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A Lazarus Taxon (Audio Version)

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iTunes Review

Tortoise, a five-piece "post-rock" band from Chicago, IL, were one of the most important alternative rock bands of the ‘90s, emphasizing the importance of rhythm and sonic textures while introducing indie kids to whole new worlds of sound. They were a revolutionary rock band in the way that My Bloody Valentine were circa Isn't Anything or even Miles Davis around the time of Bitches Brew, mixing technologies and sounds to free them from genre-restrictiveness. For an odds-and-sods set, Lazarus sounds remarkably cohesive, and is surprisingly listenable considering how experimental their music is. Elements of ambient, dub, krautrock, improv, math rock, hip-hop, and Cuban jazz are here. The out-of- print 1995 album Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters, which many consider their finest moment, is here, as are various unreleased remixes (fitting, as they were among the first non-dance acts to explore the remix). Anyone can play "King of the Musical Thrift Store that Is The World," but few have ever done it with the taste-making, fascinating aplomb as these dudes.

Customer Reviews

How Did I Miss This?

I heard a song on XM's Alt Nation channel recently, and had to check these guys out. I love the remixes, and all of the different sounds they play with. I'm so bummed that I haven't heard of this band sooner. Check it out!

Lazarus has Risen

Best Tortoise Album--Unbelievable. I've been a fan for over ten years and still amazed by Tortoise's inventive way of making mind-blowing music. Listen closely.

Save your ears... and your cash

Tortoise is good. Tortoise can even be great... but not on this album. It's a thrown-together record of hodge podge that pretty much begins and ends with Gamera, the record's opener. For $25 you're not getting much, and seeing as they've made Gamera an album only selection I'd totally pass on this opportunity and just go for Millions Now Living Will Never Die, which is generally considered this band's magnum opus and is considerably cheaper. A Lazarus Taxon is more taxing than it is Lazarus, if you get me.


Formed: 1990 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tortoise revolutionized American indie rock in the mid-'90s by playing down tried-and-true punk and rock & roll influences, emphasizing instead the incorporation of a variety of left-field music genres from the previous 20 years, including Krautrock, dub, avant-garde jazz, classical minimalism, ambient and space music, film music, and British electronica. At odds as well with the shambling framework of alternative rock's normal song structure, the group -- as large as a septet, with at times two...
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