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In The Fishtank

Konkurrent are a Dutch label whose [B]'In The Fishtank'[/B] series specialises in prising mini-LPs from bands in just 48 hours....

In The Fishtank

4 / 10 Konkurrent are a Dutch label whose 'In The Fishtank' series specialises in prising mini-LPs from bands in just 48 hours. Now, as repeated series of [I]Changing Rooms[/I] and [I]Ground Force[/I] have taught us, no great creative endeavour was ever successfully completed in 48 hours. It's the time frame of the cut corner and the sloppy finish; the bodge and the bad jam.

Yet persevere Konkurrent do, following up fast-drying projects by [a]Snuff[/a] and Guv'ner with this collaboration between Chicago jazzbos Tortoise and ancient Dutch squatpunks The Ex. "It was all Tortoise's idea!" whimpers the press release as justification for this bizarre marriage between some of the most subtle groove-diggers, ever, and Chumbawamba's agit-squonk mates.

Unshockingly, we learn vibes did not begin to flow between the two camps until very late on Day Two. "All good things take time," John McEntire is quoted as observing. Quite.

That said, the lead track, 'The Lawn Of The Limp', is one act of teamwork in which Tortoise's pastoral plink-plonks are meaningfully underscored by The Ex's narky clatter. Listenable intersections occur again, very briefly, on 'Pleasure As Usual', and 'Huge Hidden Spaces' when minimalism unexpectedly turns up some common ground.

Mostly, though, The Ex trash Tortoise's thoughtful architecture and gentle accents with vulgar DIY and dissonant bric-a-brac. A botched

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