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CD Review
Tortoise - The Catastrophist


The Catastrophist
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Artist's Facebook
Review by John Noyd
February 2016

Chicago’s eclectic post-rock messengers celebrate twenty-five years cross-pollinating rock, jazz and electronics with an album both playful and challenging, methodical and improvisational. Fusing Krautrock precision with jazz-splattered visions, “Catastrophist,” swings from elusive grooves bursting with frenetic energy to contrapuntal onions peeled in myriad layers of reckless dialectics. A cerebral hodgepodge built from serpentine designs weaving symbiotic labyrinths, Tortoise’s first album in over six years confronts an ironic paradox where their past innovations have become widely-accepted conventions. Possibly in acknowledgment of their far-ranging influence, Tortoise invited Dead Rider’s Todd Rittman and Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley to contribute vocals to two tracks on the album. Still pushing the envelope, the rabid dabblers play Madison’s Majestic Theater March 10th with sublime folk-drone harmonium proponent Mind over Mirrors.

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