The Tangent Project plays with the internalized classicism of musicians who have been listening to Spacemusic even in their sleep. For the duo of Jeff Coulter (synthesizers, sequencers) and Harrison McKay (guitar) music best provides the visionary gateways that open on to bigger worlds. Their studio CD Surface (70'48") is a serious work that plunges the mind of the listener into deep space. An album as good as its best parts, Surface is meant to fire-up the imagination as well as comfort and inspire. Their four detailed electronic tone poems hold nothing back. While certified synth-wiz Coulter creates a foundation of shifting sonic textures and skipping sequencer runs, McKay's expressive guitar leads expand and recede. Delightfully processed and rounded, his cerebral performances move from prog-inspired virtuosity to gentle ambient sighs. The pair keeps their sonic weirdness in check with a range of airy, hallucinatory aural designs and a beautiful union of sounds. An equal amount of compositional rigor and free-form experimentation went into these four seemingly straightforward musical head-trips. Each one relates its own vivid atmosphere and mood - communicated on a cosmic scale. Surface is everything one desires from great Spacemusic: exhilarating, startlingly fresh and rewarding upon repeated listening.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 22 October 2009