The Netherlands duo of Ralph van Reijendam and Robbert Kok bring us their fourth album together as Tangent. Their sky-gazing ambience and gently unfurling beats have graced releases on Tympanik Audio and now n5MD (following 2016's "Collapsing Horizons" LP, a beautifully effective blend of dubby ambient and glitchy IDM styles) give us "Approaching Complexity". We continue to follow and enjoy their artistic development and their relationships with the world around us, now with recurring piano themes. Sounds like a winner. Available as a limited edition 180-gram orange vinyl LP or CD, on n5MD.
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Described by their press writer / editor as; “Netherlands based ambient-beats duo Tangent” -- well, you get the gist of what they’re about from that little sound-bite-ette. Appetite sufficiently whetted, all hungry for more? Now on their fourth album proper, the Tangent boys (Robbert and Ralph or R+R for short) do their sound engineering, sound designing and drum sounds on a new disc that affords a very pleasant, breezy and feathery listen, if you like those sorts of things.
Lush melodies play out across widescreen panoramas permeated by synth beds, piano keys and other assorted acoustic instrumentation whipped together to super-fluffiness. A sweet confection that even Nigella might baulk at is then topped with cream and the ol' classic cherry on top: a sprinkling of glitch ‘n a dollop o' reverb. The muted beats kick in on track 3 of the CD (track 2 on the LP); ‘Awaken’ is a paean to early morning half-awake states, that kind of dreamy “not sure if I’m conscious yet” nice feeling that lasts maybe 40 seconds then is swiftly disturbed by the rude dawning that it’s a Thursday morning and you have to get up and get your bus into Leeds city centre in the murk and mid-October drizzle in half an hour.
As we then approach further complexity -- alluded to in the album’s title -- and on the title track, a sparse arrangement of electronic haze, misty melodies and stuttery, staccato pulses ushers in the thought that not all is as pretty as first seemed to be… That’s changes in season, always insisting themselves upon you with their descending sullen moods, swaying branches of dripping tones and decay. Then all was darkness. Black, black… Sorry. Where was I? It’s a nice record, this. It’s growing on me before it all withers away again, like a distant memory I’ll one day completely lose my grasp of.
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- Approaching Complexity by Tangent
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