In our world of instant gratification, where cheap bands turn cheaper tricks and musical fads are determined behind publishers doors, Tortoise’s near-two-decade presence is a small, silent victory for longevity. Having sparkled early on, ‘Beacons of Ancestorship’ shows no sign of reneging on the sinuous amalgamation of jazz, dub and classic minimalism that made their name. Considered as one of the forefathers of post-rock, the beginnings of ‘Charteroak Foundation’ would have ‘Explosions‚”‘ fans nodding in resonance but the offbeat jazz skiffle of ‘Monument Six One Thousand’ characterises ‘Beacons‚””s frustrating inaccessibility. Rich without being truly rewarding; impressive without ever being spectacular, it lacks coruscating emotion, adhering to intricate but ultimately elusive compositions. Sad really that the yardstick is now being used to beat itself.

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