Specifically designed to be played on shuffle and yield a completely unique experience each time, Aidan Baker’s audacious monsterpiece The Spectrum of Distraction takes a nod from Zappa’s technique of “xenochrony” and runs it though the digital age via the shuffle aspect of CD and MP3 players. 98 (!) tracks spanning two discs make for an incredibly varied landscape on each listen; with pieces ranging from just a few seconds to over seven minutes, there is no shortage of diversity. Hallucinatory dreamscapes weave into frantic noise into dubby passages into chilled-out jazz into psychedelic grooves into an oppressive industrial crunch into a hip hop bop into almighty sludge dirges and almost everything else the kitchen sink offers. Start to finish, through and through, nowhere else is it possible to experience anything quite like Baker’s truly enthralling The Spectrum of Distraction.
Well-known as a core part of prolific heavyweights Nadja, Baker is backed here by an impressive array of notable drummers who’ve cut their teeth in the likes of Swans, The Jesus Lizard, Slowdive, Killing Joke, Godflesh, Jesu and many more. He began the project in 2009 by soliciting drum tracks and loops, ending up with roughly six hours of material from 18 different percussionists, then recorded guitar and bass to go along with them throughout the winter of 2010. The mass of content was scaled down to the 96 slices (spanning two hours) that appear on this pair of discs.
The Spectrum of Distraction is housed in a beautifully illustrated 2xCD gatefold pack; the complete six-hour set of individual sessions is included as a free digital download.