Aussie five-piece Tangents are purveyors of a similar kind of jazzy, instrumental post-rock to Tortoise; there are similarities with Four Tet’s electronic plunges into these styles as well. On New Bodies they are comfortable shifting between the lot within one tune - all the way to outright jazz improv as well - with superb drumming and overall impressive results.
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Lovely Tangents started their band a little too late: if post-rock was still having the renaissance it enjoyed back in the day, we’d all be fans of their Aussie meanderings, loving the jittery stillness they perform with all our hearts. At Norman, we’re huge fans: there’s something in the way they move their jazz fusion elements alongside neo-classical serenity that makes ‘New Bodies’, in particular, more than just an instrumental workout.
It’s their best record to date, full of the patient surprises that make their sound such a beguiling contradiction. This stuff moves with the melodic ideas of Jaga Jazzist and the supreme calm of Dirty Three, the instrumentation melancholy and meditative with fidgeting beatwork begging it all to get going: on “Lake George” alone you can hear the guitars shimmering and the strings lamenting as a drumbeat wanders around before exploding into something like Radiohead’s “15 Step”. Where climaxes are usually quiet into loud, in this genre, for Tangents they’re patience into disarray, songs suddenly exploding with energy the way a walk sometimes breaks into a run.
A sound so watery and introspective has no right solidifying like this, turning into the hard stuff without second thought. “Immersion” starts like something out of the Donnie Darko soundtrack, its distant piano melody quickly finding a spot amidst wayward cymbal percussion and loitering ambient debris. They take phenomena, memory, brain stuff, and convert it into body music. Rarely has a band got me so caught between my head and my heart.
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- New Bodies by Tangents
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