Le Sacre Du Travail by The Tangent

Written by dbuzard

Artist: The Tangent
Title: Le Sacre Du Travail
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: June 24, 2013

What if someone wanted to set your life to music? Who would you trust to score your typical Tuesday? Who would lend dignity and insight to the mundane, the minutia, and the micro miracles that begins at the alarm clock and ends back at the pillow, all in five movements? If you picked Progressive rock legend Andy Tillison as your musical biographer for a day, you’d be next to ecstatic with the result.

Tillison is back in project mode for the latest release by The Tangent, Le Sacre Du Travail (The Rite of Work) and the project is a winner. Musically, Le Sacre Du Travail is prog all the way; the song structures are intricate and ornate. The Hammond organ and the jazzy flute groove easily with the synths and overdriven guitars and create a familiar yet modern tone throughout. Thematically, The Tangent has crafted a Post Progressive concept album for a post modern world. I understand that ‘Modern’ is not a popular philosophical viewpoint in progressive music but Andy Tillison realizes that very few of us spend our days fighting dragons in dystopian vision of middle earth.

Most of us are work a day people cruising along in a work a day life and that’s a concept that nearly all of us can identify with. We all have big questions bouncing around in our brains alongside the little headaches of just getting to work and putting up with the would be rock star in the adjoining cubicle. A whimsical cynicism ala 10CC permeates Tillison’s lyrics but does so skillfully, without demeaning the process of being a human (even though we are all like ants sometimes). And who hasn’t felt as if the drive time DJ isn’t just going through the motions with us? Steve Wright in the afternoon knows the answer to that query.

Exemplary musicians are the rule of the day on Le Sacre Du Travail. Keyboard player, composer, vocalist Andy Tillison is in great company here. Other modern progressive luminaries include: Jonas Reingold of The Flower Kings and Karmakanic on bass, Jakko Jakszyk (Level 42, King Crimson) on guitar and vocals, and Theo Travis of Soft Machine on wind instruments. Project newcomers, drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree)and vocalist David longdon are great additions. These contemporary players guide the listener along showing nods to the titans of the genre, ELP, Gentle Giant, and Supertramp and also incorporate post modern influences such as Toy Matinee and Eggs and Dogs.

There are precious few lo-fi progressive bands for a reason. The placement of and aural access to each note is crucial to the listening process of this music. The production here is immaculate and meticulous. The only cliché to be found on the entire album is the consistent use of the late 1990’s comically compressed and over processed guitar tone. That one personal divergence of tastes aside, I declare Le Sacre Du Travail to be among the finest of the modern progressive albums and a fine tribute to the proletariat.
Dave Buzard

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