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Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age

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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.

Customer Reviews

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.


Broadcast has always been and will always been my favorite band. Cant wait to see them live in October. Love you Trish...

Better then LSD.

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


Formed: 1995 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Space age pop collagists Broadcast formed in Birmingham, England, in 1995; comprised of vocalist Trish Keenan, guitarist Tim Felton, bassist James Cargill, keyboardist Roj Stevens, and drummer Steve Perkins, the quintet came together out of a shared affection for the psychedelic cult band the United States of America, a primary influence on their subsequent work as a group. Debuting in 1996 with the Wurlitzer Jukebox label single "Accidentals," Broadcast immediately won favorable comparisons to Stereolab...
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