Tortoise - The Catastrophist Vinyl Record
Despite going for twenty five years strong, cult post-rock institution Tortoise have made a startling comeback after seven years in the shadows with new LP The Catastrophist. Released along side a vast palette of remastered reissues of past titles, The Catastrophist shows Tortoise to still be perched at the forefront of the U.S. alt rock underground that fuses jazz, dub and prog with an original C86 indie feel. Despite not committing anything to wax for the past seven years they were commissioned by the City of Chicago to create a suite of music that paid tribute to the area's rich musical history and these are the foundations The Catastrophist has been built upon. While still keeping in line with the group's experimental undercurrent, the group's core members enlist the help of guests such as Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley and Dead Rider's Todd Rittmann. The feeling throughout the album is one of a surreal psychedelic dream, which comes into full form with the groups cover of David Essex's 1973 hit single "Rock On" (didn't see that coming did ya!) but at its core this is pure and classicly rooted Tortoise, huge waves of guitar's, cavernous drums and all right electronics fitted in between that could come from off cuts of Throbbing Gristle studio sessions while other moments compose a delicate beauty the group otherwise explores sometimes with rollin' an chuggin' backdrops of hugely booming bass with rhythms akin to the finest hypnotic moments of Tago Mago. The Catastrophist shows Tortoise as a group who after a quarter of a century continue to stand out while keeping a step back and doing what they do, it's hard to imagine this music coming from any other time but also it's hard to imagine that after the tape stopped recording they didn't continue to play, letting the music continue to flow and evolve until the next time that we are allowed to get a look into this most unique of worlds.