A special (MEGA!) progcast, featuring Tad Wert, Kevin McCormick, Dave Bandana, and Brad Birzer. Nearly 3 1/2 hours long, we play Tin Spirits, SAND, NAO, Oak, Nosound, No-man, Memories of Machines, Sanguine Hum, The Tangent, Big Big Train, The Flower Kings, and The Bardic Depths. All of the music was chosen to impress Kevin, and we find out his reactions to it all. Additional bonus feature: Dave talks a lot about the making of the most recent The Bardic Depths album, Promises of Hope.
Hello everyone, welcome to the Spirit of Cecilia Progcast #2. Tad Wert and I host, and we’re thrilled to feature music by The Flower Kings, IZZ, Lifesigns, Tin Spirits, Kevin McCormick, The Tangent, Nosound, NAO, and Airbag. Enjoy!
First and most importantly we would like to wish you a happy and healthy 2022, we hope that you are safe and well and we send our love and good wishes to all of you wherever you may be.
We are absolutely delighted to announce that the 12th album from The Tangent “Songs From The Hard Shoulder” is now available for “special” pre- pre-ordering and is due for release on InsideOut in June 2022
This newsletter is being sent to fans of the band who have ordered Tangent albums directly from the band’s website previously or added their details to our mailing list.
There are 2 important things to note
1) Regular pre-ordering will be available nearer to the release date.
2) All Pre-orders made from fans in mainland Europe will be posted FROM WITHIN mainland Europe.
You can find out more about the album and different options for pre-ordering here at www.thetangent.org
There is plenty of information over on the website but Andy wanted to add a message especially for fans who are subscribed to this mailing list:
“We are so happy to be bringing you our twelfth album, now in our 20th year! Keyboards, Drums, Saxophones, Flute and vocals recorded by Steve, Theo and myself here at my studio in Yorkshire, Guitars recorded at Luke’s studio in Trowbridge UK and bass recorded in Jonas’ studio near Vienna in Austria. As usual it’s been a great ride and we look forward enormously to you hearing this very human feeling recording which is among our most emotional and heartfelt pieces yet. The album is involved and deep, and highly “composed” with three pieces over the 15 minute mark – one of which is an instrumental. We tie it all off with the bounciest of retro pop songs – and all copies pre-ordered will be the “special edition” which features a short bonus track which is our third cover version in our 20 year history. And it’s a prog classic.”
You can listen here to just over 5 minutes of an EARLY preview of tracks in progress for the new album. Rough mixes only with incomplete instrumentation here:
Those of you who buy the “Mega Fan” and “Pay the wages” pre-ordering packages will be given access to a drop box link which already contains substantially updated versions of some of the music and Andy would like those who have already pre-ordered to know that there is a new update to the drop box coming very soon so keep checking!
If you haven’t already, please consider joining The Tangent Facebook group
We are aware that many don’t enjoy the various social media sites but for bands, particularly during these socially distanced times, it is the easiest way to connect with fans, for musicians and fans to connect with each other and to enable people to help spread the word about their favourite music – We have a very friendly and active (but not annoyingly so) Facebook group for The Tangent and everyone is very welcome, Andy is around regularly to answer questions and join in general banter and from time to time the rest of the band pop in to add comments or answer particular questions. Facebook is generally the first place where you will get to hear about new music, get to be the first to check out links to new stuff and even get involved in/make suggestions for new ideas and plans for future Tangent and Andy related musical projects…he really does take people’s ideas on board. So, please don’t be shy we’d love to hear from you all! https://www.facebook.com/groups/alltangentmembers
(PS We never add anyone to our Facebook group unless they request membership themselves, please do not add friends without their permission thank you).
Don’t forget that apart from the web site Andy has his own Bandcamp page – The Tangent albums are on InsideOut/Sony music so not available on Band Camp but people who like Andy Tillison’s solo ambient electronica and Multiplex projects and his previous bands PO90 and GFDD might like to check out his band camp page… there are also a couple of Tangent fan releases and a live album or two that collectors and completists might be interested in….
Please support your favourite artists by buying from Bandcamp particularly on the first Friday of every month “Bandcamp Friday” when all fees and commission are waived. Bandcamp is one of the best platforms for buying music if you want to be sure of your hard earned cash going to the artist.
