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Tuesday, Aug 22 2017 | 08:49
Image: 1611549 Photographer Andrew Paynter on the project :
This book came about from the long term relationship I’ve had with
both this band and their label, Thrill Jockey. I frst came to meet some of the
members through mutual friend, Tommy Guerrero. Over the years I started
to contribute occasionally as a creative collaborator. The band used several
of my photographs for their ‘Lazarus Taxon’ packaging. Then, in 2010 they
commissioned me to both direct a music video from ‘Beacons of Ancestorship’
and to also art direct & contribute images from my ‘SF Lines’ work. The band
also used other images for additional 12 inch records and then seven years
went by. I did think often about the idea of going on the road with them, but
was patiently awaiting a return to the stage, as they took a long break between
records. So the idea to do something long form became a reality. Once it
was set, I organized to jump on the road with the band to cover the entire
West Coast of North America and with an addition of a trip to Arcosanti,
Arizona. I brought three cameras, Leica M6, Hasselblad X-Pan and a Pentax
67. I only shot b&w flm and I kept my ideas simple and did my best to not
force situations, but to simply capture them from the perspective of an insider.
My craving to shoot from the hip in a reportage fashion was fnally fulflled on
this 10 day project. I’m proud to say, this is my very frst book.
Tortoise’s Douglas McCombs on touring and the live experience:
Twenty fve years ago in the early days of Tortoise there was a
perception that we were a recording project. This perception was probably
exacerbated by the fact that we barely played any live shows in the frst three
years. The reality is that we were slow in getting our band up and running due
to a variety of logistical circumstances, internal and external.
Performing live was always a priority and a prime motivator in forming the
band in the frst place. By the time opportunities arose for us to tour in a self
sustaining manner we couldn’t have been happier. This is what we wanted to
do, and thankfully the audience showed up.
Presenting our slightly unconventional material was occasionally a challenge.
We had to lug around more equipment than your average band and often
had to deal with temperamental synthesizers and samplers that would fail at
inopportune moments. Still, it was exciting and very rewarding.
These days a band at our level makes most of our living by playing live shows.
It’s no secret that record sales are substantially lower than they used to be. At
the same time we are all maintaining families that we didn’t have twenty years
ago which makes organizing a tour exponentially more diffcult. Still, every
time we step on a stage we are trying to invest ourselves in the performance as
much as possible so that we can give the audience a unique experience. We
want you to know that we consider it a privilege to play our music for you.

01. The Catastrophist
02. Ox Duke
03. Rock On
04. Gopher Island
05. Shake Hands WithDanger
06. The Clearing Fills
07. Gesceap
08. Hot Coffee
09. Yonder Blue
10. Tesseract
11. At Odds With Logic

The Catastrophist Tour Book intimately captures Tortoise during their 2016 west coast tour in support of
The Catastrophist
The 6” x 8.5” 80 page perfect bound book features
photographs shot by photographer Andrew Paynter on
black and white flm. In addition to live performance
images, the book showcases intimate backstage moments as well as photos from the road
Packaged with the book is a download coupon for access to unreleased live recordings from the tour + a CD
of Tortoise’s 2016 album The Catastrophist with new
artwork exclusive to this book release
Simply put, Tortoise has spent nearly 25 years making
music that defes description. While the Chicagobased instrumental quintet has nodded to dub, rock,
jazz, electronica and minimalism throughout its
revered and in?uential seven-album discography, the
resulting sounds have always been distinctly, even
stubbornly, their own.
“Chicago’s Tortoise is a genre unto itself: cited as a
progenitor of post-rock, and clearly indebted to its
home town’s history of improvisers and fusionists,
Tortoise is an American underground institution.”
- Boston Globe Available from 22.09.2017
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