Andy had this to say: "We wanted a song that could encapsulate our epic and cinematic style - but sort of compressed into a 7 minute piece instead of the 20 we work around when doing the larger format songs. 'Two Rope Swings' is a pocket symphony, 7 minutes that kicks off the album - almost like a little manifesto of what we do and how we do it. It's a story, it's a whole boatload of tunes, moods and styles. That's what we do. We're still not entirely happy. The Beach Boys are still beating us by miles with "Good Vibrations", likewise Radiohead with '2+2=5' both of which are less than half as long but with just as much content. We'll keep trying!"
The song was originally commissioned as a solo piece by Andy for the 'Harmony For Elephants' project, in which the images of leading wildlife photographer Lesley Wood were brought together with music by a variety of artists, including Steve Hackett. The Tangent version followed and features all members of the band prominently.
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.
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 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: