A Highly Rewarding Outing: SLOW RUST from The Tangent

The Tangent, SLOW RUST OF FORGOTTEN MACHINERY (Insideout Music, 2017).  Tracks: Two Swings; Doctor Livingstone; Slow Rust; The Story of Lead and Astatine; A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road; and Basildonxit.

tangent slow rust
The antithesis.

Andy Tillison is not a happy man.

From the art work, to the vocal work, to the lyrics of this latest The Tangent album, SLOW RUST, Tillison has embraced a critical response to the rapidly growing and evolving fascistic, fascist-lite, and insular movements of the western world over the last several years.  As artist, as man, and as thinker, Tillison hopes to stay the dark trajectory of the West or even, God willing, reverse it.  While the great red-headed man of prog mischief has never backed away from controversial viewpoints, he’s rarely been this explicit.

Even the album cover makes one pause.  Previously, Tillison has joked that he represents the dark side of prog, the antithesis, in particular, to Big Big Train, and the cover seems to project this rather profoundly, as a (presumably) single Muslim mother walks along dilapidated railroad tracks, holding the hands of her two daughters.  The once majestic train has derailed, and the crossing sign (the closest thing to the viewer of the album) reads “go.”  Clearly, several things have gone very, very wrong.  There’s no hedgerow in the distance, only a ruined, collapsed, and spent civilization.  There’s some blue sky showing, but it’s obscured by the ruddy reds of smoke and grit floating all too freely in a broken and war-torn world.

Continue reading “A Highly Rewarding Outing: SLOW RUST from The Tangent”

Rush and The Tangent: Influences and Speed

This morning, Andy Tillison, the mighty and mischievous redhead of the prog world, posted this wonderful essay on how much Rush has influenced him and his music.

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Delayed yesterday owing to the highly unpleasant news about Jonas – and only because I know he’s on the mend – here is the FOURTH of the albums I have chosen to represent some of the influential albums on The Tangent’s career. Once again to stress that this is not a chart, a “best of” – nor is it an effort to say or imply that The Tangent sound like this. Because today – i do not think we sound anything like this band, who (like the previous artist) hail from Canada

rush moving pictures
Perhaps THE greatest album in prog history?

So far my choices have been street credible and artistically laudable I think – and there will be those who heave a sigh of disappointment when they see that I chose an album by Rush. Indeed, I spent many years not having a great deal of time for this group and they didn’t really hit me until the mid 80s. But when they did… they did.

What I find so appealing about Rush – is something that Sally had also identified, independently of me before either of us met.. and that to us – to try an explain, is the MOTION in which Rush songs set themselves. Where many progressive bands take a stand on the hilltops- taking a view of the broader vista, Rush are always IN the landscape, travelling through it – usually at some speed! They’re looking at the hills that others are standing on – as they whizz past gas stations and motels, steel works and a very very familiar real world environment.

Continue reading “Rush and The Tangent: Influences and Speed”

The Tangent: SLOW RUST OF FORGOTTEN MACHINERY–Album information

tangent slow rust

FROM INSIDEOUT music MAY 9 2017

The Tangent, the progressive rock group led by Andy Tillison, have announced the release of the first new music since 2015. Their new ninth studio album ‘The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery’ is set for release on 21st July 2017. The line-up for this album once again features Tillison on keyboards, vocals (and for the first time on a Tangent record – drums), Jonas Reingold on bass, Luke Machin on guitars and vocals, and Theo Travis on sax and flutes plus new member Marie-Eve de Gaultier on keys and vocals. There are also guest appearances from author/playwright and Chumbawamba founder Boff Whalley on vocals, and upcoming DJ/producer Matt Farrow.

Band leader Andy Tillison had this to say: “Roger Waters did prove the ability of Progressive Music to act as a vehicle to communicate ideas about the current world scene. In both Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut” and his “Amused To Death” albums, Waters set a challenge to others in the genre. A challenge which has not been frequently accepted.”

The album sees The Tangent in political commentary mode once again – this time often focussing on the horrendous plight of refugees from war torn parts of the world – and the way in which they are treated by the West, and in particular by the tabloid press. The album laments the new trend in building walls and defending borders across the world yet takes time to look at the breakup of friendships and other more personal issues – along with a song about the fate of wildlife in the modern consumer world.

And it’s a Progressive Rock Record. Full of intricacies, long developed pieces, challenging arrangements and virtuoso playing from all members. New sounds and styles (the band have brought a DJ on board for some sections) – new voices and techniques (first female vocals in The Tangent since the “Not As Good As The Book” album 10 years ago). A new producer in the form of Luke Machin whose open and deep/clear sound is a major factor of this album, a new drummer in the form of Andy Tillison who decided at long last (after drumming for 30 years) to let his own performances guide the rest of the band rather than adding another musician later. And after 13 years of asking, Jonas finally agreed to play some double bass in a song where Luke also plays some Scat guitar and Andy does a full on drum solo.

“The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery” also features stellar artwork from Marvel / DC Comics artist Mark Buckingham. The sleeve of the album is totally based on the music it contains and was especially created for this project.

