The Catastrophist, is an unsettling amalgamation of disparate influences. The title track sounds like breezy light jazz, whereas “Shake Hands With Danger” lives up to its name with junkyard percussion and a hypnotic weave of bell-like tones hammered in place by heavy drums and bass. “Hot Coffee” and “Ox Duke” flirt with fizzy electronica, whereas “At Odds With Logic” is a low-key prog-rock soundscape that gives way to thunderous chords. The instrumentals are broken up with guest-vocal turns by Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley (“Yonder Blue”) and Dead Rider’s Todd Rittmann (on a sludgy remake of David Essex’s “Rock On”).
Chicago avant-rock collective Tortoise have spun a strange array of instrumental passages throughout their 27-year career, and their latest release,