British electronic music producer Ollie Bown (Icarus, Not Applicable); Adrian Lim-Klumpes (Triosk, 3ofMillions) on piano, Rhodes, vibraphone and marimba; Peter Hollo (FourPlay String Quartet) on cello; and the duo Spartak (free improviser Evan Dorrian and singer/producer Shoeb Ahmad on drums and guitar respectively) team up for a third time in six years and produce the hybrid “Stateless”. In 2010, they had created “New Amsterdam”, three years later, “I”.

“Stateless” is a true hybrid album. It blends jazz beats (Oberon), electronic music components (Jindabyne) with a minimalist approach that sometimes climbs into a certain climax. It is not ambient music in the “relaxing” meaning of the word. It is more a succession of ambiances that brings the listener in all kind of different moods. There is also a glimpse of contemporary classical music in some parts of this album. On Masist Cau, piano chords mix with a beat built on many little sounds brought together. It isn’t art-rock, as no rock can be found here, but Tangents really is an artistic project.


The presentation text on their BandCamp page gives a few hints on how the music on “Stateless” is made: Sparse metal-coated drum hits stumble over glistening reverse vibes, Saharan guitar licks, Fender feedback and washes of filtered piano. Moments of acoustic jazz surface, flowing into stoic upbeat anthems, drenched with multilayered patterns of glitched strings.

A good starting point is Along the Forest Floor, which double bass line and strange humming is maybe more accessible than the other tracks of Tangents’ second full-length album. It is a bit more repetitive as well.

This album is made for music lovers who listen very carefully, under ideal conditions. Tangents’ music is one of refinement and details that a distant approach will not appreciate. The mood is generally pretty smooth, except for the mini-interlude Directrix, which is chaotic. Otherwise, long 6 to 12 minutes-long explorations will fascinate… or leave you cold. A very interesting part of the album comes near its end, with the Maze Crescent, parts 1 and 2, that combine for 10 minutes of dynamic music.

With this type of art-jazz music, it’s all or nothing. Either you appreciate it or bored with it. It depends on your music tastes, music knowledge and interest in new approaches.

tangents stateless lp

(Temporary Residence, 2016)

-Genre: experimental ambient art-jazz electro mashup
-In the same genre as Fred Frith

Buy the album on the band’s BandCamp page
Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on the label’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.