Tangents are a restless group, always switching up to a new sound or dropping in unexpected elements in the middle of compositions. Jazz, electronica, post-rock, electro-acoustic improvisation and more besides all surface in the heady brew of Stateless. The vinyl edition of the album comes with an additional download of some remixes (including one by Four Tet). On Temporary Residence.
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We’re very good, you know. We really wanted to let this Tangents record sink in, so we decided to forget it existed for a couple of months and then review it -- kinda like when you digest your food without eating it. ‘Stateless’ is a slightly shaken but never stirred take on the post-rock of old, far less overtly jazz in aesthetic than Jaga Jazzist, a lot lower in key than your average Tortoise record and a bit less joyously doomsdaying than Do Make Say Think. It feels similar to those kinda bands, but more jamming, functioning with a bit more quiet, glitching out its home comforts from a room far too cramped.
“Jindabayne” is a lovely way for them to set tone, with little, absent-minded bass notes and swirling ambience occasionally breaking through the thick fog of pacey jazz drumming. From there, the record seems to strike a knotty balance between completely chilled and totally collapsing, with the hushed conflicts of “Oberon” -- walking bass, a tumbling rhythm, sideways-glancing strings and a glitching electronic segue that sounds like it’s trying to procure techno -- speaking to a band interested in more things than they have a combination of hands for. It’d be chaos, if they weren’t playing it so sweetly, always favouring a hint of melodicism and a cosy, rainy day production to keep the lid on things.
A tune like “Massist Cau” should hopefully dispel the ideas that these folks are making anything that especially different from the crowds of bands muddled up between post-rock and ambient: its driving acoustic rhythm and bent bass, counterbalanced by those absent-minded piano chords, is highly reminiscent of Ex-Easter Island Head and their hard-driven loveliness. It’s not that you’re gonna hear something new, with Tangents, just that they’re going to arrange it in such a beguiling way: at once they sound frantic and well-fed. Listen to them.
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