Week #43/52: Broadcast – Mother Is The Milky Way and gently milling around avant-garde, non-populist pop
I think it’s a great shame that Broadcast’s Mother Is The Milky Way album (and I think of it as an album despite it’s possible EP or mini-album playing time) is probably one of the rarest of their artifacts and in fact is one of those relatively occasional items that seem to be genuinely rare in these days of general second hand ubiquity via the old ether.
(In fact, apart from incomplete video playlists, I think it’s actually even quite rare amongst the yo-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-rum skull’n’cross-bones corners of the internet.)
So, why do I think it’s a great shame?
Well, it seems like the summation of a particular set of peaks and aims of Broadcasts work; a collection that gathers both their more pop and avant garde influences, mixing, matching and balancing both sides of such things in a way that somehow really quite off-centre jump cuts, lo-fidelity nuances, a certain dreamy surreality, dissonance, reversed and found sounds all seem very accessible.
In fact, it seems to be a recording that proves or sets out to be a literal manifestation of Trish Keenan’s quote where she said that “the avant-garde is no good without popular and popular is rubbish without avant-garde.”
Using the description non-populist pop or avant-pop would seem to be appropriate about now.
It also seems to be a very personal, intimate record – some kind of insight into the actual lives of its makers (whether that is a real and/or imagined one).
Fine work and here’s to it finding a more widespread release (if Mr Cargill should wish that) one day.
Points of inspiration for this particular wandering: well the album itself (of course) and Mr Joseph Stannard’s interview excerpt transcription with Broadcast (something of an ongoing point of reference for all things A Year In The Country).
Previous Broadcast and related wanderings around these parts: Day #33/365: Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age and the recalibrations of past cathode ray stories… (talking of ongoing reference points for all things A Year In The Country), via Shindig! magazine at Day #178/365: The cuckoo in the nest: sitting down with a cup of cha, a slice of toast, Broadcast, Emerald Web, Ghost Box Records and other fellow Shindig travellers… and Day #251/365: Broadcast; constellators and artifacts.
Tip of the hat to all concerned.