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TORTOISE
The Catastrophist (January 22, 2016)

TORTOISE — The Catastrophist (January 22, 2016)

       TORTOISE — The Catastrophist (January 22, 2016) TORTOISE — The Catastrophist (January 22, 2016)♦↑♦  Pokud si někdo myslí, že jakmile uvidím název “Tortoise”, je povinností zbystřit, na mne to neplatí otrocky. Že se jedná o první album roku 2016? No a co, takových situací už jse zažil... Poměrně nudné, přesto zajímavé album. Zítra bude asi lépe poslouchatelné. Probouzí mě v “Gesceap”, kdy kytara hraje protirytmicky a zároveň běží paralelně několik plánů. Nejzajímavější pasáží alba je následující “Hot Coffee”, tady už konečně začínám žít. Avšak nic převratného, vždyť algoritmická kompozice byla poprvé demonstrována v Austrálii již v roce 1951, a dokonce George Antheil složil něco podobného pro Fernanda Légera k “Ballet Mécanique (1923–24)”, kde představil piana v synchronizaci s leteckými vrtulemi a dalšími umělými zvuky. Tortoise zcela zjevně prozkoumali také práce Pierre Schaeffera. Baví také v pasážích, kdy mikrofony spí, což post–rock vyžaduje a je to u nich tradicí. Mají však zajímavé hosty, z nichž největším je Georgia Hubley z Yo La Tengo. Ta zpívá vlastnoručně napsanou píseň (na straně B třetí), “Yonder Blue”. Dá se očekávat, že nakonec z toho bude dvojalbum. The Chicago band are back with their first LP since 2009. The album features vocals from Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley (on “Yonder Blue”) and U.S. Maple/Dead Rider’s Todd Rittmann (on a cover of David Essex’s “Rock On”). A press release explains that the album’s initial inspiration came after they received a commission from the City of Chicago in 2010. The band were asked to create music “rooted in its ties to the area’s noted jazz and improvised music communities.” They performed some “loose themes” live and eventually turned them into something “orchestrated and complex” for the album.Location: Chicago, IL
Genre: Concrete/Freestyle
Style: Post Rock, Experimental
Album release: January 22, 2016
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Duration:     43:42
Tracks:
Disc: 1
  01. The Catastrophist     3:52
  02. Ox Duke     4:49
  03. Rock On (Vocals — Todd Rittmann)     3:13
  04. Gopher Island     1:13
  05. Shake Hands With Danger     4:11
  06. The Clearing Fills     4:23
  07. Gesceap     7:37
  08. Hot Coffee     3:54
  09. Yonder Blue (Vocals — Georgia Hubley)     3:19   
  10. Tesseract     3:55
  11. At Odds With Logic     3:16
Personnel:
♦↑♦  Dan Bitney multi–instrumentalist
♦↑♦  Doug McCombs Fender Bass VI
♦↑♦  Jeff Parker  guitarist
♦↑♦  John Herndon drummer, producer
♦↑♦  John McEntire engineer, drummer and multi–instrumentalist
Past members:
♦↑♦  Bundy K. Brown
♦↑♦  David Pajo
Ξ★  Recorded At — Soma Electronic Music Studios
Ξ★  Mixed At — Soma Electronic Music Studios
Ξ★  Mastered At — SAE Mastering
℗ Phonographic Copyright — Thrill Jockey Records
©  — Onions Wrapped In Rubber Music
Credits:
Ξ★  Design — Sheila Sachs
Ξ★  Mastered By — Roger Seibel
Ξ★  Performer — Dan Bitney, Douglas McCombs, Jeff Parker, John Herndon, John McEntire
Ξ★  Recorded By, Mixed By — John McEntire
Ξ★  Written–By — David Essex (tracks: A3), Georgia Hubley (tracks: B3), Tortoise (tracks: A1, A2, A4, A5, A6, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5)ABOUT
★Ξ  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.
★Ξ  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 Rittman. Throughout, the songs transcend expectations as often as they delight the eardrums.
★Ξ  Tortoise, comprised of multi–instrumentalists Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Doug McCombs, John McEntire and Jeff Parker, has always thrived on sudden bursts of inspiration. And for “The Catastrophist,” the spark came in 2010 when the group was commissioned by the City of Chicago to compose a suite of music rooted in its ties to the area’s noted jazz and improvised music communities.
★Ξ  Tortoise then performed those five loose themes at a handful of concerts, and “when we finally got around to talking about a new record, the obvious solution to begin with was to take those pieces and see what else we could do with them,” says McEntire, at whose Soma Studios the band recorded the new album. “It turned out that for them to work for Tortoise, they needed a bit more of a rethink in terms of structure. They’re all pretty different in the sense that at first they were just heads and solos. Now, they’re orchestrated and complex.”
★Ξ  “All of the songs went through a pretty intensive process of restructuring,” adds Parker. “We actually had quite a lot of material that we ended up giving up on. Oftentimes, we’ll shelve ideas and come back to them years later.”
★Ξ  The album’s single “Gesceap” embodies the transformation of the original suite commissions, as it morphs from two gently intersecting synth lines into a pounding, frenzied full–band finish. “To a certain extent it’s more of a reflection of how we actually sound when we play live,” says McEntire of Tortoise’s heavier side. “That hasn’t always been captured as well on past albums.”
★Ξ  Elsewhere, “Hot Coffee” resurrects an idea abandoned from the band’s 2004 album “It’s All Around You,” gliding through only–on–a– Tortoise–album sections of funktastic bass lines, straight–up dance beats and Parker’s fusion–flecked guitar bursts. “It’s progressive experimental music with pop sensibilities,” says Parker.★Ξ  “Rock On,” which McEntire says he and McCombs simultaneously had the idea to cover after having remembered hearing it on the radio all the time as kids, isn’t the only vocal moment on “The Catastrophist.” Also included is the bittersweet, honest–to–goodness soul ballad “Yonder Blue,” sung by Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley. “We’d finished the track and decided it would be good to have vocals on it,” recalls McEntire. “Robert Wyatt was our first choice, but he had just retired and politely said no. We were discussing asking Georgia to do something, but not that track in particular. Then we realized it would totally work.”
★Ξ  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.”
★Ξ  As ever, Tortoise has conjured sounds on “The Catastrophist” that aren’t being purveyed anywhere else in music today. There’s a deeply intuitive interplay between the group members that comes only from two decades of experimentation, revision and improvisation. And at a time when our brains are constantly bombarded by myriad distractions, “The Catastrophist” reminds us that there’s something much greater out there. All we have to do is listen.Twitter: https://twitter.com/TRTS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TRTSband
Agent:
N. America: Windish Agency http://www.windishagency.com/artists/tortoise
Europe: Berthold Seliger Konzertagentur, www.bseliger.de/
Also:
★Ξ  http://indieethos.com/2012/12/12/albums-that-have-stood-the-test-of-time-tortoise-millions-now-living-will-never-die-1996/
Jeff Parker website: http://www.jeffparkersounds.com/
Studio albums:
★Ξ  Tortoise (1994)
★Ξ  Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996)
★Ξ  TNT (1998)
★Ξ  Standards (2001)
★Ξ  It’s All Around You (2004)
★Ξ  Beacons of Ancestorship (2009)
★Ξ  The Catastrophist (2016)★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ★Ξ

TORTOISE
The Catastrophist (January 22, 2016)

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