Label: Empirical Music
‘Distraction Tactics’ - Tom Farmer ‘Substrate’ - Tom Farmer ‘No Service’ - Tom Farmer ‘Jebel Barkal (Communion)’ - Shaney Forbes ‘Big Step’ - Nathaniel Facey
Continuing the exploration of the themes of their critically acclaimed EP Indifference Culture, the follow-up Distraction Tactics opens with the title track by Tom Farmer. Unfolding with a disconcerting sense of disquiet before Nathaniel Facey’s unrelenting exploration of the track’s theme effectively incites hysteria, it echoes the increasingly familiar maelstrom of fake news designed to obfuscate, distract and sow division. Farmer’s ‘Substrate’ is an exploration of the fundamental question of consciousness. Based on the writings of cosmologist Max Tegmark, the composition is a tone row expressed in three different ways, symbolising the idea that waves, computations and conscious experiences share an intriguing ability to take on a life of their own, independent of their physical substrate. Taking us back to more earthly concerns, ‘No Service’ (Tom Farmer) is a tongue-in-cheek meditation on our modern- day dependency on mobile phone reception and internet connectivity. Written while waiting for a mobile phone to reconnect, it contemplates the vast amount of time we have collectively spent staring at spinning wheels, sand timers or ‘please wait’ screens. Shaney Forbes’ solo drum interlude ‘Jebel Barkal (Communion)’ is a contemplation on the communion and celebration amongst the Nubian people that would take place after the coronation of the ancient Nubian rulers at Sudan’s Sacred Mountain, Jebel Barkal. Finally, Nathaniel Facey’s ‘Big Step’ reflects on the excitement of risk-taking to achieve one’s aims – both in life and in jazz improvisation. The track gives each player space to improvise, with ‘groove’ as the jumping-off point and an initial melody led by the bass.
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