23 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gracefully walking the line between experimental and catchy, the Birmingham, England-based electronica group Broadcast (formed in the mid-‘90s) is joined by the Focus Group, a.k.a. Julian House (co-founder of the Ghost Box label), on this impressive work. Witch Cults takes snippets of this and that — watery sounds and birdsong are recurring elements — to create individual tracks, and this collage-like album flows wonderfully. “The Be Colony” is a lush slice of dreamy psych that features the sweet vocals of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan. On “I See, So I See So,” she’s backed by tweaked, vaguely baroque keyboard and the sounds of the seashore. “Ritual/Looking In” blasts off with an entrancing jazz-rock groove festooned with flutes poking out riffs; later the beat goes away and the work of the great American composer Harry Partch comes to mind. “Royal Chant” beautifully weaves together spoken word, music box-type tinklings, harp plucks, dog barks, and hard-to-identify effects to create a sense of magic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gracefully walking the line between experimental and catchy, the Birmingham, England-based electronica group Broadcast (formed in the mid-‘90s) is joined by the Focus Group, a.k.a. Julian House (co-founder of the Ghost Box label), on this impressive work. Witch Cults takes snippets of this and that — watery sounds and birdsong are recurring elements — to create individual tracks, and this collage-like album flows wonderfully. “The Be Colony” is a lush slice of dreamy psych that features the sweet vocals of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan. On “I See, So I See So,” she’s backed by tweaked, vaguely baroque keyboard and the sounds of the seashore. “Ritual/Looking In” blasts off with an entrancing jazz-rock groove festooned with flutes poking out riffs; later the beat goes away and the work of the great American composer Harry Partch comes to mind. “Royal Chant” beautifully weaves together spoken word, music box-type tinklings, harp plucks, dog barks, and hard-to-identify effects to create a sense of magic.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
27 Ratings
27 Ratings
Mames ,

Not really a follow-up to Tender Buttons

If you were a big fan of the more modern-sounding synth-based songs on Tender Buttons, you might be disappointed by this album. This is definitely a return to their 60s psychedelia style that colored the albums before Tender Buttons. It's kinda frustrating like the b-side collection, Future Crayon-- you see 23 tracks of Broadcast before you, yet, there may as well be 3 tracks on the album, one of them being a 30 minute instrumental. It's not bad, a lot of it pretty awesome, actually. I just find myself less attached to these kinds of experiments these days. I listen, enjoy, but it may be months before I listen to it again...

Take my opinion with a grain of salt, I'm completely biased towards Tender Buttons, it's one of my favorites of all time.

trevno ,

Excellent Psychedelic Spin-Off for Broadcast

I've become a huge fan of 60s and 70s psychedelia mostly through the experimentation of bands like Future Sound of London's side project Amorphous Androgynous, but I have been a fan of Broadcast since the late 90s. This recording takes their sound in a new direction, collaborating and twisting it into almost an alternate soundtrack for films like The Wicker Man. The sparse instrumentation, chanting, and degraded film loops truly give you the feeling of being trapped in a low budget Hammer horror film. It is haunting, and at the same time beautiful. I hope the new Broadcast full-length album will reflect some of this, as they have needed a fresh infusion to their sound for a while now.

whoisloganryan ,

Better then LSD.

This album gives me chills from start to finish.
I cant believe i didnt know about these people sooner.

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