14 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whittled down from the full-band ensemble of Haha Sound, only Broadcast’s core duo of Trish Keenan and James Cargill appear on Tender Buttons. Fittingly, the album takes its inspiration from Neu! and early Kraftwerk, two-person outfits that helped define the influential Krautrock sound. The motorik pulse of those seminal German groups is the recurring theme of Tender Buttons, especially on “Black Cat” and “Bit 35,” the last of which is a hypnotic recreation of early Kraftwerk. The buzzing synths that have always been Broadcast’s stock-in-trade are here more prickly and cold than ever before, yet the icy sheen obscures some of the band’s most gentle moments to date. “Tears In the Typing Pool” eschews the band’s usual sonic tapestry for a simple duet between Keenan and an acoustic guitar, while the album winds down with “You and Me In Time,” a music-box lullaby that nonetheless refuses to completely abandon Broadcast’s taste for unsettling tone clusters.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whittled down from the full-band ensemble of Haha Sound, only Broadcast’s core duo of Trish Keenan and James Cargill appear on Tender Buttons. Fittingly, the album takes its inspiration from Neu! and early Kraftwerk, two-person outfits that helped define the influential Krautrock sound. The motorik pulse of those seminal German groups is the recurring theme of Tender Buttons, especially on “Black Cat” and “Bit 35,” the last of which is a hypnotic recreation of early Kraftwerk. The buzzing synths that have always been Broadcast’s stock-in-trade are here more prickly and cold than ever before, yet the icy sheen obscures some of the band’s most gentle moments to date. “Tears In the Typing Pool” eschews the band’s usual sonic tapestry for a simple duet between Keenan and an acoustic guitar, while the album winds down with “You and Me In Time,” a music-box lullaby that nonetheless refuses to completely abandon Broadcast’s taste for unsettling tone clusters.

TITLE TIME
2:21
3:58
2:51
3:34
2:12
3:55
1:49
5:17
3:57
3:14
0:47
3:08
1:24
2:05

About Broadcast

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 for their sample-heavy, analog, synth-driven sound; the comparisons continued when they signed to Stereolab's Duophonic Super 45s imprint for their next effort, "Living Room." After the icily atmospheric Book Lovers EP, the group moved to Warp Records to release 1997's Work and Non-Work, a compilation of their existing singles tracks. The much-anticipated full-length The Noise Made by People finally appeared in early 2000 and the Extended Play Two EP was issued that fall.

Ever the studio perfectionists, Broadcast made fans wait until 2003 to hear any new material from the band, when the Pendulum EP arrived that spring and Haha Sound appeared that summer. In fall 2005, Broadcast -- pared down to the duo of Keenan and Cargill -- issued the America's Boy single and Tender Buttons full-length. Released in 2006, Future Crayon collected the group's numerous rare tracks and B-sides. The band resurfaced in fall 2009 with Broadcast & the Focus Group Investigate the Witch Cults of the Radio Age, a collaboration with the Focus Group's Julian House that took their sound in a spookier direction more overtly influenced by their interest in library music. In support of the album, Broadcast toured with Atlas Sound and issued a tour-only EP, Mother Is the Milky Way. Keenan passed away on January 14, 2011, due to complications from pneumonia. Two years later, the score to director Peter Strickland's '70s giallo cinema homage Berberian Sound Studio -- which Broadcast began working on before Keenan's passing and featured some of her final vocals -- arrived. ~ Jason Ankeny

  • ORIGIN
    Birmingham, England
  • FORMED
    1995

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