"Standards," the fourth full-length recording from Chicago's Tortoise, boldly announces their return following 1998's TNT. Tortoise spent the bulk of 1998 and a portion of 1999 touring the world. Following tours of the U.S., Europe, South America, Japan, Brazil, and Australia, Tortoise members worked on other projects that occupied them until the spring of 2000 when they began to record Standards. In 1999 members of the band toured the US as the backing band for legendary Brazilian composer/singer Tom Zé's. Tortoise-members Dan Bitney, John Herndon and Jeff Parker worked fastidiously to record and tour in support of two full-length Isotope 217 albums. Parker also contributed to two records made under the Chicago Underground moniker, appeared in the film High Fidelity and lent his talents to a variety of other records. Douglas McCombs realized a full-length album and EP (due out January 2001) as Brokeback and recorded new records with Eleventh Dream Day and Pullman. John McEntire completed construction of his Soma Electronic Music Studios, composed and recorded music to the John Hughes film Reach the Rock and was still able to record and/or produce Stereolab, The High Llamas, The For Carnation, Smog and The Sea & Cake as well as Standards.