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Broadcast and The Focus Group’s #1: Witch Cults and #2: I See, So I See So: Revisiting 21/26

Cor, that was something of a treat to revisit  #1: Witch Cults and #2: I See, So I See So, the two videos Broadcast made in collaboration with Julian House (of Ghost Box Records, The Focus Group and Intro design agency) to accompany their, also collaborative with him, album Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witchcults of the Radio Age.

The videos and their accompanying songs bring together, distill and refract so much that is good and fine about Broadcast and Ghost Box Records, so many of their influences and reference points. Watching them is not unlike being given a brief view of a parallel world via a soon to close portal.

#1: Witch Cults has a distinctly occult (as in hidden) seeming take on the landscape, and the silhouette of what may well just be a telegraph pole hints at having a much more sinister purpose. This is distinctly hauntological work, flickeringly stuffed full of spectres, but in a way that you’re not quite sure what of. It recalls phantasms on the edge of consciousness, memory, culture and history, all overseen by Trish Keenan as… Mystic? High Priestess?

#2: I See, So I See So is like watching and listening to fragments of some far off, both never was and long forgotten children’s television series, something that has tumbled forwards and backwards from a decade you can’t quite place, but which is also decidedly the 1960s and 1970s. It made me think of an imagined form of curiously government sponsored British experimentalism that snuck into British mainstream television back when, and also subtly the fantasias of parts of Czech New Wave cinema, some of which Broadcast talked about appreciating and taking inspiration from.

Shouldn’t there be a TV channel dedicated to this kind of thing? Shouldn’t they be available on DVD and Blu-ray?

These videos and Broadcast’s mini-album Mother is the Milky Way’s exploration of a spectral, otherly form of pastoralism pointed to a fascinating future direction. One which was tragically cut short.

Anyways, if you have a spare moment to peer into the portal (!), I would highly recommend a viewing or two or more of #1: Witch Cults and #2: I See, So I See So.


The original post published during the first year of A Year In The Country:


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