[1998] Tortoise - TNT




Where their debut had been a mixed and largely unstructured collection of leftfield soundscapes, followed by Millions Now Living's surprising love-letter to Krautrock, the third Tortoise release, the all instrumental TNT, was almost a lounge album - but lounge for thinkers. You certainly couldn't call this a rock album, any more than you could call it techno, acoustic, ambient or jazz, but Tortoise take all of those styles and more, building fabulously fat beds of bottom end, overlaid with gorgeous multi-layered guitars, vibes and sampled found sounds, and emerge with one of the last decade's most endlessly satisfying releases.
With it's frantic, sampled drum pattern, Jetty could almost be trip-hop, (in fact trip-hop is the lasting after-image of the album), Swung From The Gutters has a vague jazz structure to it, at the same time throwing in backward tape effects, I Set My Face To The Hillside combines - almost unbelievably - both Spaghetti Western and oriental themes and so it goes, constantly bewildering, constantly enchanting. And then there's the divine beauty of the title track... (sigh)
And it gets better with every listen.



Genre: Post-Rock
Quality: FLAC

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