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(67:36, Inside Out Music)
Can The Tangent really be back with their tenth album? Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about Andy Tillison and his exciting new band Parallel or 90 Degrees, which also featured a young musician called Guy Manning. They were both there at the beginning of this band as well, although Guy is now heavily involved in other groups, and there have been some changes in the line-up since the last album. Of course, Andy Tillison (Po90/Kalman Filter) is still there providing vocals and keyboards, while Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings/Steve Hackett Band) is still there providing bass as he has since the very beginning. Theo Travis (Soft Machine/Travis-Fripp) long ago replaced David Jackson on Saxophone and flute, while we have some newbies in guitarist Luke Machin (Maschine/Francis Dunnery Band) and drummer Steve Roberts (Magenta/Godsticks), plus there is a special guest in the guise of Goran Edman (Karmakanic, Yngwie Malmsteen band). Andy always used to be very heavily influenced indeed by Peter Hammill and VDGG, but these days he has moved much more into the Canterbury scene, with Egg and Hatfield & The North being major influences, combined with Camel. The result is an album which in many ways feels very dated, while there are some sections on the title cut which could have been heard at a Pontins holiday camp in the Seventies, as well as some tunes from cinema advertising from the same era. But this album is much more than just a collage of different sounds and styles, with Hammond Organ sounds washing through the music and a bass so deep and solid that one feels it is possible to sit on the notes and fly around the room as they reverb out of the speakers. Lyrically this is one of the most interesting albums I have heard in a while, with words which are far more cutting than the music. Track five is just under ten minutes long, “Supper’s Off”, and even the title alone lets the listener know they are in for something a little out of the ordinary. A million years ago Andy could be found earning a crust engineering for obscure and very heavy bands at a studio, but through the last thirty years he has continued to innovate and create great music, and this is one of the most enjoyable albums of his I have ever come across. Timeless, dated, modern, superb.
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