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The Tangent - 'Le Sacre Du Travail' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4d/c5/73/The-Tangent-12-1378216210.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     September 03, 2013    
 
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This album is the most accomplished in an already tremendous The Tangent catalogue

Little comes easily for The Tangent, a myriad of members coming and going over the years, the prog-sters veering from one near ending to another. However what has remained throughout is that the band’s mainman Andy Tillison has without exception created captivating, thought provoking music. The last time we heard from this outfit guitarist Luke Machin was firing the beast’s belly, bassist Dan Mash also jumping on board replacing the long-standing Jonathan Barrett. Not long after, these two lads moved on to form Maschine, reducing The Tangent down to basically a one man band. Unfazed, Tillison gathered some faces new and old to record his first completely conceptual work in the shape of the uncompromisingly wonderful, ‘Le Sacre Du Travail’, which translates to The Rite Of Work.

On board for their second (or more) stints are guitarist/vocalist Jakko M. Jakszyk, sax and flute master Theo Travis, and The Flower Kings bassist Jonas Reingold. Two new Tangentees also appear, Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison adding his percussive weight, while Big Big Train singer David Longdon boosts the vocals. The mix of old and new rivalling any previous line-up this band has boasted.

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Most of this outfit’s previous albums have had strong lyrical “themes” running through them, however Tillison has finally gone completely conceptual, basing ‘LSDT’ round a typical day in the life of a typical person. The final analysis being that we are all ants rushing about filling the roles demanded of us ad infinitum. Not exactly the most uplifting concept, but then Tillison is never exactly a glass half full sort of guy... however it certainly gives him the scope and dark inspiration to pinpoint the futility of much of what we do every day. Musically it offers The Tangent the room to expand their remit, while still sounding reassuringly like the band we’ve come to love over the years. This leaves ‘Le Sacre Du Travail’ having the feel and structure of a classical, yet electric piece, sliding by in “movements” rather than songs, flute adding floating punctuation to the more expected progressive soundscapes.

Vocally Jakszyk, Longdon and Tillison all bounce and harmonise off each other, the end results being the strongest vocal display this band has produced. Musically things are familiar and different; jazzy undercurrents, fluid styles and sublime instrumentation sprinkling an assured class across supremely constructed and realised tracks. Only on a few occasions do the more expected keyboard motifs and choruses appear, edging into view on ‘5th Movement: Evening TV’, although the journey through biting lyrics, shimmering vocals, perfectly performed percussion and one moment sublime, the next unsettling brass, guitar and keys, is a joy from start to finish. In truth the results are quite magical and I’d possibly even go as far as to suggest that with the classical embellishments from Tillison raising the music even further, this album is the most accomplished in an already tremendous The Tangent catalogue.

Steven Reid

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