Beacons of Ancestorship starts misleadingly, with the stop-start, rambling track `High Class Slim Came Floatin' In", but this could be seen as a good way to begin the album, pricking the attention without blowing the best bits straight away. With "Prepare Your Coffin", the second track, the album's ambitions are laid out a little more clearly: this is focussed, tight and dare-I-say-it funky, with a deliciously meaty production. From here on in they keep strictly to the point, via highlight "Gigantes", through the overdrive punk of "Yinxianghechengqi" to the beautiful album closer "Charteroak Foundation". Along the way there are some perhaps less memorable bridging tracks mixed in, but the whole experience, clocking in at a trim 43 minutes, is very satisfying while leaving me wanting more, which is just how it should be.
Although I'm not a connoisseur of Tortoise's back catalogue, this is the most consistently melodic and `listenable' that I've heard them. As an album it flows brilliantly and although not every track is a highlight the whole is very much more than the sum of its parts.
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