You'll need this. A re-issue of the debut album by Chicago post-rock clever clogs Tortoise. It shows the band finding their feet, beginning to lock into the grooves that would merge together perfectly on the now-classic follow up Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Some of their wilder experimentation was a few years off but sometimes Tortoise sounds better off because of its relative simplicity. Re-issue on Thrill Jockey with lovely screen-printed chipboard sleeve in the style of the original.
Vinyl LP £16.99 THRILL013LP
Reissue LP on Thrill Jockey in screen-printed chipboard sleeve (coloured vinyl copies ship at random).
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
- Coloured vinyl
- Includes download code
9/10 Richard 29th January 2016Wanted to add a comment on the reissued vinyl pressing for those wondering whether this is worth the cash or an upgrade from cd. I've had the cd for years, and although I don't listen to it as often as 'Millions' & 'TNT' it would get the occasional dusting off to remind me just how great those early Tortoise albums were, and where the term 'post rock' was coined from. The previous review mentions a less dark Slint and that is really spot on. The bass seems to be the most important instrument here, and it's responsible for keep a really great structure to the record - at times the sound is languid with plenty of room for the music to breathe, but there are times when the bass almost seems to snap everything back into shape and the music becomes disciplined, but retains the central groove, much in the vein of the best Krautrock. In 1994 this really did sound like nothing else, fusing jazz and rock, with an ambient edge - the perfect antidote to 'Cigarettes & Alcohol' and 'Parklife'. The reissue on brown (nice - I'm sure Phil is a fan!) vinyl sounds wonderful. I was a little underwhelmed when opening up the record, as the sleeve is a little bit flimsy, and the insert basic, with a clear anti-static inner sleeve, and the LP doesn't feel like a 180gm pressing, so nothing too exciting. That changed as soon as the needle hit the groove, and the sounds filled the room. The cd version sounds really quite compressed in comparison, and the vinyl pressing gives the music a depth that highlights all the great elements of the record mentioned in my review. I sat (and did the obligatory post rock head nodding - no beard to scratch alas) with a huge smile on my face for the next 50 mins and can say with absolute certainty that is was £17 very well spent. There is a download code included too if that is a deal-breaker. Here's hoping the 'Millions' LP arrives and sounds just as good.
8/10 Penrith Steve 6th November 2014
The debut album by Tortoise is creeping, technically proficient post-rock mixing the pleasing ambient sounds of bass, drums, xylophone and electronics. “Magnet Pulls Through”, “Spiderwebbed”, “Tin Cans And Twine” and “Ry Cooder” are the best tracks on here for their melodic bass and xylophone refrains. This isn’t as dark as the likes of Slint, but it does have an uneasy haunting quality to it. This is their best album.
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