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Beacons of Ancestorship

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Beacons of Ancestorship album cover
High Class Slim Came Floatin' In
Prepare Your Coffin
Northern Something
The Fall Of Seven Diamonds Plus One
Monument Six One Thousand
de Chelly
Charteroak Foundation
Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 43:47

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Wondering Sound

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Douglas Wolk


Douglas Wolk writes about pop music and comic books for Time, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wired and elsewhere. He's the author of Reading Comics: How Gra...more »

Post "post-rock," Tortoise still sound thrillingly hungry and adventurous
Label: Thrill Jockey

In the early '90s, the idea of "post-rock" was a shocking novelty, and Tortoise were the newest of the new: a live band that played precisely composed instrumental music built around percussion and bass (but not dance music, exactly), working from the tradition of electronic music rather than rock 'n' roll, and paying very close attention to tone and rhythm. That's not such a new idea anymore, but the joy of their first album of… read more »

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ahead of their time


When I listen to Tortiose's self titled album, I cant imagine that it actually came out in 1994. it seems so post Y2K... its great stuff and I'm glad E-Music has all their goodies.

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This album rocks! It reminds me of "Tin Cans and Twine," the whole thing! All of it is up to par with this illustrious piece! Thank you Tortoise for still caring and thinking about sound in the way that you do!

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the best....


...tortoise EVER!

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This album is their best in years, a long overdue return to form after the disappointing "It's All Around You" which was dull and unexciting"easy listening Jazz". This one sounds more dynamic, expressive and daring and sees a return to a heavier electronic sound.

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Unavailable for download in your country (Australi


And there I was thinking I'd been a bit hasty buying a CD when I should have waited and used eMusic downloads for a new album from my favourite band. Heh.

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Excellence in Angular Funk!


Their best album since TNT...Feels like their most playful, and is definitely their most electronics-heavy. For fans of Tortoise, its a must have!

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eMusic Features


Six Degrees of Miles Davis’s Nefertiti

By Britt Robson, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Returning after a five-year gap (which, granted, included a box set and a collaborative record with Bonnie “Prince” Billy), Tortoise confronted a pair of age-old musical questions: does anyone really care about an experimental rock group after 15 years, and does said group actually have anything to say after that length of time? After all, the sound of rock’s future circa 1994-1996 was beginning to sound tired by the time of 2004′s It’s All Around You, and the sense was growing that Tortoise should call it quits and begin accumulating enough years of inactivity to eventually be rediscovered, remastered, and reunited. Beacons of Ancestorship neatly squashes all those questions and assumptions, revealing a band that is just as fascinated with sound, just as intrigued by its myriad possibilities, and just as unerring in presenting those ideas in the form of entertaining instrumental music as when it debuted in 1993. The time signatures are constantly shifting, the lights of vitality and inventiveness Tortoise displayed 12 years earlier are completely undimmed, and the reference points for their music are constantly expanding (on tap here, among the dub and Krautrock and minimalism and jazz, is surprisingly abrasive punk for “Yinxianghechengqi”). The opener is eight minutes of bliss, wheeling and turning every few minutes, eventually leading to a great full-band jam that looks back to an earlier age of Chicago post-rock with a closing that’s strikingly reminiscent of early Trans Am. The spaghetti Western impressionism of “The Fall of Seven Diamonds Plus One” would be perfect for their excellent TNT LP, and the group gets positively off the wall at the end, with a pair of songs (“Monument Six One Thousand” and “Charteroak Foundation”) that pit guitar lines over drums-and-bass tracks that don’t sound as if they were recorded for the same selection. It can be incredibly difficult for an experimental group to continue experimenting for years on end without getting stale, but Tortoise achieve that balance effortlessly. – John Bush

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