Thursday, December 5, 2013

Broadcast - Extended Play Two (2000)

Broadcast is an elusive tropical orchid obscured by olivine shrubs stealing the ecosystem’s sunlight; they had everything needed for cult recognition, but faced the inescapable, “wrong time, wrong place” clause. The expressive talent in the group’s work flourishes through chemically fusing their influences as though a magnify glass is needed to explore their stylistic heart. Without being psychedelic or hazy, Broadcast boldly layers their adapted sound in stark melodies jumping through hoops together. The Joy Division qualities are there, the Velvet Underground sound, the Stereolab, and The Focus Group, but all of which are so precisely refined, Broadcast stands as a rarity against its derivative roommates.

What’s so special about their pallet of influence? The particular artists that are so beautifully reminiscent in their music juxtapose as colors all belonging to a unifying aesthetics, but refrain from bringing the same hues to the table. Joy Division adds a distinct production value, and clarity. The Velvet Underground, notorious for bridging post-punk with the pleasant baroque pop of the ‘60s, contrast the sinister with the playful, accumulating as a foundation to the dark/joyful duplicity of Trish Keenan’s  lyricism and gorgeously #retro #vintage voice. The harmonic fluid piling on the ethic is delivered by Stereolab’s fusion of synth based sounds in rock orientated songs while adding an entirely updated array of equipment. With their high caliber technical ability, Broadcast manages to never abuse their understanding, but play with it by dabbling in improvised sound manipulation much like The Focus Group. The rainbow of melodic interplay feels open to interpretations of synaesthesia. Broadcast are a band that truly match their strengths with their name. A spectrum of dancing colors, a posh English fashion designer, a rain puddle glowing with oil.

The band’s early discography that built the sound relatable today started typically strong, and contains, what I feel, their strongest release, Extended Play Two. It begins with Illumination, an emotionally atmospheric cluster of synths guided by gentle vocal overtones that lead into rest of the EP charmingly. Unchanging Window, a track that reappears watered down on their full length album, The Noise Made By People, enacts Broadcast’s very essence. Four minutes of strophic whirling around breakneck percussion that intensifies into a controlled yet spontaneous jam flurries into the next track. From this point, the popular mechanics continue to reoccur but are clouded magnificently in a dissonantly sharp musicianship that can really only be encountered as an existing dynamic on this collection of work alone. By Drums On Fire, the krautrock arrangements relentlessly die with the very ending of the sound. Short in length, and massive in mesmerizing content, should be FUCKING listened by you, if you even like music.


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