More about: Broadcast
A fine articulation of their vision so far. Long may they scribble...
Birmingham, 1995. Drum and bass (then called jungle) rules pirate airwaves. From somewhere within the concrete mesh of the UKâ€™s second city comes something thatâ€™s every bit as progressive as the breaks, yet also soothingly familiar. Itâ€™s as if aliens have been studying â€˜60s chamber music and attempted to recreate the haunting melodies using their own bizarre instruments, channelling the sounds back to us via the static interference on our TVs. The boffins at electronica imprint Warp are intrigued. Itâ€™s the future and itâ€™s the past â€“ we call it Broadcast.
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Over the next 11 years Broadcast will release 3 albums and countless singles and EPs â€“ with the highlights of the latter making up the bulk of this retrospective. Everyone will know who they are, what they do and why it matters, but much of the material brought together here â€“ some of the most definitive of the Broadcast oeuvre - will have passed under the radar. â€˜The Future Crayonâ€™ seeks to dust off these neglected gems.
At their most melodic and lyrical, Broadcast combine the lithe simplicity of The Velvet Underground (â€˜Small Song IVâ€™) with the analogue wobble of Stereolab (â€˜Still Feels Like Tearsâ€™). Elsewhere, exotic lounge lullabies such as â€˜Poem Of Dead Songâ€™ and â€˜Where Youth And Laughter Goâ€™ sit next to the abrasive, alien jazz of â€˜One Hour Empireâ€™ and â€˜Hammer Without A Masterâ€™, while minimal eastern-tinged arrangements of â€˜Belly Danceâ€™ and â€˜Distant Callâ€™ become counterpoints to the atonal ambient landscapes of â€˜Violent Playgroundâ€™ and â€˜Test Areaâ€™. Such a range of influences would seem incongruous if the results werenâ€™t so undeniably Broadcast.
And so we find ourselves in 2006, and whatâ€™s changed? A lot, it seems: dance music is apparently "dead" (a suggestion that, much like the myth that punk "killed" prog rock at the back end of the â€˜70s, is much overstated) and Warp have signed a proper platinum-selling indie band. One thing remains constant, however: Broadcast are still operating on a different wavelength to practically everyone, and theyâ€™re untouchable for it. â€˜The Future Crayonâ€™ is a fine articulation of their vision so far. Long may they scribble.
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More about: Broadcast