Philly punks Nothing are back from the brink with a new record that draws on some really, really bad times.
The Noise Made By People
And as with all things made by people, not machines, it was worth the extra wait...
After toiling for too long with a series of producers who failed to understand their obsessive perfectionism, Broadcast finally built their own studio and started again from scratch. Their complete immersion - one can't help but imagine the band in white lab coats, assiduously dissecting antique wireless radios - is manifest in every shadowy, intricate moment of 'The Noise Made By People', an album so autonomous and remote it sounds like it's being beamed from a deep-space probe.
The Broadcast laboratory is a place where murky noir soundtracks are amalgamated with wayward jazz and psychedelic electronica. Theremins whir, synths pulse and clocks chime eerily in the distance. Trish Keenan's nonchalant vocals hover over deconstructed waltz rhythms and flickering pulses of unidentifiable noise with an uneasy - sometimes downright sinister - beauty. Thankfully, however, 'The Noise...' is just as concerned with unhurried, pliant pop music as it is with navel-gazing avant-gardism.
So 'You Can Fall' is one part pristine torch-song lament, one part frayed-wire distortion; 'Unchanging Window' is soft-focus Spector '60s girl group; 'Long Was The Year' straddles the line between grainy black-and-white Catherine Deneuve nostalgia and stark, console futurism; and 'Minus One' sounds like the soundtrack to an educational film about flower pollination. Broadcast have struck a balance between intellect and emotion, using technological detritus - scratchy phonographs, crackly radio silence, the flap of a finished film-reel - to bolster their woozy romanticism. Ultimately, for all its detached self-sufficiency, this is a warm, mysterious and very human record. And as with all things made by people, not machines, it was worth the extra wait.
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