Distraction Tactics EP - Limited Edition CD

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distraction front .jpg
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Distraction Tactics EP - Limited Edition CD


1 - ‘Distraction Tactics’ - Tom Farmer

2 - ‘Substrate’ - Tom Farmer

3 - ‘No Service’ - Tom Farmer

4 - ‘Jebel Barkal (Communion)’ - Shaney Forbes

5 - ‘Big Step’ - Nathaniel Facey

Recorded 15/16 December 2017 at RAK Studios

Mixed by Alex Bonney and Empirical

Mastered by Pete Beckmann at Technology Works

Produced by Empirical

Artwork by Julia Soboleva

The second of our two-part, limited edition EP project.

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.

Distraction Tactics captures a rawer, highly improvisational facet of the quartet’s music, which is the result of a recording session soon after one of Empirical’s ‘now legendary’ (Time Out London) Pop-up Jazz Lounge projects.

These intense runs of gigs, which have seen the band perform as many as 24 sets over six days, gave the band the opportunity to experiment with new musical ideas during live performance. As Tom Farmer notes: ‘During our pop-ups, we play an enormous number of gigs over a short time. It’s always extremely tiring - but it’s also proved to be the perfect way for us to develop new material and build up to recording it.’

Distraction Tactics will be released on 3rd May 2019 with an official launch show at Ronnie Scott’s, London, on 6th May 2019. Distraction Tactics will be available as a limited edition CD and on all digital platforms. Further live performances will be announced soon.

For further information and interview requests please contact:

Claudia Kuss-Tenzer, Empirical - Management

Email: empirical.mgmt@gmail.com

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