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After almost 20 years and various collaborations, remixes, and bifurcations (and rhythms, resolutions and clusters), Chicago’s preeminent instrumental jazz-and-dub-influenced post-Kraut (and post-rock) crew Tortoise still sound restless as ever. Look no further than “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In,” the 8-minute opener to their sixth proper full-length Beacons Of Ancestorship, the first since 2004′s It’s All Around You (not counting the Will Oldham covers collaboration The Brave And The Bold). It’s one of those tracks that feels like four if you aren’t paying attention to your stereo. The Harold Bloom-referencing press release describes it as a song that:

Playfully references the world of ecstatic rave and dance culture with a curiously ambivalent, multi-part suite overlaid with robotic, machinesounding melodies that stop and start in several different time signatures before the song’s ultimate resolution

It’s been a long time since anyone here’s been to a rave, but as far as I can recall, “High Class” sounds fresher and weirder than those sentences suggest. Though “ecstatic” works, definitely.

Beacons Of Ancestorship is out in June via Thrill Jockey. They’re live after that:

07/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
07/13 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
07/15 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
07/17 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival
07/19 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
07/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Sanctuary at First Unitarian Church

[Photo by Jim Newberry]

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Comments (6)
  1. Wonderful sounds! But a little bit long for so little.

  2. j miller  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 0

    as always the engineering is amazing – drums especially sound incredible. unfortunately it lacks melody and structure that make the best tortoise tracks successful. can’t wait to hear the full album.

  3. Amazing playing as per usual. Drums, yes, sound great — do we expect anything less of McEntire? — especially the kick drum. Can’t wait to buy it.

  4. frank beard  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

    nice zz top! is that bitney on the drums? doesn’t sound like herndog or mac. track is dope.

  5. John Bertsch Society  |   Posted on May 6th, 2009 0

    This track is off the hook!

  6. Deepinder Cheema  |   Posted on Jul 19th, 2009 0

    I have just heard ‘floating in’ on BBC 6music Freak Zone here in the UK. The tune is not too long but full of interest – I like the electronic equipment used excellent throb to it all. What else have Tortoise got up to over the last 20 years? any hint how to get fully up to speed?

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