Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship
- Mark Robertson
- 28 May 2009
Tortoise have always followed their own path, moving slowly, steadily and deliberately – much like their reptillian namesake. Their six albums in little under 20 years suggest a group at ease in their own skin, building records out of fragments of jazz, rock, funk and electronica in a most progressive (yes, prog) way.
Beacons of Ancestorship expands their blend further, with beats straight from Fela Kuti’s top drawer and spectral electronics borrowed from Philip Glass making their way into their luminous space age contusions. They even find their inner Lightning Bolt for a while there with ‘Yinxianghechengqi’. It’s the playful nature of Tortoise’s music however, along with their keenness to infuse melody into the most concrete of soundscapes, that make this another vital hunk of work.