Monday, April 22, 2024

To Follow Polaris due from The Tangent

To Follow Polaris is a new “full on” progressive rock album by The Tangent, set to be released on the 10th May 2024 via InsideOutMusic. That’s not necessarily a surprise, that’s what the band are known for. But at the same time, it’s something else too. As Andy Tillison joked, playing on the classic Jaws film strapline, “Well this time it’s actually no personnel”, so, more aptly it’s The Tangent (For One).

In a year when members of The Tangent could be seen onstage all over the world with Steve Hackett, Soft Machine, Karnataka, David Cross, It Bites, Cyan and others, plus on recordings by those artists and The Anchoret, The Michael Dunn Project, Argos and Retreat From Moscow, it became clear that there was not going to be time to get together for anything more than one gig in April 2023.

To that end, the band agreed that The Tangent’s leader/main writer Andy Tillison would keep the material coming and would make an album by The Tangent entirely alone. It would still be The Tangent. Just for one.

“Besides Which” Tillison said, “I’ve always wanted to do this, use what I have learned from Luke, Jonas, Steve, Theo and many other alumni and take it to final production. Now was the time!”

What transpired over the following year is in one sense an “absolutist” solo album and is entirely the work of one person in all aspects including artwork, layout, design, lyrics, composition, performance, recording, production, mixing, mastering and authoring. But in another sense, it’s totally Tangent. “I could not have begun to make this record without having had the experiences of working with the band. So, although the different instruments are not attempted to be played in the actual style of the normal lineup, they are inspired by the kind of things these guys do”

To Follow Polaris will be available as a limited deluxe collector’s edition CD mediabook (including bonus track and extensive 24-page booklet, gatefold 180g 2LP vinyl (also including bonus track), & as digital album. It will feature the tracks: ‘The North Sky’, ‘ A ‘Like’ In The Darkness’, ‘The Fine Line’, ‘The Anachronism’, ‘The Single (From A Re-Opened Time Capsule)’, ‘The North Sky (Radio Edit)’ with ‘Tea At Bettys’ as bonus track,

Produced between January and November 2023, the album features Tillison using his multiple keyboards system as normal, but adds to the mix his first ever released performance on bass Guitar and his second on stick driven (electronic) drums. Add electric and acoustic guitars and electronic wind controller and this is a full band recording in every sense of the word. A recording demonstrating Tillison’s lifelong influences for the likes of Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, Porcupine Tree, Groove Armada, Earth Wind & Fire, Roger Waters and his bands, Return To Forever, Deep Purple, Gentle Giant, Steely Dan and any band featuring the keyboard player Dave Stewart.

Conceptually Tillison claims the album is, “highly optimistic” but regular listeners to his work will anticipate correctly that this optimism will not be ill founded or over-easy and will be highly critical of obstacles to that optimism and the album will look as much into the dark as it does into the light. 

The album is intended to be thought of as a regular Tangent album – but not as the future of the band. It’s everyone’s intention to make the fourteenth album as The Tangent will be as a five-piece. 

Concurrent with news of the forthcoming album release (that can be ordered here) is the actual launch of new single ‘The North Sky’ taken from it that you can check out the video to right here at RAMzine.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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