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 a consortium of hip, modern day stylizations, are dashed with elements from the past. As the musicians generate their momentum via resonating guitar and keys motifs amid some ethereal, space-rock vamps, largely colored with quaintly melodic choruses. Hence, a near picture perfect fusion of applications that intersect and spawn a rather tenacious string of developments.
On "Yinxianghechengqi," guitarist Jeff Parker executes distortion-heavy, progressive-rock lines atop the rhythm section's punishing pulse. But a cosmic meltdown provides a mesmeric contrast, where the artists continue their plight with a smattering of simply enacted dream sequences. The band also pursues simplistic '60s pop riffing with antiquated electronics-based effects, then kick up a storm in spots due to spiraling aerial assaults. Bringing quite a bit to the table, Tortoise is masterful at conjuring up lucid imagery, sans any noticeable sense of musical complacency, while providing a perceptible visual element to the mind's always discerning eye.
Track Listing: High Class Slim Came Floatin' In; Prepare Your Coffin; Northern Something; Gigantes; Penumbra; Yinxianghechengqi; The Fall Of Seven Diamonds Plus One; Minors; Monument Six One Thousand; De Chelly; Charteroak Foundation.
Personnel: Doug McCombs: bass; Jeff Parker: guitar; John Herndon: drums, keyboards; John McEntire: drums, keyboards; Dan Bitney: drums, percussion, keyboards.
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.