The album will be available on limited digipak CD, gatefold 2LP + CD, and digital download, and you can find the full track-listing below:

Two Rope Swings
Doctor Livingstone (I Presume)
Slow Rust
The Sad Story of Lead and Astatine
A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road
Basildonxit

The band will head out on tour in support of the new record, once again joining forces with Sweden’s Karmakanic to present albums by both bands. The full list of dates is as follows:
Aug 26th 2017 – Bierkeller, Reichenbach, DE
Sept 1st 2017 – 2 days of Prog +1 Festival, Veruno, Italy
Sept 9th 2017 – The Boerderij, Zoetermeer
Oct 8th 2017 – SUMMERS END Festival, Chepstow, UK
Oct 21st 2017 – Progtoberfest, Chicago, USA
Oct 22nd 2017 – Shank Hall, Milwaukee WI, USA
Oct 24th 2017 – Token Lounge, Westland MI, USA
Oct 26th 2017 – Roxy & Dukes, Dunellen NJ, USA
Oct 27th 2017 – The Regent Theatre, Arlington MA, USA

Look out for more information in the coming weeks!
The Tangent online:
www.thetangent.org
https://www.facebook.com/groups/alltangentmembers/

INSIDEOUTMUSIC ONLINE:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.myspace.com/insideoutlabel

Visit the new Insideout Shop:
www.insideoutshop.de

Latest Tillison/Tangent News

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Posted by Andy Tillison an hour ago:

So at long last there will be a chance to see the much vaunted album sleeve tomorrow – Mark Buckingham‘s art for this sleeve is absolutely stellar. The dropbox for pre-preorders will be updated with some new excerpts from the album and we’ll have something for everyone to hear whether they have ordered or not. Shortly after that we’ll hope to get regular pre-orders going. I’ll be around this page tomorrow from 2.00 pm UK time and be up for any questions etc from that time onwards…. Hope to catch some of you tomorrow!

2017 might very well go down as the greatest year for prog, ever.  Very excited.

No Luggage Allowed–Andy Tillison/The Tangent

The Tangent no 7
The Tangent’s masterpiece, THE RITE OF WORK (2013)

Though perhaps not totally polite, I will admit my shock that this album isn’t discussed more among serious proggers.  To my mind, prog really doesn’t get any better or more innovative than this.  Though The Tangent is always extraordinary, this is The Tangent at its absolute best: weird; twisty; intelligent; cutting; affirming; angular; and organic.

My favorite part of the album, part VII of the third movement, “Afternoon Malaise”:

I shear the bolt, he turns the screw
We all have our part, and there’s one for you
And we’re all alone, yet surrounded by peers
Try to make our mark as we work off the years … crawling, marching

And we keep our homes if we pay our tax
I ask myself, “Just who struck that deal and just how far back?”
And some work for fortunes, some work for a dime
And some work for pensions, and some just do their time
And some of ’em build empires and some bring them down
Some work for recognition, ain’t we all just the clowns?

‘Cos you can’t take it with you
There’s no luggage allowed
No you can’t take it with you
No matter how rich or proud
Your kids will sell it off on Ebay
For God’s sake don’t waste their time
‘Cos you can’t take it with you
You can leave just a little bit behind

Andy Tillison/The Tangent News

Andy posted this two days ago on Facebook.  My apologies for not getting it up on Progarchy sooner.  My excuse: I’m on spring break!

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So here’s where we are right now.

“All is safely gathered in” as the great English harvest hymn proclaims. Just over a week ago Theo Travis was up here in Yorkshire having a lot of tea and recording all his parts for the new record… the final bass sections arrived from Austria where Jonas is currently recording and the record is now in the mixdown stage.

This time it’s gonna be completely different in procedure. I decided that it was time to have a change in how we produce our records and after Luke’s excellent work for us on “A Few Steps” decided that it was time to hand over the reins to a guy who has been a colleague and friend of mine for nearly a decade now. Luke threw himself into helping me with the production of “Comm” and in the years since then I think that his talents in the production department have advanced so much that it would be senseless to ignore them in favour of satisfying my own desire to do the work myself.

Rather than do a kind of “shared” production, I decided that Luke should totally “have the Conn” as they say in all good submarining films and “Star Trek.” That was, of course, if he accepted the job – and I’m very pleased to say he did.

The album has been composed for months now and was all put together here in Yorkshire on my PC system (other than guitars, basses and Marie’s vocals) A couple of months ago, everything was normal… but then came the major task… we had to migrate the whole session, lock stock and barrel from a PC in Yorkshire to a Mac in Brighton running a totally different recording system. I’ll just take some time to explain what this involves….

One way we COULD have approached this was by me submixing a Drum track, bass track, keys track and guitars track etc… so that Luke could do a mix of – well… er… what i had already mixed. After a few discussions we decided that this isn’t what we wanted to do – we wanted Luke to have the whole enchilada available to him so he could actually do a real mix as is if had the whole multitrack archive..

So – the procedure started – of taking every single instrument, every sound, every vocal line, every drum, cymbal, hi hat and sound effect an making a full stereo or mono file of just that. In the case of Slow Rust this meant generating a 26 minute long 24 bit wav file for more than 60 instruments or microphones. Then sending these 60 half gigabyte files over the internet.

This would have all been a lot easier if I’d been a Mac user, but that’s not the case, so this way was the only way to give Luke the true freedom of the mix.

For me it’s been a weird and unsettling experience. It’s the first time that I have ever taken my hands off the wheel in one of our projects. But now, as the results start to come in, I am delighted with the way it’s all sounding – and indeed am forging a relationship with the music of this album that isn’t as tainted by my frustrations of having had to mix it. Luke understands my ideas so well, knows what I’m after yet introduces new techniques and ideas that were beyond my normal experience.

Of course I am still involved in the mix – I suggest tweaks, modifications, like ideas, reject ideas… ask for things to be done etc… but this is more of an “executive” role than the one I have played since the beginning. It’s allowed me to spend more time on the composition and playing and keep my head clear right to the end of the process.

Couple of weeks from now it will be all done.. and in July – hopefully you’ll hear the fruit of our labours. The content of the album is very much “an album I wanted to make” rather than a career move or an attempt to solidify our position in global rankings. I started writing it in 2014 while on tour with The Tangent and Karmakanic. A lot has happened since then – both to me and to the world. When it’s finally done. I’ll tell you more.