When my friend passed along his copy of Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age (2009), he slipped in the caveat that this weird-science psychedelic music seems “more difficult” than usual. Then again, a lot of what Broadcast have recorded throughout their career would not be mistaken for being easy listening by any means; this album, the result of a recent collaboration with experimental musician Julian House (aka The Focus Group), only serves to further confirm Trish Keenan and James Cargill’s mastery of their medium. There is a very loose improvisational feel to the song collages and futuristic fragments that make up Witch Cults of the Radio Age, the unnatural ambience of Broadcast’s avant-pop shining through with absolute clarity on “We Are After All Here”, with Trish’s disembodied vocals buried deep under the obsessive crackling of amorphous melodies as if playing the role of a weary time traveler struggling to break out of claustrophobic confines. It’s on haunting songs as such that Witch Cults of the Radio Age takes on the absurdist tone of a requiem for the future. - keith.
Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age is available on Warp Records, which will also be releasing Broadcast’s upcoming album due later this year.