And finally thank you!
A huge thank you to everyone who purchased albums from The Tangent, Andy Tillison solo albums such as the new Kalman Filter album “Moons of Neptune” (we have very few copies left so be quick if you want one) and in particular the brand new Tillison Reingold Tiranti (TRT) Italian Prog album “Allium Una Storia”, the response was absolutely fantastic and so delighted were the guys with the enthusiasm from fans and fantastic media reviews that plans are in place for a second album, keep checking the website for updates and we will write again soon!
Thank you all as always for your loyal support of The Tangent and all its subsidiaries in whatever form that might take. We realise that the last couple of years have been hard on many of you and so even if you aren’t able to buy a special pre-order, or any pre-order at all, just knowing that you are out there, telling friends about the band or sending us messages of support, posting questions or reviews on the Facebook group, commenting on forum threads, joining in discussions etc. etc. really does make a huge difference to the band’s visibility and reach online.
Every little bit of action you take to give your support, in whatever way you are able, gives the band members a huge confidence boost which in turn feeds into their ability to create, write and play at the top of their game. Every little positive action counts and makes YOU a part of the music and a reason to keep making the records.
Love to you all from all of us at Tangent HQ
Stay well, stay safe!
~ Andy, Jonas, Luke, Steve, Theo and Sally x
This is the first of our Spirit of Cecilia Radio Progcasts, episode one–featuring music by Big Big Train, The Flower Kings, Galahad, IZZ, The Bardic Depths, Kevin McCormick, NAO, No-man, Wobbler, and The Tangent. All songs used by kind permission of the artists/labels.
And, with the fiery and enthusiastic commentary of Dave Bandana, Brad Birzer, and Tad Wert.
Among our topics: how much we miss David Longdon (RIP); if the Flower Kings are diverse in their musical offerings; if disco can be prog; just what the number 42 is about; if The Tangent simply rocks; what kinds of instruments Wobbler uses; how McCormick, NAO, and No-man owe something to Mark Hollis of Talk Talk; and just how much we love prog.
In the not so distant past, I had the opportunity (and, perhaps, the gall) to label Andy Tillison the “G.K. Chesterton of progressive rock.” As I listen to the latest release by Tillison’s band, The Tangent, I can only nod in approval at my earlier assessment. He has always been a master of story, but, on Auto Reconnaissance, he reveals himself as a master of story telling. Light your pipe, sip from your pint, and pull yourself up next to the fire. Tillison has several tales to tell, and he does so in the best way, as a friend rather than a teacher.
Auto Reconnaissance begins with the discovery of radio—not just its function, but it’s essence—on “Life on Hold.” It’s a short piece, by The Tangent standards, but it offers the perfect introduction to an album that demonstrates the wonder of life.
The second track, the second longest on the album, “Jinxed in Jersey,” tells the story—quite convoluted at times—of Tillison’s journey to the Statue of Liberty. Naturally, the story can be understood at many different levels, the literal but also the symbolic. If, on track one, the boy Tillison discovered the workings of radio, on track two, the adult Tillison discovers the realities and complexities of America. The renaissance—or was that reconnaissance?—continues.
The third song, “Under Your Spell,” has a Tears for Fears feel, akin to “Working Hour” on Songs from the Big Chair. Melancholic in theme, the song is tasteful to the extreme.
“The Tower of Babel,” track four, is the shortest on the album, but it’s intense and unrelenting with its disco-esque beat. A clever look at the techno-babble of the modern world, as the song’s title indicates, Tillison wonders just how we manage to speak to one another with so many types of technologies (where is that simple radio of track one!?!?) and so much noise in our modern whirligig of a very human (and very flawed) world. “The system is human, too!”
At nearly one-half of an hour long, “Lie Back and Think of England,”—a jazzy, pastoral meditation—provides the brilliant backbone to the album. Where are those hills and those dales? On this track, especially, Tillison proves his title as the Chesterton of the prog world. The song’s structure harkens back to the first two albums of The Tangent, and it is a gorgeous harkening, filled with passionate solos and musical lingerings and wild segues.
