Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Release: Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd -- The Mathematics of War

I'm pleased to announce the release of our newest sonic adventure: The Mathematics of War. It's available digitally and as a limited-edition CD (physical discs out next week, I'm told!). It's some of the darkest and densest stuff we've done. All improvised, no overdubs, the usual highest standard of engineering and mastering by Rodger, and spectacular artwork and design from Jeff McLennan and James Buttery, who did such wonderful work on our previous release Who Doesn't Fade? Check out the new release, and others from our catalog, on Bandcamp... and let me know what you think!

From our press release:

Continuing to take the psychic temperature of a world gone mad, long-time musical
compatriots Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd return with their latest CD, The Mathematics of
War, a turbulent sonic landscape reflective of the 21st Century’s frightening surreality. With
Coleman wielding an increasingly vast array of electronic instruments, gadgets, and loops
pitted against Byrd’s battery of drums, percussion, and samples, the album makes a viscerally
brutal statement of force and conflict that is anything but easy listening.

While all three freely improvised tracks are darkly ruminative, a wide variety of sounds and
textures arise and fall away amidst the din, with hints of rock’n’roll’s radical redemption or the
deceptive calm of New Age synth drones providing a fleeting sense of false comfort, like
distant mirages in a vast, parched desert. And yet, for Coleman and Byrd, their music is
ultimately an expression of freedom and positive energy in the face of forces that would seek to
constrain them. “That’s what makes it related to jazz,” declares Coleman, “even if it doesn’t
sound like what most people think of as ‘jazz.’”

They didn’t set out to make an overtly ‘political’ record; according to Coleman, “the title was
derived from the cover photograph by Jeff McLennan which he called, ‘The Mathematics of
War in The Schoolyard,’ an extremely powerful image that dictated the rest of the visual
concept.” Even so, the music manages to live up to its packaging. “The album can definitely
be seen as a mental reaction to a renewed sense of angst and unrest around the world,” says
Byrd. “When they push that button, your ass gotta go!”

“I’m particularly pleased with how the CD jacket came out,” exclaims Coleman. “It is such a
pleasure to work with these fine folks all over the globe, like Jeff in Canada and James Buttery
in New Zealand. The end result goes far beyond anything I could have imagined on my own
and really makes it something special.” Rob “EoLoVoX” Clark, a college math teacher in
Wisconsin, was brought on board to help with the mathematical symbols and provided the
cryptic equation that appears throughout the artwork. As it turns out, physicist Sean Gourley
did some research on wars and found that just about all of them can be summarized in a single
formula: P(x) = Cx-a. “How’s that for The Mathematics of War?” quipped Clark.

The sheer length and unrelenting intensity of the tracks once again precluded a vinyl release —
in fact, the last track (“Zero Sum Game”) had to be edited to fit the album onto a single CD
(though the full-length track will be available for download on BandCamp). “I love vinyl,” admits
Coleman, “but it just doesn’t make sense with this music. Besides, I think CDs can sound very,
very good.” Engineered by Coleman in his home studio, you can hear for yourself on The Mathematics of War.

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