The Difference Machine (2007)


Re-issued in a definitive edition format with an additional track in 2010


  1. Hope This Finds You (3.12)
  2. Perfect Cosmic Storm (14.40)
  3. Breathing Space (1.47)
  4. Pick Up If You’re There (13.39)>
  5. From The Wide Open Sea (1.20)
  6. Hope You Made It (3:46) [*]
  7. Salt Water falling on uneven ground (12.38)
  8. Summer’s Lease (7.34)



The Difference Machine is a concept album – a ‘small’ story; the loss of loved ones as life progresses, set against a ‘big’ story; the death of a distant star.
The main musical motif for the album is set out early on in the opening track – an instrumental called Hope This Finds You. Played on viola by Becca King, the theme is restated briefly in Pick Up If You’re There before returning at the end of the album in the closing section of Summer’s Lease.

Other musical motifs abound, some buried deeply in the music, some combining with others to form new themes. For example, the main album theme on the playout of Summer’s Lease is intertwined with a motif from Perfect Cosmic Storm which is initially set out in an understated manner on electric piano, before returning as the grand closing section of the song.

Amongst the epic long-form tracks, there are some short ambient pieces, intended to add atmosphere to the album. Breathing Space is exactly that, a short interlude between two longer pieces, and From The Wide Open Sea is an excerpt from the track The Wide Open Sea, which was eventually released on the Far Skies Deep Time EP.

The Difference Machine saw BBT’s first involvement with Nick D’Virgilio who subsequently became the band’s permanent drummer. Nick played drums on Perfect Cosmic Storm and Pick Up If You’re There for what was intended to be a special edition of the album with alternative versions of some of the songs. However, Nick’s performances were so strong that we decided to use them on the album versions.

A number of other songs which didn’t make it onto the album also came out of the writing sessions: Brambling, Hope You Made It and (in unfinished form) a 17 minute track – The Wide Open Sea.