Recommended by us on 16th March 2012.
In May 2011, Asheq Akhtar began recording ‘The Instrument’ using theatrical improvisational techniques learnt
from his appearance in Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing’s debut feature film, ‘Self Made’. Three tracks in
and Akhtar went to India to spend time in Karnasubarna: the village his family originally hail from. Using the
history of partition, civil war and migration, Suborno was born. ‘The Instrument’ is not a reference to the
guitar, rather the term is used with regard to the body, and how an actor utilises action in the context of
The track listing is the very order the songs were recorded in - interrupted by Akhtar's trip to India (the
reflective Flights being the first recorded on his return). Each track was recorded in Akhtar’s living room - so
the sounds of sirens around the estate, aeroplanes passing overhead, a cat, and the creaking chair are all
included as part of the environment – the moment. Alongside these noises, ‘The Instrument’ is comprised of
two acoustic guitars bought from second-hand stores, some household items and an Ektara bought in Kolkata
(the national instrument of Bangladesh as used on ‘The star with only one string’). Vocal samples recorded in
Murshidabad, Karnasubarna top and tail the spiralling, train-like journey of ‘DRRMBSL’.
It is ultimately family that is at the very heart of ‘The Instrument’ and Akhtar’s daughter was born soon after
the final mix of ‘Division / Separation’ was sent for mastering.
The journey continues.
This release is available in limited edition 200 x LP and download.
"A quietly cinematic record, filled with understated peaks and fertile silences, its compositions appearing either
beautifully delicate and atmospheric, hypnotic and minimal or fragmented and hectic, caught between
experimental folk and urban blues." The Milk Factory.
And when he smiled.
An uncertain evisceration of nothing.
The star with one only one string.
Routine. Attack. Creativity.
Division / Separation.
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