Review

Tortoise

The Catastrophist

Thrill Jockey • 2016

It’s been almost seven years since Tortoise released their last record »Beacons Of Ancestorship«. Since then, their only release was the soundtrack for the horro movie »Lovely Molly« by director Eduardo Sánchez (»The Blair Witch Project«) in 2012, recorded in John McEntire’s studio. After years of rumors and random notifications on social media platforms, the genre-coining postrock gentlemen have finally come forward with a new album. Stylistically, »The Catastrophist« is once again overshooting the mark of rock in various colors and ways, the foundation for which having been laid out through a composition mandate by the city of Chicago: In 2010, the city had asked the quintet to write a suite, mirroring the local scene of jazz and improvisation. Following their usual method of reconstruction and alienation, they remodeled those five tracks for their seventh record – even including two vocal tracks, a rather unusual treat considering the band’s instrumental background. Georgia Hubley, singer and drummer of Yo La Tengo helped writing and performing the slow dance track »Yonder Blue«. »Rock On« is a cover version, to which Todd Rittmann, guitarist of U.S. Maple, contributed the vocals. This David-Essex-hit was a radio standard in the band members’ childhood, being in the US-charts for 25 weeks, and they had long planned to create their very own version of the track.