Atlas Sound, Broadcast, Selmanaires | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Mon., Oct. 26, 8 p.m. 2009
Price: $15, 18+
On their first record in four years, English duo Broadcast work with the Focus Group—the musical project of Julian House, cofounder of the Ghost Box label—to delve deeper than ever into the aesthetic of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, which has long inspired both collaborators. Formed in the late 50s to provide incidental music and sound effects, the workshop originally relied heavily on tape manipulation and other techniques from musique concrete (it famously created the Doctor Who theme in 1963), then expanded into the ambitious use of early synthesizers. Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age (Warp) includes Broadcast's trademark sounds here and there—Trish Keenan's ghostly pop melodies as well as the art-rock amalgam cooked up by James Cargill, who's acknowledged the influence of late-60s band the United States of America—but most of the 23 short tracks are trippy, abstract instrumental collages. Analog-synth squiggles and whinnies snake over stacked and scattered soundtrack fragments culled from what sound like TV programs in every imaginable genre: sci-fi, horror, suspense, drama, nature documentary. Tempos shift and overlap as though someone's channel surfing on two radios at once, and the restless, woozy motion of different elements creates bizarre juxtapositions with a seriously psychedelic feel. Broadcast have a full-length of their own due early next year. —Peter Margasak



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