Angela Lewis on pop

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The Independent Online
Tortoise, Chicago's much adored avant-garde, dub-jazz tunesmiths, never stand still. Persistence is their style, whether undertaking another tour of Europe or America, or releasing new remixes of tracks from their venerated album, Millions Now Living Will Never Die. They like being on the move, and constantly changing. "With a band like Tortoise, the interaction between members of the group from show to show can be completely different," enthuses one of Tortoise's many multi-instrumentalists John Herndon, talking about their current European tour. "After three months on the road, the songs can be completely different."

The latest remixers let loose on Tortoise are diverse talents Jim O'Rourke, Bedouin Ascent and Spring Heel Jack, the latter's drum 'n' bass soundscape being particularly fine. "When I first heard jungle, it seemed to me like this centrepoint for hip hop, techno and dancehall, a place for them all to meet," reflects Herndon. "The remixes are something everyone is interested in. It's fascinating to see what happens when you give someone raw material and see how they interpret it, dismantle your music and rebuild it. My favourite remixes have been by Luke Vibert and O'Rourke. I would love to remix a Wu Tang Clan track. They have the freshest beats."

Joining Tortoise for their final British date of 1996 are the Bristolian eccentrics, Flying Saucer Attack, and the cool, elegant trance popsters Snowpony.

Tortoise, London Electric Ballroom, 5 September (0171-485 9006)

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