A Lazarus Taxon (CD)


Tortoise

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Amoeba Review

John Schacht 08/13/2010

The remarkable thing about Tortoise isn’t just that they’ve synthesized so many elements from music’s past 50 years into a sound all their own, but that they’ve done it without conceding much of anything to those same elements, or traditional pop clichés and song structure in general. But it’s a mistake to think of these Chicago pioneers as a group of studio aesthetes and pro-tools dweebs churning out soulless musical brain-teasers. Rhythm, texture, mood and groove are the beating heart within the shape-shifting walls of Tortoise songs and influences: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s dub, Miles’ jazz, Neu! Krautrock, Massive Attack trip hop, Steve Reich minimalism, prog rock, music concrete, drum & bass, fusion – if it’s on record, at some point Tortoise will probably have sponged it up. Their foraging nature defines A Lazarus Taxon, a 3CD/DVD box set gathering rare singles, compilation tracks, unreleased material, and remixes spanning the band’s career from their 1994 beginning this 2006 release. Discs 1 and 2 don’t follow any chronological order, opting instead for a balanced blend of trance rock (“Vaus,” “Gamera”), super-processed blasts of electronica (“A Grape Dope,” “CTA”), and elegiac sound collages (“White Water,” “Cliff Dweller Society”) that work like the audio equivalent of time-lapse photography. Disc 3 is dedicated to the long out-of-print Rhythms, Resolutions, and Clusters from ‘94, a continuous 30-minute set indulging the band’s remix fix. Formerly the sole purview of club DJs, Tortoise applied the concept to their multi-denominational music approach with far more dynamic and organic results – Autechre, Mike Watt, Jim O’Rourke and Steve Albini are among those re-sculpting these sonic landscapes here. And unlike many DVD extras, this one is essential. There are engaging videos and short films, but the prizes here are: a seven-song set from 1996 featuring the epic “Djed” as its centerpiece; a hell-bent “Salt the Skies” from the 2004 Burn to Shine series that proves that it’s not as far as you think from punk’s fury to Tortoise’s brain-teasers and passion; and a jazz festival appearance with Chicago free jazz fixtures Fred Anderson (tenor) and frequent collaborator Rob Mazurek (trumpet). Disc 3 is visual proof that your ears were telling the truth; Tortoise is a rock band unlike any other. Read More


Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Gamera
Tortoise 11:53
2.
The Source Of Uncertainty
Tortoise , John McEntire 03:43
3.
Blackbird
Tortoise 05:01
4.
Sexual For Elizabeth
Five Deez 04:49
5.
To Day Retrieval
Tortoise , Autechre 03:58
6.
Whitewater
Tortoise 05:07
7.
Didjeridoo
Tortoise 04:33
8.
Autumn Sweater
Yo La Tengo , Tortoise 07:07
9.
Wait
Tortoise 04:27
10.
A Grape Dope
Tortoise 04:12
11.
Restless Waters
Tortoise 03:41
12.
Vaus
Tortoise 05:01
13.
Blue Station
Tortoise 05:34


Disc 2 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Madison Area
Tortoise 03:27
2.
TNT
Tortoise , Nobukazu Takemura 10:03
3.
Why We Fight
Tortoise 04:23
4.
Elmerson, Lincoln, and Palmieri
Tortoise 02:39
5.
Peering
Tortoise 05:11
6.
Goriri
Tortoise 06:40
7.
As You Said
Tortoise 04:21
8.
CTA
Tortoise 05:07
9.
Deltitnu
Tortoise 05:50
10.
Adverse Camber
Tortoise , Autechre 06:00
11.
Cliff Dweller Society
Tortoise 15:23
12.
Waihopai
Tortoise 04:13


Disc 3 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Alcohall
Tortoise , John McEntire 04:03
2.
Your New Rod
Tortoise , Rick Brown 04:18
3.
Cobwebbed
Tortoise , Casey Rice 04:38
4.
The Match Incident
Tortoise , Steve Albini 05:31
5.
Tin Can Puerto Rican Remix
Tortoise , Brad Wood 04:24
6.
Not Quite East Of The Ryan
Tortoise , Bundy K. Brown 05:08
7.
Initial Gesture Protraction
Tortoise , Jim O'Rourke 04:47
8.
Cornpone Brunch Watt Remix
Tortoise , Mike Watt , Bundy K. Brown 04:18


Disc 4 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Salt The Skies [DVD]
Tortoise , Adam Levite
2.
Dear Grandma And Grandpa [DVD]
Tortoise , David Ellsworth
3.
Glass Museum [DVD]
Tortoise , David Ellsworth
4.
Seneca [DVD]
Tortoise , Braden King
5.
Four Day Interval [DVD]
Tortoise , David Ellsworth
6.
The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls [DVD]
Tortoise
7.
Live at Primavera Sound 2005 [Monica - DVD]
Tortoise , Arim Garriga
8.
Live in Toronto 1996 [DVD]
Tortoise
9.
Live at Deutches Jazz Festival 1999 [DVD]
Tortoise , Fred Anderson , Chad Taylor , Noel Kupersmith , Rob Mazurek
10.
Live on "Chic-A-Go-Go" 2005 [Seneca - DVD]
Tortoise , Jake Austin
11.
Live For "Burn To Shine" 2004 [Salt The Skies - DVD]
Tortoise

Currently Unavailable
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
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