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 improvisation.
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.