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

The Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind (Sony)

The Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind (Sony)

The slight Susan Tedeschi can belt out blues with the fervour of Janis Joplin, and with husband/guitarist Derek Trucks (who also plays in Clapton's band and the Allman Brothers) she's had... > Read more

Little Feat and Friends: Join the Band (429/Shock)

Little Feat and Friends: Join the Band (429/Shock)

That Little Feat survived the death of founder Lowell George back in 79 wasn't so surprising. Much as George was the charismatic, stoned frontman there was no denying that this was a band of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER DAVINIA CADDY on her new book How to Hear to Classical Music

GUEST WRITER DAVINIA CADDY on her new book How to Hear to Classical Music

If you’re familiar with other books in Awa Press’s Ginger Series, you’ll be familiar with the ‘How to’ running motif. How to Look at a Painting, How to Gaze at the... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN MOANA MANIAPOTO shares her 2016 APRA Hall of Fame induction speech

GUEST MUSICIAN MOANA MANIAPOTO shares her 2016 APRA Hall of Fame induction speech

Editor's note: On the evening of  September 29, Moana Maniapoto was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame at the APRA Silver Scroll awards. This was an acknowledgement of decades of... > Read more