) has always been part of the contract they set themselves.

That noted, this album -- while reconnecting with some edgy rockist tendencies -- will hardly set the cosmos alight, and while pieces like Gigantes with its astral flight atmospherics and the Ennio Morricone-referencing The Fall of the Seven Diamonds Plus One (sort of Ennio-does-James Bond) aren't without interest, most of what's here barely connects.

On their first album of new material in five years Tortoise have hardly lived up to their reputation. Disappointing. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Greg Johnson: Secret Weapon (JMA)

Greg Johnson: Secret Weapon (JMA)

That Greg Johnson seeded funding for this album by a pre-order subscription shows he has a loyal audience in this country – especially as he hasn't lived here for almost a decade and he's... > Read more

Dead Rat Orchestra: The Guga Hunters of Ness (Critical Heights/Southbound)

Dead Rat Orchestra: The Guga Hunters of Ness (Critical Heights/Southbound)

Although their name suggests they aren't making a bid for mainstream attention, this British ensemble here serve up a soundtrack album which is rather more interesting than its odd title. As in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE WORLD COMES TO SARAWAK (2104): The Rainforest World Music Festival

THE WORLD COMES TO SARAWAK (2104): The Rainforest World Music Festival

It's a happily weird thing, especially at this time of year, to listen to taonga puoro master Horomona Horo evoke the sounds of New Zealand bush and its native birds . . . then walk outside into... > Read more

DUKE ELLINGTON: A genius, but not that great?

DUKE ELLINGTON: A genius, but not that great?

Few statements about music can be delivered unequivocally, but here's one: Edward Kennedy Ellington was one of the greatest composers of last century. And of all time. And no discussion need be... > Read more