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    Tortoise and Colin Newman collaborate for BBC Radio 3

    Sonic pioneers Tortoise will soon be collaborating with Colin Newman, best known as front man of legendary post punk band Wire, as part of BBC Radio 3 Late Junction's collaboration series. This series brings together artists who might not usually work together to spend a day in the studio to record a session, which will be aired on the show soon afterwards. You might remember that Tunng did a tour with Tinariwen. The two bands had never met before the Late Junction team brought them together for a session. Other sessions have included Wildbirds and Peacedrums with Micachu, and Mercury Award nominees Sweet Billy Pilgrim with Adem.

    Tortoise and Colin Newman will take their turn in the BBC's Maida Vale studio on the 26th August, the day after Tortoise play a live show at The Relentless Garage in London. Quite what the results will turn out like is anyone's guess, but with two artists of such high calibre involved they are sure to be inventive, experimental and totally enthralling.
    More from that press release...


    Almost alone among bands of the last two decades, Tortoise are a group that resists easy metaphors and analogies, who can be described as sounding like only themselves and no one else. Twenty years after its founding, the band's signature and singularly inimitable sound-a fluid intersection of dub, dance, jazz, techno, rock, and classical minimalism, with no part overwhelming or dominating the whole-remains an American and international original.

    The band recently released their sixth full length studio album, Beacons of Ancestorship, to much critical acclaim...
    "It's an enthralling journey" (The Observer)
    "A vivid, intelligent album by a singular band" (Record Collector)

    On the 31st August the band are also due to release a very limited edition 12" vinyl that features remixes of two tracks from Beacons of Ancestorship. In the late 90s Tortoise released a series of highly influential remix 12"s with remixers as diverse as Stereolab, Jim O'Rourke, Oval, Autechre, Unkle and Derrick Carter. It is no surprise that their return to the remix 12" format features other luminaries of the scene. Side A features none other than Eye from the amazing Boredoms doing a remix of the album's opening track High Class Slim Came Floatin' In. Side AA features the legendary dub/version master Mark Ernestus of Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound doing a version of the track Gigantes. This will be available at the London live show and will undoubtedly sell out extremely quickly.
    Here's the bit about someone you should know about!


    Colin Newman is the front man, rhythm guitarist and main tunesmith of legendary post punk band Wire. Since their formation in London in 1976, the four members of Wire have maintained and advanced a musical project which treats the creative potential of a rock band as a fluid, amorphous medium. As removed from self-conscious intellectualism as they are from the inherent conservatism of much rock music, Wire employ their unique, endlessly restless and risk-taking creativity to question every aspect of songwriting, recording and performance. They delight and disturb in equal measure, troubleshooting the circuitry of perfect pop, or patrolling the limits of focused experimentalism.

    In recent years, Colin has become Wire's premier back-room boy, responsible for mixing, post-production and authoring all Wire releases. He also runs the Pinkflag label, which releases new and archive Wire material, on behalf of the band. Wire have extensively toured in support of 2008's Object 47, an album which received fulsome praise...

    "All the compact joys of past Wire classics like 154 and Chairs Missing, but amplified and digitalized for the internet age" (Alternative Press)
    "Pleasingly this is Wire's best new music since their glory days in the late '70s" (Q)

    As well as his involvement with Wire, Colin has worked on many other projects. Along with releasing six solo albums, he's produced, arranged and remixed The Virgin Prunes, Minimal Compact, late French megastar Alain Bashung, Hawkwind, Dead Man Ray and Silo. Since the early 1990s, Colin has co-run the ground-breaking Swim label with his wife, Malka Spigel. The pair's collaboration extends to artistic projects too, the best known of which is Immersion; however, Malka and Colin work jointly on all Swim-released work under either of their names. (see

    Since early 2004, Colin has been a member of Githead, a band featuring Malka, sound artist Robin Rimbaud (of Scanner fame) and Minimal Compact drummer Max Franken. The band's third album is due for an October 2009 release it's predecessor Art Pop having received some of the best reviews of any release associated with Colin...

    "this is a reclamation of pop and rock music at their most atmospheric and beguiling" (The Wire)
    "With Art Pop, the avant rock supergroup Githead finally delivers, in abundance, on the promise of 2005's Profile" (The Independent)

    This year Colin also made his curatorial debut at Sled Island Festival in Calgary, Canada.
    Um. So basically the press release copies Colin's profile from the pinkflag website.
    Here it is... again...

    "Attempts to repeat end foolishly!"
    They should do an All Tomorrow's Party sponsored gig in London only and play
    Bastard Millions Now Dying for A-Z
    I guess with Peel dead and Mixing It axed, by default LJ has become the best thing on national radio.

    Radio 3 website says that tonight it is
    "Fiona Talkington with music from Bente Kahan, Sylvain Chauveau's band O and Anja Garbarek"

    No mention of Tortoise & that guy who doesn't like The Clash!

    New man

    Maybe 43 or 44

    The chessboard still has two unbalanced pieces
    so did this collaboration happen in the end ?
    Be nice if Colin could let us know the broadcast date.
    Seems odd just to email Ari so that he can add the info to a thread with a different heading.
    I'll ask Rowan at Thrill Jockey, maybe

    Radio BUT NO live transmission control freaks!

    Transmission date is 15th October.
    It seemed
    as if something were watching over it.
    Sorry for not commenting on this. Been busy with with preparation for the release of the new Githead album Landing. Actually the collab turned out way better than anyone could have expected... might lead to something you never know but right now too busy with other stuff..
    When will be Landing available?
    Please see - for all info on "Landing"
    Ah, yeah, would have made sense for me to look there - but thanks
    More from Thrill Jockey:

    When Tortoise and Colin Newman, two heavy-weights of underground music, went into the studio no one quite knew what to expect, but when the day was over both parties felt that the session had been amazingly productive and agreed that the resulting recording was something to be proud of.

    Here's what Dan Bitney from Tortoise and Colin Newman had to say...

    DAN: "This experiment could have gone wrong in so many ways, trying to basically improvise with someone you've never played with before...sometimes it just doesn't happen even with people you're used to playing with! I'm really happy with what we came up with. Colin was great to work with and I find it refreshing to make recordings that aren't 'fixed' with hours of editing, more of a 'that's what happened' recording experience."

    COLIN: "What I can say is this. I don't think here was any way in which anyone could have predicted if this would work or not, the approach was to expect zero that way disappointment would be best avoided! However, in truth it came out way better than anyone had a right to expect. The pieces are not developed, mainly taken after a single or no run through and mixed on the fly but there is enough in their basic energy to make one wonder if this is a project which may well have a life beyond the confines of a single visit to the BBC studios in Maida Vale.... A couple of the tunes have refused to vacate my 'internal walkman'.."

    You're excited right? hear what Tortoise and Colin got up to on that day in Maida Vale then tune in to Late Junction on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday 15th October at 11.15pm.

    The programme is also available to listen again for up to seven days after broadcast via the website at
    Renewed it fought
    Here's a little interview about this from Mojo. There should also be one on The Quietus soon.
    the session is available now as a download/podcast from the late junction webpage.

    i like it very much - a much gentler set than i imagined it would be for some reason.

    did anyboby record the Newman/Tortoise session? If so, would you willing to copy me a CDR of it? Willing to trade or find equitable arrangement.