The final track of the album, “The Midas Touch,” provides the proper conclusion to such a complex album, offering a jazz-fusion odyssey.
The previous two The Tangent albums were deeply (and, at times, distractingly) political, but this album is appreciatively cultural. Indeed, it is Tillison and the band at its absolute best. Heartfelt, clever, tasteful (yes, I know I’ve used this word already in this review) and, most of all, intelligent, Auto Reconnaissance is a true work of art, taken as a whole and even analyzed in parts. Tillison proves that he remains England’s red-headed mischievous genius.
A review of The Tangent, Proxy (Sony, 2018).
I doubt if I’ll ever forget the first time I encountered The Tangent’s The Music That Died Aloneback in 2003. I came to them because of a notice that Roine Stolt was a part of it. At that point, I had not heard of Andy Tillison. From the moment I first encountered Tillison, though, I thought he was incapable of a misstep. If anything, I thought way too highly of him (that is, way too highly of any person. While I didn’t think he could walk on water, I had him rather close to being able to do so. Over the last fifteen years, I have explored every aspect of Tillison’s music—from The Tangent to his PO90 work to his various solo projects. I even had the privilege of spending several days with Andy and his beautiful and brilliant significant other, Sally.
But, back to The Music That Died Alone. That album, to this day, remains a masterpiece. The way that Tillison combined and fused the old and the new amazed me to no end, and it continues to do so. I can put that CD in the tray and enjoy it after God only knows how many listens. Each time I hear it, I hear something new and fresh. It would not be an exaggeration to state that it has been the soundtrack of my life over one and one half decades.
And, I have felt the same about several other The Tangent albums, but, in particular, Down and Out in Paris and London, Not as Good as the Book(I own two copies—one never opened, simply to protect the book that comes with it), and, most especially, Le Sacre du Travail. This last will always be an all-time favorite. If someone forced me to name my top albums of all time, it would certainly be in the top 10 and, very likely, the top 5. I know of no other rock artist—past or present—capable offering social criticism better than does Tillison. At his best, he is sublimely Chestertonian in his art.
This afternoon, my copy of Proxy, the most relent The Tangent album, arrived. Amen. I’d heard a promo copy, but this is the first time I’ve been able to listen to the album in all of its glory. And, it is rather glorious, especially musically.
The opening track, “Proxy,” tells a rather sordid tale of international diplomacy and manipulations in six parts.
The only way to describe track two, “The Melting Andalusian Skies,” is classy. The song sounds like something that could’ve been played in a nice nightclub, circa 1947. The war is over, and we, the listeners, want to find the good in what remains.
“A Case of Misplaced Optimism,” is really, really funky. This one might grow on me, but, at the moment, it somewhat eludes my understanding and my sympathy.
Another six-part song, “The Adulthood Lie,” is the highpoint of this album. Avoiding the political rants of the opening track to the album, “The Adulthood Lie” is Tillison at his socially critical best. Indeed, when it comes to writing lyrics about cultural problems and ideas, no one in the current world of music does better, as noted above.
The final proper track of the album is a re-write and re-release of the 2013 song, “Supper’s Off,” a criticism of those rock fans of the 1970s who became corporate bosses and lawyers. I’m curious to know why Tillison decided to remake this song. The version from 2013—much leaner than this one—was perfect as is. This 2018 version is certainly fine, but it lacks the raw energy of the original.
The final (bonus) track of the album is a excerpt from Tillison’s last solo album, recorded under the name of “Kalman Filter.” That album, Exo-Oceans, is excellent, but I’m not quite sure what it’s doing as a bonus here. A bit of marketing by an artist who hates marketing?
Tillison has become overly-political in his lyrics over the last two albums. On his last album, he claimed that those who believed in Brexit were Nazi-Hitler sympathizers. Not being British, I guess I don’t understand the issue well. In interviews, Tillison has described himself as an anarchist. I would presume that an anarchist would favor the breakup of large political entities such as the EU.
Maybe anarchism has a different meaning in England than it does here in the States?
Proxy, though, avoids the political rants of the previous album. Not surprisingly, as such, it’s much better. Let’s hope Tillison finds his way out of the political world and fully back into the world of art and social criticism.