Tortoise — Beacons of Ancestorship
(Thrill Jockey THRILL 210, 2009, CD)
What if Can and Cluster merged? Grinding retro-sequencers and synthesizers have an old eight-bit tone to them on this record – the funny result is like Kraftwerk totally rocking out. Yes, the Chicago consortium rocks more on this album than on any of their previous post-jazz efforts, trying to broaden their commercial appeal without losing their quirky side. Like a distant cousin of Mark Isham’s Group 87, they have a funky-electronica approach which wears you down track by track. Epic guitar melodies arc over taut Krautrock grooves. Punishing attack-cruiser synthesizer robots curse and swear over Brazilian festival snare drum players, and hammer dulcimer solos pling and plang over interlocking, automated sambas. If this group hits the road, it won’t be a moment too soon and we’ll be standing right up in front, curious to see how these guys can pull it off on the live stage. Best tracks include a very noisy punk tune entitled “Yinxianghechengqi” that starts by blowing out your speakers, then throwing some impossible chord changes at you before finally winding up sounding like “Telstar” played by the Butthole Surfers. Western guitar and soap opera organ wend their way through the clever surf ballad called ”The Fall of Seven Diamonds Plus One.” This CD is highly recommended to all fans of Klaus Schulze, Glenn Phillips (the guitarist from Atlanta who was in the Hampton Grease Band), Sonic Youth, Philip Glass, the jammier side of Traffic, Nels Cline, Pekka Pohjola, Godley/Creme, Cluster, and Steve Hackett’s distortion pedal.
Related artist(s): Tortoise
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more