It’s 16 years since the Avalanches’ era-defining ‘Since I Left You’. How can a follow-up that took so long sound so meh?
...After years writing soundtracks to non-existent movies through his work with [a]Tortoise[/a], there's a certain inevitability about [a]John McEntire[/a] finally getting round to scoring a real film
That said, McEntire's excellent score treats Reach The Rock as if it actually is a moody arthouse job, being the kind of purposeful wandering around the fringes of avant-rock, electronica, lounge, jazz and dub that you'd expect from the mainstay of Tortoise (and half the bands in Chicago, come to that). If anything, the focus is more on electronica, with the clattering pseudo-drum'n'bass of 'Quinn Goes Town' and the 5-Ziq ez-stylings of 'Lise Arrives' sounding as if they're isolated components of some sprawling Tortoise cut-and-paste collage.
Elsewhere, a rigorous incestuousness rules, with tracks from Tortoise themselves (tenser and less jazzy than of late); McEntire's other band, The Sea And Cake (a song slightly uncomfortably grafted onto atmospherics); former Tortoise member Bundy K Brown (fairly bleak isolationist humming); and newcomers Dianogah, who sound quite unnervingly like - uh-huh - Tortoise. Early Tortoise, mind, so that's alright.
You get exactly what you'd expect, in other words. One for Tortoise fans.
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