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Album Review

Tortoise: The Catastrophist

Read "The Catastrophist" reviewed by Enrico Bettinello

Tornano i Tortoise e subito gli affezionati della prima ora iniziano a sudare freddo. Non è infatti che i lavori del gruppo di Chicago prodotti nel nuovo millennio avessero convinto troppo, impelagati in una terra prog-fusion in cui si stentava a rintracciare l'urgenza dei primi, fantastici dischi. Sebbene infatti, anche in qualche recente intervista, Doug McCombs e soci si premurino di ricordare come l'etichetta di gruppo (per antonomasia, diremmo) post-rock fosse più una convenzione critico/giornalistica ...

Album Review

Tortoise: Beacons Of Ancestorship

Read "Beacons Of Ancestorship" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Part of the Chicago-based Tortoise's appeal and loyal following is fabricated upon its many-sided musicality, where bits and pieces of retro psychedelia, Euro space-rock, pop overtones and Pink Floyd type walls-of-sound come to fruition. Through it all, and somehow or another, the band propagates a singular identity via probing fuzz-toned guitars, deep bass grooves, streaming synth effects and cohesive thematic overtures.

With only its sixth full-length album, given the unit's twenty-year existence the tantalizing fabrics of sound, featuring ...

Album Review

Tortoise: Beacons Of Ancestorship

Read "Beacons Of Ancestorship" reviewed by Troy Collins

Beacons Of Ancestorship is the first release in five years from revolutionary post rock innovators Tortoise and the sixth full-length record of their almost two decade existence. A longstanding Chicago institution, Tortoise single-handedly spawned the post rock genre in the early nineties--a post punk fusion of Krautrock, minimalism, dub, electronica, world music, and avant-garde jazz.

In addition to their vast array of influences, virtuosic multi-instrumentalists Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Douglas McCombs, John McEntire, and Jeff Parker have long ...

Album Review

Tortoise: A Lazarus Taxon

Read "A Lazarus Taxon" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Tortoise celebrates its fourteenth anniversary this year with this four-disc box set of rarities and live performances, and it's just as strong as any other release the group has put out. That's saying something, given the quality of what the Chicago outfit has put on wax. Critics and fans have always struggled with a way to label Tortoise, generally agreeing on the term “post-rock" (previously and alternatively known as “kraut-rock," because one of the style's progenitors was the German group ...

Album Review

Tortoise: It's All Around You

Read "It's All Around You" reviewed by AAJ Staff

There's always been something dreamy about Tortoise's fusion of rock, improvisation, and studio manipulation, and that quality reaches an all-time high with It's All Around You. In the intervening period since 2001's rough- edged Standards was released, the members of this Chicago collective have pursued a number of other projects--what is a side project, anyway?--ranging from out jazz to digital sound manipulation.

The five-strong membership of Tortoise this time around includes John McEntire, John Herndon, Doug McCombs, Jeff ...

Album Review

Tortoise: It's All Around You

Read "It's All Around You" reviewed by Mark Corroto

These days the rantings of prophets and first class doom sayers are all but coming true. I’m not getting on a soapbox here, but the future of civilization (actually our civilization) is tending to mimic or at least adopt the predictions of the movie Koyaanisqatsi. Our living environment has become packaged, sealed, and artificially scented.

Why am I telling you this? Because Tortoise dwells in this netherworld, making music for our claustrophobic future.

Well, not ...

Album Review

Tortoise: Standards

Read "Standards" reviewed by AAJ Staff

With its '94 self-titled release, Chicago's wunderband Tortoise carved out a comfortable niche for the genre now known as post-rock. In the intervening years, other groups have borrowed from Tortoise's seminal ideas, but precious few have managed to get it right. Several sides later, Tortoise is still redefining the magic.

The title of Standards might suggest a misleading double entendre to jazz fans, so don't go into the disc expecting to hear tunes like “Autumn Leaves" or “Nardis." ...


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