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Broadcast Findings and Anticipating Dreamlike Pastoral Explorations: Wanderings 14/26

A few pieces of Broadcast related findings from the time of Work And Non Work to Tender Buttons via The Noise Made By People…

Above is an interview with Broadcast from issue 24 of Fused magazine, which was published around the time when their album Tender Buttons was released in 2005 and when the band had slimmed down to the duo of Trish Keenan and James Cargill.

The interview is interesting in part because it feels like something of a non-capital centric media homecoming, as at the time Cargill and Keenan were based in Birmingham, as was the magazine, and the duo discuss the music scene, events and so on in their home town.

During the article Trish Keenan also discusses the influences on the album’s title of the Gertrude Stein book / poem Tender Buttons,  saying that:

“[The album’s] title is influenced by a Gertrude Stein poem. I got obsessed with, well really appreciated, the fact that she wasn’t hung up on making sense at all. It didn’t really inspire the writing as such but the technique of automatic writing is used all over the LP. That’s how I generate the lyrics.”

The photographs which accompanied  the article, taken by the interviewer David Osbaldestin, have an Alice in Wonderland and dreamlike pastoral feel to them, which looking back could be seen to anticipate the more otherly pastoral elements in the videos for the album Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age released in 2009 and the duo’s rare EP/mini-album Mother Is The Milky Way, that was released in the same year.

The issue of the magazine seems fairly rare but the interview is available to read at Fused’s website (see link below).

And then wandering back to when Broadcast was a four piece consisting of James Cargill, Trish Keenan, Roj Stevens and Tim Felton, above is an interview with the band from issue 170 of Making Music magazine published in June 2000, just after the band’s first album The Noise Made By People had been released in March. In keeping with the music recording and technology nature of the magazine, much of the interview focuses on the band’s recording techniques and equipment but it also discusses the reimagining of psychedelia that can be found at times in Broadcast’s work, alongside touching on the hauntological aspects of their work at a time before that phrase had come to be used in relation to music around the mid-2000s:

“Sixties psychedelia first realised the power of technology to sonically capture altered states, and it’s the same exploration of inner space which Broadcast traverse… ‘The Noise Made By People’ is a haunting past recorded by twenty-somethings born in the variable lag of the sixties and reared on the seventies. Psychedelia, easy listening, jazz lounge – all sampled, twisted, looped and transmitted to a 21st Century audience in the the early hours on a disused frequency.”

The interview and magazine is something of a time capsule in terms of the history of music and related technology. Published around the peak and just on the brink of when CD sales began to fall as music increasingly went online and before computer’s and audio software became more capable of recording, processing and manipulating music, the magazine is full of adverts, articles etc on physical studio hardware such as effects units, keyboards and so on, most of which I expect are now obsolete or perhaps have sometimes gained a certain cachet in terms of their vintage appeal.

And then wandering back even further, a brief article and interview in a fold-out A5 zine called I think The Day The Earth Stood Still, which (I also think) was published at some point around the middle of 1997, just after Broadcast had signed to Warp and were a five piece that included James Cargill, Trish Keenan, Roj Stevens, Tim Felton and Steve Perkins.

The interview is part of an article on Warp records and although even back then the style and genres of the label’s releases could be quite varied, it was best known for dance and electronica including the likes of LFO, Autechre and Aphex Twin, and Broadcast probably seemed like quite a surprising cuckoo in the nest in terms of their label mates. Along which lines, I can imagine this gig was something of a contrasting eye opener, as discussed by an uncredited member of Broadcast in the zine:

“We played with Aphex Twin in Cambridge. He lies on the stage with a laptop, and we’ve got a full kit. We did get some weird looks and it wasn’t a very easy gig, but it’s good to cross over more and break down those barriers.”

The zine was published just after the Work And Non Work compilation had been recently released, and I’ll end this post with a succinct summing up of Broadcast’s early sound from the article:

“Work and Non Work… [is] a compilation of the band’s previously released singles, where lush aesthetics and dust covered analogue synths collide…”



Elsewhere at A Year In The Country: 


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