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TORTOISE: Galapagos (Version One) (12″, City Slang SHELL 003, 1996)

Tortoise - Galapagos (Version One)

Post-Millions Now Living Will Never Die, a few of these remix 12″ers were released for no apparent reason except to serve as interesting counterpoints to the album proper. I really like their sleeves – a kind of ‘factory sleeve’ created just for this set of releases. This one’s printed using very pleasing silver ink. Can’t remember where I picked this and a couple of the other remix records up from – I seem to remember it was something bog-standard and uninteresting like HMV. This was back in the days when HMV sold actual records containing real music. The Reading HMV (I was living in Reading when this record came out) had a superb selection, with handwritten stickers on each one, describing the record. Whoever was working there at the time deserved a firm, manly handshake.

Anywhere, this record has remixes by Spring Heel Jack and Jim O’Rourke versus Bedouin Ascent. The former sounds kind of dated now – it’s all drum’n’bass scattershot rhythms which were once exciting and new. The latter is much more interesting – still kind of d’n’b, but much more random, with a tendency to disappear into odd scratchy areas with little warning. Both sides are oddly warm and comforting: maybe that’s the Tortoise influence. I’m sure that around the time of this record I saw Tortoise, supported by Stereolab, play live in Reading. Tortoise were very late due to being held up at customs, or something. That’s all I remember about the show – although that’s more likely due to my poor memory rather than it being a forgettable one. Tortoise and Stereolab? That must have been good.

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