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Digest Compendium of the Tortoise's Worl
Tortoise
Digest Compendium of the Tortoise's Worl
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

15 track Japanese-only 1996 compilation on Thrill Jockey/Jade featuring 15 tracks from the lo-fi Chicagoans: fourpreviously unreleased cuts ('Gooseneck', 'Ry Cooder (TheBeer Incident', 'Reservoir' & 'Whitewater') and 11 fr...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Tortoise
Title: Digest Compendium of the Tortoise's Worl
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Crown
Release Date: 11/7/2001
Album Type: Import
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, Experimental Music, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1

Synopsis

Album Description
15 track Japanese-only 1996 compilation on Thrill Jockey/Jade featuring 15 tracks from the lo-fi Chicagoans: fourpreviously unreleased cuts ('Gooseneck', 'Ry Cooder (TheBeer Incident', 'Reservoir' & 'Whitewater') and 11 fromtheir first two albums, 1994's

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CD Reviews

Hard to "Digest"
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 11/23/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Compilations are always tricky things -- there's no flow, and the quality is often very uneven. Tortoise's ambient experimental music has always been pleasant to listen to, but tossed together in "Digest Compendium of the Tortoise's World," the music just seems chaotic.

Most of the songs are pulled from their first two albums, contributing songs like the trippy folk "Spiderwebbed" and the hollow ghostly "Onions Wrapped in Rubber." While these early songs still show the rough edges of a beginning band, they are fairly listenable.

And there are some less-than-worthy extra tracks, such as the meandering "Cobnebbed," whose pretty ambience is marred by crackles and a lack of direction, or "Ry Cooder (The Beer Incident)," a twelve-minute track that spends its first three minutes on unintelligible babble and beer-related noises. By the time the music arrives, it's hard to care.

Tortoise is not the hardest band to "get" -- sure, they're not mainstream pop or generic rock, but they're not too out there. Unfortunately, if you can understand "Compendium" at all, it takes far longer than it should take to absorb a single album.

Tortoise's musical talents do shine through here and there, in sonic quirks and soothing ambience that crop up here and there. But the songs are at best a beginner's middle-level work, at worst a boring distraction. Their extra tracks sound like discarded B-sides, only pulled back in to make the album worth buying at all.

The percussion and muffled beats are fairly well-done, accentuated by clanking cans and shuddery sound effects. Sometimes the instrumentation sticks to the soothing monotony of ambient music, while in songs like "Spiderwebbed" there is something that approximates an actual acoustic tune on guitar.

"Digest Compendium of the Tortoise's World" sounds relatively mellow and innocuous, but leaves you with absolutely no impression once it's over. A less than satisfying collection."