Reviews

Pagan Dawn Magazine
BY ANDY STOUT

This production is a bit of a multimedia hybrid: you can either look at is as a book of photography with a CD, or reverse your focus and see it as a CD with a book attached – liner notes that got a bit out of hand. But that would be to do it a disservice: it works at its best (and its best really is very very good) when, appropriately enough, both elements are put together.

Musically this is fine stuff. Created by Stephen Paine from the prog/symphonic-metal outfit Legend, it is, for want of a better description, multi-instrumental electronica. Not everything in there is a synth, far from it, but it traces a strong line back to the pioneering 70s releases from the likes of Jarre, Oldfield, and Tangerine Dream – even the minimalist orchestral works of Glass and Reich – though with a notable world-flavoured, folkloric and infectious rhythmic semblance all of its own.

It’s possibly that, along with the fact that its production has got a clarity that you’d normally associate with much larger budgets, that makes it feel quite so current. As it steps through the elements — Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit — this never feels like an album that belongs in the past but is one instead that stands on the shoulders of giants to reach that little bit higher.

And yes, it is that good and that deserving of the praise. Jarre himself has recently returned to form with the stunning Electronica 1: The Time Machine, and while the opulent soundscapes of Elemental Tangents veer far more to the prog and post-rock spectrum in many cases throughout the record — just listen to Simon Thorne’s elegant guitar solo on Fire — it updates a classic sound genre to the same extent, though in a totally different direction. Or you could twin it loosely to Pink Floyd’s recent Endless River: it really is capable of keeping some very illustrious company indeed.

Visually it’s stunning too, Tracey Swain’s evocative photographic compositions providing an arresting counterpoint to the audio and helping introduce a pronounced meditational aspect to proceedings: opening you wide in places to contemplate immense vistas, drawing you into the nurturing Earth at others.

If I had one quibble it would be that there’s not a coffee table version so that you can dwell a little more extensively on the imagery, but taken separately both elements of Elemental Tangents are rather special. Put them together and you have something quite remarkable that you will be both listening to and looking at a lot as the years unwind. Hopefully, until Swain and Paine produce another project at least…


ShropRocks July/August Floreat Salopia Issue 3

Elemental Tangents are a duo whose material is set to bridge the gap between music and visual creations. So it's worth pointing out the offerings on this creative CD are Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit, all speak out to the soul through Stephen Paine's exceptional composition.

There is something almost Zen-like in the quality of music. Pensive and hypnotic, yet expansive and graceful. This is not background fluff, this is quality music. It is sound that will guide you to that far away place, your inner sanctum or just somewhere you have always wanted to be, if only in your heart.

The CD is accompanied by a hard back book with stunning photography and sublime poetry created by Tracey Swain, and this keeps the attitude in the right direction; a positive direction where all things feel as if they will somehow turn out ok, despite current happenings. The smooth, out-of-the-way drums add to that pace.

Paine focuses on music that is light, spacious and ethereal, the music offers a sublime tapestry of soothing electric guitars, elegant keyboards, flowing drums and bass. "Peaceful" would be the best word to describe the mood of this album; the music is so serene and uplifting that it will lull you into a state of complete comfort. The melodies have an improvised, non structural feel, which would make this good music for massage or healing work.

The biggest thing I got from listening to Elemental Tangents is that no matter how grey today seems to be, I know tomorrow things will be bright again because they always end up that way.

ShropRocks.com P39


Greenmantle Magazine

Music representing the natural elements: a difficult mix to appeal to differing tastes. Add photographic imagery to the presentation and the mix can either turn into a bland mess or merge into an interesting and pleasing kaleidoscopic vision. Thankfully, Elemental Tangents has emerged as the latter. Capturing the elements in original and striking images

It must have been daunting for writer/photographer Tracey Swain, but she has managed to represent the various aspects of air, water, fire, earth and spirit in a series of colourful and often moody photographs. To enhance the vision, Stephen Paine (prime mover of Pagan rock band Legend) has created a backdrop of music to enhance the experience, engaging aural with the visual impressions. The result is a beautifully produced package of book and accompanying music CD.

Both artists are perfectionists, a fact that becomes obvious in the realization of this project. The music is excellent, as we have come to expect from Paine, and it’s easy to mistake segments of it for Pink Floyd or Mike Oldfield. Projects such as this can become insipid New Age Muzak(tm), but Steve has held onto his progressive roots and kept the music fresh and fluid, evolving the mood of the element presented - from quietly meditational to deeply inspiring.

Pictorially, Tracey has also shown the range within each element, fire, for example, as a roaring blaze of fireworks or a warming hearth; water a tsunami or a refreshing spring. Music and visuals work together to great effect. Ideally, the book would be a much larger format, allowing the visual aspect to be grander, but no doubt cost was an issue and the affordable price won out.

A worthy and interesting addition to both your library and music collection; something to be enjoyed on many levels.

- Paul Pearson


Amazon MP3 Download


Blissfully chilled after hearing
Byn-smith-0178
Great music for meditation, healing or just creating a feel good relaxing mood. Each track embodies it's title perfectly, really pleased with it. If I were to compare it with anything
I would say if you like Enigma, Mike Oldfield or Jean Micheal Jarre then this is for you.
Would recommend. •••••