Jazz Related Rock • United States
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Tortoise revolutionized American indie rock in the mid-'90s by playing down tried-and-true punk and rock & roll influences, emphasizing instead the incorporation of a variety of left-field music genres from the past 20 years, including Krautrock, dub, avant-garde jazz, classical minimalism, ambient and space music, film music, and British electronica. At odds as well with the shambling framework of alternative rock's normal song structure, the group -- as large as a septet, with at times two vibes players -- relied on a crisp instrumental aesthetic, tied to cool jazz, which practically stood alone in American indie rock by actually focusing on instrumental prowess and group interaction. Although the group's unique vision is to an extent the creation of drummer and master producer John McEntire, most of the other members are well-connected -- producers and/or participants -- in Chicago's fraternal indie rock community, which consists of numerous side projects and ongoing read more...
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It's All Around You [Vinyl]It's All Around You [Vinyl]
Thrill Jockey 2016
$22.05 (used)
Thrill Jockey 2016
$35.97 (used)
Millions Now Living Will Never DieMillions Now Living Will Never Die
Thrill Jockey 2016
$26.23 (used)
Thrill Jockey 2016
$31.92 (used)
Thrill Jockey 2016
$21.14 (used)
A Lazarus Taxon [3-CDs + 1 DVD]A Lazarus Taxon [3-CDs + 1 DVD]
Box set
Thrill Jockey 2006
$13.38 (used)
Thrill Jockey 2016
$2.49 (used)
$14.30 (used)
Beacons Of AncestorshipBeacons Of Ancestorship
Thrill Jockey 2009
$9.89 (used)
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TORTOISE Discography

TORTOISE albums / top albums

TORTOISE Tortoise album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1994
TORTOISE Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters
Jazz Related Rock 1995
TORTOISE Millions Now Living Will Never Die album cover 4.09 | 2 ratings
Millions Now Living Will Never Die
Jazz Related Rock 1996
TORTOISE Remixed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1996
TORTOISE TNT album cover 3.91 | 2 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1998
TORTOISE Standards album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 2001
TORTOISE It's All Around You album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
It's All Around You
Jazz Related Rock 2004
TORTOISE Tortoise & Bonnie 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tortoise & Bonnie "Prince" Billy ‎: The Brave And The Bold
Jazz Related Rock 2004
TORTOISE Beacons Of Ancestorship album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Beacons Of Ancestorship
Jazz Related Rock 2009
TORTOISE The Catastrophist album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Catastrophist
Jazz Related Rock 2016

TORTOISE EPs & splits

TORTOISE live albums

TORTOISE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TORTOISE re-issues & compilations

TORTOISE A Digest Compendium Of The Tortoise's World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Digest Compendium Of The Tortoise's World
Jazz Related Rock 1996
TORTOISE A Lazarus Taxon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Lazarus Taxon
Jazz Related Rock 2006

TORTOISE singles (0)

TORTOISE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


TORTOISE Standards

Album · 2001 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
TORTOISE doesn't believe in stagnation. They have proved from album to album that they are only interested in experimenting in any direction they please. With their fourth album STANDARDS they make avant-garde and experimental rock even weirder and more extreme than previous releases. While they can still be classified as a post-rock act, they have a much looser approach to their music this time around borrowing equally from free form jazz and electronic sound effects all sewn together with a post-production effect. In fact it all kinda makes me think of a trippy electronic band like Coil who delved into the avant-garde jazz world. It is all fairly mellow so don't expect energetic outbursts or anything of the sort.

The music is just weird! It has interesting electronic beats competing with jazzy lounge music and at times the different parts seem to drift off into their own worlds creating a detached sounding wild ride but it usually comes back together somehow. There is a whole random feel to this album as well as it meanders from track to track with little keeping a unifying feel but somehow all being alien enough to make you feel like you are walking through a giant forest of bizarre plant-like creatures on another world where carbon isn't the main bonding element in organic chemistry.

It took many more listens to get into this one as opposed to the albums that came before but it did click with me after I accepted its bizarre charm and adapted to the strangeness that unfolds. TORTOISE prove to me again that they are a unique musical outfit that demands new directions with every move they make and if you have what it takes to keep up with their ambitiousness then you will not be disappointed by this strange concoction of post-rock gone astray.


Album · 1998 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
TORTOISE continues their unique experimental brand of post-rock on their 3rd album TNT which finds a huge grab bag of ideas heaped onto their already eclectic palette. In fact, if someone were to slap on a various artists cover of some sort you might be hard pressed to believe that the 12 compositions on this album are by the same artist. The leading track begins with one of the most “normal” tracks which sounds like a nice airy brand of jazz-fusion. It is a pleasant but unalarming little piece that belies the strangeness that kicks off on the second track “Swing From The Gutters” which introduces an ambient intro followed by an electronic dance groove mixed with some jazz guitar. The third track takes you somewhere else entirely by creating a hypnotic xylophone-like sound that works in a progressive electronic sound.

The entire album is diverse and quite exciting. It is reasonably accessible from the getgo but adds unorthodox elements that make it sound extremely fresh and constantly delivers surprises when you least expect them without being as over-the-top as say the Mr Bungles out there. The track titled “Jetty” is unique as it is the TORTOISE version of a song that was recorded and put onto the album “The Unstable Molecule” by their more jazz-fusion oriented sister band Isotope 217. On that album though is is listed under the French title "La Jetée" which is the name of an experimental film. This is a really cool album that incorporates a plethora of moods. I might have to up my rating in the future as I seem to like this more every time I listen to it but for right now it is a solid 4 star album.

TORTOISE Millions Now Living Will Never Die

Album · 1996 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
Defying classification and making me wonder if these guys are truly post-rock or just eclectic, MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE is indeed a magnificent piece of work which catapulted TORTOISE into the consciousness of post-rock lovers and the music world in general. They are truly unique and this 2nd album will leave you wondering what you just heard leaving trails of post-rock, krautrock, electronica, minalmist or jazz. The truth is that they are all of the above only strewn together in a way that is simultaneously pleasant and unexpected.

This album has a heavy bass which is most commonly heard in hip hop but in this context it adds a nice sub-sound that makes your speakers resonate in a most pleasant way. Basically all I can say about this album is that it delivers in a most satisfying way. It takes you somewhere completely unexpected and makes you wonder what you just listened to. Repeated listenings only add a sense of appreciation as they make you admire the mixings of styles that made this particular album come into fruition. I can totally understand why this album is considered one of the cornerstones of post-rock following the footsteps of Talk Talk. Although it seems like it's in a category of its own, it really does progress the post-rock sound by adding a myriad of influences. Highly recommended.

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