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Tangent, The: Going Off On Two (DVD/CD)

"Music for a different mindset", is the tagline that the Tangent has chosen and they don't disappoint prog fans, like me, who enjoy the epics. Yes, The Tangent is a band of storytellers, from another era, where stories were important to the music.

The Tangent for me, are a jazz influenced prog band that perfectly fills a void in music right between jazz and heavier prog. They have been a band since 2002, and have included several of prog rock's best musicians over the years, especially most of the Flower Kings. The band draws on the contrasts between our modern disconnected world, full of virtual reality, juxtaposed to the reality which surrounds us.

Today the band is made up of leader, Andy Tillison, on vocals, keyboards, and guitars; Luke Machin, on guitar and vocals; Tony "Funkytoe" Latham, on drums; Jonathan Barrett, on bass guitar; and Theo Travis, on saxophone and flute.

This DVD is set in the band's recording and rehearsal studio in Stockport, Cheshire, UK. Most of it was recording in one take. The film was produced by Paul Brow.

The Tangent's music is top notch. These are some of the best prog musicians in the UK, and they display their dexterity and talent throughout both the CD and DVD. The DVD is a great opportunity to see the band in action, in the way bands used to present themselves from the recording studio. The fan is invited to be a fly on the wall, to watch the band perform in a more personal way than a theater or arena could never duplicate. For fans across the oceans, who haven't seen the band live, it's a great chance to see them in action.

The band has included even more extras on this DVD to help explain their journey. Expanded band interviews that go in depth with each member about their beginnings as musicians and the technical effects which make the Tangent sound unique are included on the DVD. There is also a picture album.

The Tangent and FromUz are hopefully setting a trend with the inclusion of video along with their latest releases. This is one of the best music/video packages of 2011. Having the lyrics and technical information displayed in subtitles is a great new twist, providing the fan with the complete experience from the musician's vision.

With the introduction of 'The Mind's Eye', I'm really looking forward to 'Comm'!

This set is perfect for any fan and a great introduction for newcomers to the Tangent's sound.

'Where Are They Now?', from the album 'Down and Out in Paris and London', opens this CD/DVD package full of powerful keys, bass, drums, and lead guitar, with some fantastic sax and flute added to help launch the opening. Luke Machin's introduction opens brilliantly with his opening guitar solo. Then Tillison's keys, Barrett's bass and Latham's drums help set the music in motion. Travis switches perfectly between sax and flute adding just the right flavor to the piece as the vocal harmonies enter. Then Tillison opens with his first vocals, "Caught in the lights of the underpass, a guy who needs no name…". That sax from Travis really helps jazz up the sound. Each of the band members gets their opportunity to display their talents on epics like this. The video is well recorded giving each member a look, as this epic unfolds. After Tillison's keyboard solo, Machin delivers an excellent guitar solo. During the instrumental section of the song, the band provides a wonderful overfly video of the local countryside as the picture split screens showing the performance as well. Great effect and thanks for the short visit to your 'Green and Pleasant Land'!

'The Mind's Eye' was recorded in 2010, and will be available on their new album, 'Comm', when it is released this year. It opens with cool pipe organ – like sounds on keys, followed by synth/Mellotron sounds which really help to create a dark soundscape with which to meet Tillison's first vocals, "In my mind's eye nothing's moving". Then Machin performs an intricate guitar solo supported with Tillison's organ – like keys, solid bass from Barrett, and well placed drums from Latham. A great introduction for fans to the new album.

'Perdu Dans Paris' is also from 'Down and Out in Paris and London', and opens on video with the sites of Paris, the Arch of Triumph and the Eiffel Tower, with traffic rushing by on the thoroughfare . Then Tillison takes over with vocals and keys as the Eiffel Tower glimmers and shines in the light. Travis's sax solo is wonderful. More sights of Paris including Notre Dame as the music unfolds. Later, the other side of life is depicted in pictures. The music paints a great picture of the two sides of life in the 'city of life'.

'Paroxetine 20mg' is another track from 'Down and Out in Paris and London', which opens with some very cool keys as the bass and guitars help support the onslaught of an opening. Travis' sax is excellent throughout.

'A Sale of Two Souls' is from the album, 'Not As Good As the Book'. It opens with the best keys on the CD/DVD set, for me. Tillison sings, "Everywhere I go there are signs of autumn", as Travis' flute perfectly takes you to that place where the leaves change and fall, and nights get colder. Towards the end of the track, we even get a little Steely Dan, "Get back jack, 'Do it Again'", which then turns into a cool interlude with flute, acoustic guitar and keys. Another one of the best moments on the DVD.

'GPS Culture/The Music That Died Alone' brings together two epics from the albums, 'A Place In The Queue', and the band's debut album, 'The Music That Died Alone'. The synth sounding keys which open this track are just excellent. The flute and all instrumental solos are just amazing. 'The Music That Died Alone' was written almost as a protest to a time when prog was far from the ears of a major audience. Hopefully with this DVD/CD release it will find more fans who wish to explore the band's epic filled, critically acclaimed, debut album. The close to black screen is the perfect effect.

DVD only:
'In Darkest Dreams (Including 'After Phaedra')' is from the album 'The Music That Died Alone'. The launching guitars, bass, rolling keys, and drums that open this opus off to a start serve as a warning that this disc is far from over. A great showcase for everyone in the band's talents.

However, they saved the best for last as 'After Phaedra', is a track inspired by Tangerine Dream's album 'Phaedra'. The band plays this track as a computerized graphic presentation rolls in the split screen, after an amazing opening circular whirlpool effect fills the screen. This entire computerized graphic is one of the best parts of the whole video. But Tillison's keyboard and synth work adds compelling dimension to the visuals. The band joins in later . When the graphics take over the screen you are taken into another world.

Track Listing
1. Where Are They Now? (20:38)
2. The Mind's Eye (8:15)
3. Perdu Dans Paris (10:47)
4. Paroxetine 20mg (7:15)
5. A Sale Of Two Souls (7:51)
6. GPS Culture (7:00)
7. The Music That Died Alone (7:51)
8. In Darkest Dreams (including "After Phaedra") (21:25)**

Added: June 27th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2368
Language: english

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