Post-rock visionaries in their prime
Try as they might?and their last album of soporific dinner jazz came close?Tortoise have yet to really tarnish their ice-cool reputation, cemented with 1996’s superb post-rock touchstone, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, as shape-shifting musical modernists. “Djed” especially, their sublime 21-minute Krautrock meander, displays the Chicago ensemble’s bookish virtuosity, while “Along The Banks Of Rivers” aches to David Pajo’s maudlin twang. New guitarist Jeff Parker arrives to provide spiralling motifs on 1998’s TNT, a luxurious, laid-back affair through which Tortoise gracefully sashay, guided by editor John McEntire. TNT is a masterpiece: not at all avant-garde, just an hour of wonderful and timeless music.