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Tortoise


Price: £8.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
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14 new from £6.97 2 used from £4.44

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Music

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Visit Amazon's Tortoise Store
for 29 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Tortoise + TNT + Millions Now Living Will Never Die
Price For All Three: £49.35

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
What you cats need in your exploration of the universe 28 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Why did Calvin Klein have to use my favorite Tortoise song, "Tin Cans & Twine" to promote their new fragrance line? Damn thier black hearts! I can't possibly blame Tortoise, whose record label is so small, they probably sold the rights off for a chicken dinner. I suppose I was so sensitive because this cd was like my own private clubhouse, (MINE!) untouched by the rows of Spice Girls and Hanson in the stores. Beyond this rambling, Tortoise is a finely crafted work, a true exploration of sound. An extravaganza of ideas, some merely implied, others flying in all directions. Joyous, austere, and caustic all at the same time. No vocals to interrupt the groove. A total yumyum cd.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If You're new to Tortoise.....(Then Start with this, their Debut!!!) 19 Aug 2005
By fetish_2000 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
So the joke goes...."Jazz!!!...Is God's way of saying, that a Musician has become too proficient with their instrument". You can take a little grain of truth from that joke, in the fact that Jazz musicians (depending on the type of Jazz), can occasionally be considered a little scholarly & Precise in their studious composition. "Tortoise" are (in theory) a studious instrumental indie band, consisting of members that have previously excelled in other bands, and have come together to form a 'Indie Supergroup' (of sorts). Consisting of multi-instrumentalists: Dan Bitney, John Herdon, Douglas McCombes & Bundy K. Brown, and centre around linchpin (and drummer) John McEntire.

Their Music is primarily a combination of softly performed 'Experimental-Rock', "Indie Rock" & "Post-Rock", that manages to reference their influences of: Krautrock, dub, avant-garde jazz, classical minimalism, ambient and space music, film music & electroncia. The sound is one of music that is a reflective and cerebral blend of meditative instrumentals that does touch upon elements of their musical influences. that although to some degree are rooted in jazz structures, have a free-from almost semi-improvised jamming feel to it. The subtle use of percussion, basses, and occasional electronics are all skillfully interwoven into their tracks and create a sort of wistfully detached musical atmosphere. And although electronic sampling and manipulation at various points through their tracks is evident, it's the intertwining guitar motifs that are their strongest assets. And this is where that Jazz reference most clearly rears its head. Not in that it Jazz music, but more that it that the sensibilities of Jazz (Texturing the music, precise performances, and to a greater degree....Mood), are all skillfully worked into shimmering rhythms and distinctive taut dynamics that only years of excelling with your instrument can bring.

Tortoise's music is one, that never really breaks out of a laid-back speed, one that is in equal parts hushed gentle rhythms, and intimate precious sounding cerebral noodling. This is music that doesn't intially hit you immediately but more a sound that slowly over the course of time, works its way into your consciousness, and although there is the occasionally odd bit of production/arrangements, they (over time), actually seem to merely be part of the charm of Tortoise's music. And anyone that is fully armed with the facts regarding Tortoise's minimally atmospheric instrumentals and doesn't appreciate the sublime-ness of tracks such as: "Ry Cooder", "Flyrod", "Onions Wrapped in Rubber" & "Magnet Pulls Through" will (as much as it pains me to say this) probably never 'get' Tortoise.

Being a huge fan of instrumental music, I found that this album, was a fantastically performed and arranged minimal guitar/percussion led album that manages to be cool, ambient, rhythmically symphonic, playful and musically textured, and one that will delight those that want something a little more cerebral in their music. Sure....they'll be those that consider Tortoise's music a little too clinical and scholarly to truly embrace, with no vocals to latch onto, and that the music veers a little bit too closely too musical noodling & ((shudders)) Muzak!!!, , to give the group the kudos they deserve. And if I'm being completely honest with you, there is a little bit of truth in those claims, and those people should pass over Tortoise and look for something else. But that doesn't mean that isn't still an exceptionally performed and elegantly composed album, and although the band would learn from this release and their next album (The seminal "Millions Now Living, Will Never Die") would find them performing more as a unit, rather than a group of highly talented musicians performing together. This is still a remarkably classy and (in some cases) funky debut, that is the perfect introduction to the band.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
BUY THIS ONE FIRST! 19 Oct 2000
By Luther R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think this is the best Tortoise album to start out on. This is one of the most innovative bands out there, and it's important to see their progression. Minimalist? Maybe, but subtle and brilliant. John McEntyre and Johnny Herndon are both amazing drummers, and Cornpone Brunch is a percussional marvel. The use of the EMS VCS3 "Putney" synthesizer fills in quiet parts beautifully. This will help you appreciate "Millions" and "TNT" even more.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
My favorite Tortoise 31 May 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Tortoise is an amazing group...The sounds and feelings they conjure up with their instruments belong to some other dimension...Its hard for contemporary music to do this without a lot of computer invervention, but Tortoise does it without ever sounding artificial or mechanical. (And without a lot of obvious computer generated or altered sounds) Thats why their live shows have the same feeling as their studio work.
Sometimes dark, but always amazing. This is my favorite of their albums...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
the beginning of greatness 21 Aug 2004
By OysterCranium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
i was once asked to describe tortoise's sound. tortoise's sound is...well...THE tortoise sound. there is really no words to describe. their sound is distinctively their own. melodic, dreamlike and original are three adjectives i would use to describe this album. does this album, in it's entire form, match that of "millions..." or "TNT"? no. but it does show the musicianship and experimentation from the early stages. for me the bass stands out the most especially on my favorite track (which happens to be my favorite tortoise track ever) "tin cans and twine." to me nothing takes me on a dreamlike journey such as this song.

This album is also the perfect "late night" album. you know, the one you put on right after a long day or after a show when you just want to wind down and relax. this is absolute perfection for those moments...and other times as well.
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