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After only two albums, Toe has already done a fair amount of growing, and the group's name change (from Toe 2000 to plain old Toe) is the least of it. On its self-titled debut, Toe didn't deviate too much from what you might expect of a Tortoise-related project. The presence Tortoise's guitarist and bassist, Jeff Parker and Doug McCombs, helped steer Toe's sound in a languid, fairly jazzy, mostly instrumental direction. On the group's second album, Variant, the now "2000"-less Toe sounds much less like Tortoise, in large part because Parker and McCombs play on only a few tracks. Instead, drummer/keyboardist David Pavkovic and vocalist Yoko Noge, both veterans of the Chicago jazz scene, steer the group's sound toward unexpected new horizons. These range from spastic vocal freakout sessions akin to those of that more famous Yoko, Ms. Ono, to Ovalesque escapades into quirky experimental electronics, to highly minimal percussion jam sessions. Eclectic and intriguing fare, to be sure.

"Ball" and "Bolo" each appear on the group's debut release. "Non-Variant" and "New" come from Variant.

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