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album sounds

Listen to samples and full-length edits of every track from Disruption Theory. To hear non-album tracks, remixes, and other material, please visit the sound archive.
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a crash course in theoretical disruptives (v. 2.0)
A short "trailer" featuring excerpts of every track from Disruption Theory. (This is version 2.0 of the Crash Course, newly uploaded in March 2001.) Crash Course RealAudio Stream

Crash Course mp3 download (2.5 MB)


disruption theory
All six tracks from the CD (which runs a total of 56:29) are represented below, in both streaming and downloadable excerpts. "Walking Stick" and "Signify" are also available in full-length edited versions, which are considerably shorter than the album versions.

Next to each title, you'll find the length of each track as it appears on the album (not to be confused with the length of the sound samples) and its tempo (bpm, or "beats per minute"), some quick "What's it sound like?" comparisons, and commentary on the story behind each selection. Streaming RealAudio samples of tracks are provided by Guitar Nine Records and/or CD Baby, both of whom carry Disruption Theory for sale.

You Cannot Come Back 10:42 | 164 bpm
Sounds a bit like: a post-DJ drum & bass spin on Pink Floyd circa "Wish You Were Here," after taking some lessons with Ravi Shankar.

About the track: This is the most psychedelic and abstract selection on the album, and the closest things to "hooks" are either fragmented ambient loops (as in the first download) or rhythm guitar riffs (in the middle of the second download). "You Cannot Come Back" also has the largest amount of straight-up lead guitar soloing of any of the songs on the album. For my money, this is probably the most emotionally direct track (as well as the one most responsible for generating all of the drug-related questions I've gotten... see the faq for the sordid details), and one of the most popular ones in general. (I wonder if there's a connection between those last two characteristics...)

RealAudio Stream 1

RealAudio Stream 2

Wounded animal in the ambient jungle (930 K mp3 download)

Frenetic bridge and psychedelic coda (1.7 MB mp3 download)

Walking Stick 7:41 | 100 bpm
Somewhat akin to: Jeff Beck playing a John Scofield arrangement of an Allan Holdsworth tune.

About the track: This is the one selection on the album that I could fairly easily imagine being performed by an actual live band on a stage; for all the non-linear production, there's still a somewhat conventional song structure underneath. One part that definitely can't be done live: the "solo" (which you can hear the beginning of in the second download file) was actually spliced and edited together from various fragments of the melody sections, for a distinctly chopped-up and angular sound.

RealAudio Stream 1

Full-length edit (stream)

The "head," if you will (632 K mp3 download)

Chorus and "solo" (1.1 MB mp3 download)

Full-length edit (download) (4 MB)

Signify 8:28 | 148 bpm
Rather readily described as: A holy union of North Indian classical music, surf guitar, and neo-baroque harmony.

About the track: "Signify" gets my vote for the most unique song on the album, and maybe the one I'm most proud of. If there's one track that I can reasonably say is "my sound" more than any other, this one is it. I've heard it described variously as suggesting blues, country, or Balkan wedding music, but my main influences on this one were Hindustani raga form for the melody figure (see the first download), European classical music for the bridge (the second download), and mid-90's drum & bass for the rhythm accompaniment.

RealAudio Stream 1

RealAudio Stream 2

Full-length edit (stream)

A snakey melody (632 K mp3 download)

The aforementioned neo-baroque harmony (1.4 MB mp3 download)

Full-length edit (download) (4 MB)

In Time 8:23 | 160 bpm
This may well remind you of: A ZZ Top tune and a Villa-Lobos classical guitar etude played at the same time, as produced by Goldie.

About the track: Almost certainly the most controversial track on the album, "In Time" always seems to be at either the top or the bottom of listeners' lists of favorites. It's an exercise in duality: on the one hand, this is the most overtly "guitar-rock" sounding track, and on the other hand it's the least straightforward or song-like in structure. It's certainly an uncompromising selection, and in some ways the purest (if not the most user-friendly) distillation of some of the concepts behind Disruption Theory. For these reasons, it's tied with "Signify" for me in terms of the track I'm proudest of. The "ZZ Top goes classical" description is no joke; there's more going on in the guitar parts here then you might initially think.

RealAudio Stream
You can also download or stream (in Lo-Fi or Hi-Fi) a free full-length mp3 of "In Time" from mp3.com. This is a shortened edit of the album track, and is 4.3 MB.
The Reason Why 10:19 | 100 bpm
You'll be easily forgiven for likening this to: Soundgarden versus The Dust Brothers, produced by Photek.

About the track: Between the low-tuned guitar riffs (see download #1), the psychedelic textures (download #2) and the hip-hop rhythms (take your pick), this is probably the "heaviest" tune on the album. It's also one of the most popular, particularly amongst listeners who aren't so taken with the higher bpm range of most of the rest of the album. (I've heard more than one person compare this song to the soundtrack from The Matrix.) In the third download, I manage to simultaneously justify lawsuits from both Robert Fripp and Miroslav Tadic in a single solo.

Riffs of doom (669 K mp3 download)

"That's a guitar?!" (1.1 MB mp3 download)

"Yeah, it sure is a guitar." (1.1 MB mp3 download)

Disruption Theory 10:42 | 180 bpm

Not utterly dissimilar to: A stew of prog-rock Mellotron, modal-jazz improv, Hendrix rock guitar, and drum & bass programming.

About the track: Like any good "title-track-placed-at-album's-end" selection, this one manages to musically sum up the gist of the whole project (and in a scary coincidence, it happened to end up being exactly the same length as the first track). The first download is one of the "catchier" bits on the album; the second one is a completely live, improvised, real-time Oberheim Echoplex solo; and the three solos (also improvised) in the third download sample are at the outer limits of what I can physically play on the guitar.

RealAudio Stream 1

RealAudio Stream 2

Main melodies (1.1 MB mp3 download)

Echoplex solo (1.3 MB mp3 download)

Guitar solos (1.3 MB mp3 download)


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