"They are a very poor substitute for the finished record," declare the Mancunians...

Oasis have released a brief statement in which they claim rough mixes of new album, ‘HEATHEN CHEMISTRY’, were illicitly recorded onto a “hidden walkman” and placed on the internet.

The move is an attempt to combat claims that the record was leaked by someone within the Oasis inner circle.

The statement also claims that versions available on the internet are not the finished mixes which have “come a long way since these recordings were made”.

The statement reads:

“The MP3s of Oasis tracks in circulation on the net appear to be illicit recordings (probably made with a hidden walkman or similar device) of early mixes of the tracks for the band’s new album, which were made some time ago.

“The recordings are of very poor quality and are not of the final album mixes. We hope anyone who has downloaded the tracks enjoys them but does not take them as any indication of the finished album which has come a long way since these recordings were made… they are a very poor substitute for the finished record.”

This week Jollyon Benn, an anti-piracy expert for the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) who is leading an investigation into how the leak happened, told NME.COM that the leak was likely to have come from “further up the chain”, and possibly be close associates of Oasis‘ inner circle.

‘Heathen Chemistry’ is due for release in early July. The band’s new single ‘The Hindu Times’ is set to go straight to number one in the UK chart on Sunday (April 21), with experts tipping it to sell around 120,000 copies in its first week.