Simply put, Tortoise has spent nearly 25 years making music that defies description. While the Chicago-based instrumental quintet has nodded to dub, rock, jazz, electronica and minimalism throughout its revered and influential six-album discography, the resulting sounds have always been distinctly, even stubbornly, their own.
It’s a fact that remains true on “The Catastrophist,” Tortoise’s first studio album in nearly seven years. And it’s an album where moody, synth-swept jams like the opening title track cozy up next to hypnotic, bass-and-beat missives like “Shake Hands With Danger” and a downright strange cover of David Essex’s 1973 radio smash sung by U.S. Maple’s Todd Rittmann. Throughout, the songs transcend expectations as often as they delight the eardrums.
Tortoise is planning an extensive world tour in support of “The Catastrophist.” Admits McEntire, “figuring out how to reproduce these songs live will be a bit of a challenge. But I also feel like it might be time to dip into the back catalog a bit. The pool we draw from has been really consistent for quite awhile.
“The concert-hall influence may be more Steve Reich than Stravinsky and the space exploration more about dub than Moog solos, but they made pretentiousness cool again. Plus, they solved prog’s old bugaboo of dumb lyrics.”
- Spin’s Top 10 Essential Prog Rock Albums (about Tortoise’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die)
“That sense of grounding – which never solidifies into rhythmic cliches – allows Tortoise to explore abstraction without seeming bloodless. To be smart and original, playful and provocative – those are the standards Tortoise really aspire to, and that they achieve here as ingeniously as ever.”
- Rolling Stone on Standards
“The latest out of their mutating creative lab is a thing of strange beauty, with melodies and sensations slipping in and out of focus. It’s mood music for post-post-moderns, both forward- and backward-looking.”
- Entertainment Weekly
“. . . with its weird pulsing beats and spacey guitars, Tortoise sounds a bit like Charlie Parker meets Radiohead. . . Cacophony never sounded so melodic.”
“Complex ideas and themes flit by – from gamelan vibes, to bobbling, bottom-end electrophunk, to needle-precise guitar – so quickly and smoothly the overwhelming impression is of a band in constant motion.”
Sam Prekop ist Sänger und Songschreiber von The Sea And Cake, Fotograf und Maler. Auf Prekop´s aktuellem Album “The Republic” offenbart sich Prekops Talent für expressive Musik durch mechanische Patterns, Wiederholungen in mit Effekten nicht geizenden, analogen Synthesizertracks.