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Transcriptome - 93CD (2020)

by de tian

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Beautifully packaged and factory produced to Discus Music's usual high standard. Artwork from the research laboratory of Paul Shaft.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Transcriptome - 93CD (2020) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      £8.50 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £6.50 GBP  or more




"A rather original mixture of electronics, rock, wave-pop, ethno and experimental is on offer here, which sounds very modernly, or rather timeless, despite the late 70s early 80s references. The result is very progressive, original and varied. The album is therefore highly recommended for open-minded tribes with dance legs." - Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE ZEITEN

The origins of de tian go back to 1978 when, as a result of a combination of disillusion with the new wave music scene and the emergence of synthi pop, Paul Shaft left Sheffield new wave pioneers, 2.3 to form a band of people interested in breaking rules. Members came and went, but the core of de tian consisted of Shaft and ex-2.3 roadie and percussionist Paul Hague. de tian live employed a huge range of different “instruments’ ranging from the conventional (guitars, horns, percussion), to more unusual ethic and self-constructed ways of making sound, together with self-recorded voice backing tapes. The result was music that defied categorisation but owed more to Stockhausen and Partch than any kind of conventional “pop”. Live shows also included films, slides and even a magician. A 4 track EP “Two Spires Split” was released on Oblique Sounds and a track appeared on the compilation, Bouquet of Steel.

With Paul Hague leaving to join Imaginary Friends, Shaft met Martin Archer, then playing with the emerging Sheffield Free Music Group and de tian Mk 2 was born. With other Free Music Group members occasionally dropping in, de tian eventually morphed into jazz-punk pell mellers Bass Tone Trap, and the rest is history.

“….who else in Britain never mind in Sheffield, is prepared to go on stage with nigh on a hundred instruments, very few of which are electric, and try to break through the insulation surrounding most rock gig goers minds…..”. Pink Flag fanzine 1979.

And so to transcriptome. A transcriptome is a catalogue of genes expressed at a particularly time in an individual cell. These catalogues are compared to provide scientists with a hitherto unprecedented level of information on cell processes and interactions and the molecular basis of tissue function, architecture and disease <humancellatlas.org>. Each composition here is an interpretation of a different real transcriptome dataset (each from around 5000 cells) which you see represented in different visual forms in the sleeve.

transcriptome is produced by a line-up that never existed, uses none of the original instruments, but yet is instantly recognisable as de tian, albeit a 2020 version.


released May 7, 2020

Paul Shaft - guitar, bass, synths, ethnic percussion, voice
Paul Hague - percussion, electronics
Martin Archer - saxophones, melodica, recorders, wood flute, electronics


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Discus Music Sheffield, UK

Discus Music was founded in 1994 by Martin Archer. The label releases leftfield rock music, free jazz, extended songform, electronics, improvised music, and other sounds which defy categorisation.

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