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PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

Public Service Broadcasting

Bright Magic

    An album in three parts (Building A City / Building A Myth / Bright Magic), it is their most ambitious undertaking yet, bringing you to Europe’s heart and de facto capital, the cultural and political metropolis that is the ‘Hautpstadt’ of the Federal Republic of Germany – Berlin.

    “Doing this felt inevitable, somehow,” muses J.Willgoose, Esq. “In my head, it was whirring and pulsing away for a long time, even before Every Valley - this fascinating, contrary, seductive place. I knew the album was going to be about the city, and its history and myths, and I was going to move there. So it’s quite a personal story. It’s become an album about moving to Berlin to write an album about people who move to Berlin to write an album…”

    Though PSB’s use of electronics and surging guitar rock remain familiar, Bright Magic uses samples, and the English language, sparingly. It differs from their previous albums in other ways: less linear and narrative, instead it’s an impressionistic portrait of a city from the ground up. A Eureka moment of sorts came in November 2018 when Willgoose heard Walter Ruttmann’s radical Berlin tape-artwork Wochenende (or Weekend), which is sampled on three of Bright Magic’s tracks. Created in 1928, the piece collaged speech, field recordings and music into a sonic evocation of the city. Resolving to integrate these long-gone fragments with new manipulated sound sources, he set about making his own Wochenende, a narrative drama for the ears which decodes and realises the dreams of Berlin he’d constructed in his mind.

    J.Willgoose, Esq. said “I started to get a feeling for where the title of Bright Magic wanted to take me, towards ideas of illumination and inspiration, electricity and flashes of light and colour and sound (all the tracks would eventually be colour coded). I sent it to the rest of the band, and said, I know it’s going to change, but we’ll see how the city itself colours that.” J.Willgoose, Esq moved to Berlin from April 2019 to January 2020. Combining sound archaeology and the flâneuring of the psychogeographer, one street-level pursuit of the city’s energy involved Willgoose walking the Leipzigerstrasse, site of the city’s first electric streetlight, using a wide-band electromagnetic receiver from Moscow’s Soma Laboratories. “I walked up and down recording electrical currents and interference,” he laughs. “You can hear a few of these little frequency buzzes, clicks and impulses in Im Licht (a song inspired in part by pioneering lightbulb manufacturers AEG and Siemens). It’s what I was trying to do in the wider sense, I suppose – to capture those tiny little pulses you pick up while walking through a city.”

    He wrote and recorded in Kreuzberg’s famous Hansa Tonstudio recording complex. This brought closer several inescapable musical touchstones: Depeche Mode’s classic eighties triumvirate, U2’s Achtung Baby and, crucially, Bowie’s “Heroes” and Low. “The whole shape and structure of the record is very much in debt to Low,” says Willgoose. Indeed, the Warszawa-evoking “The Visitor” – whose designated colour is the particular Orange of that album’s sleeve – was initially intended to feature a sample of Bowie reflecting, says Willgoose, on “how he viewed himself as this vessel for synthesizing and refracting other influences, and presenting avant-garde influences to the mainstream. We tried to absorb a bit of that spirit.”

    As well as EERA, the album’s other guest voices include Blixa Bargeld, veteran of The Bad Seeds and Einstürzende Neubauten, who becomes the voice of Berlin’s industry on the robo-teknik “Der Rhythmus der Maschinen”. Andreya Casablanca of Berlin garageistes Gurr stands in for Marlene Dietrich in “My Blue Heaven”, an anthem of proud self-determination.

    A very pro-European record, Bright Magic is ultimately not just about one city, but all centres of human interaction and community which allow the free exchange and cross-pollination of ideas.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: PSB are back! It's been a long wait since their last full-length in 2017, but 'Bright Magic' has every one of the standard PSB tricks we love them for plus a few more. Filmic electronic groove, kosmische library-tinged synthplay and instantly addictive melodies. No doubt this will excite the earholes of new listeners and existing fans of the band alike, and shows a new progression of this already formidable musical force.

    TRACK LISTING

    ‘Bright Magic’
    Der Sumpf (Sinfonie Der Großstadt)
    Im Licht
    Der Rhythmus Der Maschinen (ft. Blixa Bargeld)
    People, Let’s Dance (ft. EERA)
    Blue Heaven (ft. Andreya Casablanca)
    Gib Mir Das Licht (ft. EERA)
    The Visitor
    Lichtspiel I: Opus
    Lichtspiel II: Schwarz Weiss Grau
    Lichtspiel III: Symphonie Diagonale
    Ich Und Die Stadt (ft. Nina Hoss)

    ‘Bright Magic (Demos)’
    (Bonus CD With PIASR1230LPBK Only)

    Der Sumpf (Sinfonie Der Großstadt) (Demo)
    Im Licht (Demo)
    Der Rhythmus Der Maschinen (Demo)
    People, Let's Dance (Demo)
    Blue Heaven (Demo)
    Gib Mir Das Licht (Demo)
    The Visitor (Demo)
    Lichtspiel I: Opus (Demo)
    Lichtspiel II: Schwarz Weiss
    Grau (Demo)
    Lichtspiel III: Symphonie Diagonale (Demo)

    Public Service Broadcasting

    White Star Liner

    These four tracks were first performed in 2018, at the BBC's Biggest Weekend event, which saw the band debut the new material on the slipways on which the Titanic was built, broadcast live on BBC 6Music. The EP tells the story of the construction of the ship and its early, tragic, demise. The band focus on the perspectives of those who built and sailed her, whilst showing their own talent for using a mixture of music and archive audio footage to provide a new perspective on well-known events.

    J. Willgoose, Esq. of Public Service Broadcasting says: “I thought it was an interesting challenge to tell the story of the ship's construction as part of Belfast's proud industrial history, the spirit of optimism of the pre-war age that she represented, and then an abstract and, I hope, respectful depiction of both the sinking of the ship (represented by the repeated Morse code distress call, C - Q - D) and the discovery of the wreck in 1985.”

    The opening two tracks, ‘The Unsinkable Ship’ and ‘White Star Liner’, carry the EP forward with a motorik energy, carefully tracing the construction and launch of the ship. As the EP reaches its close, the music shifts into a more volatile state on the powerful ‘C - Q - D’ - the Morse code call sign for “All stations: distress” - before closing on the reflective ambience of ‘The Deep’, an adaptation of Archibald Joyce's ‘Songe d'automne’, the piece of music which noted Titanic historian Walter Lord concluded was probably the last to be played as the ship sank. Coupled with the impassioned voice of survivor Eva Hart, it’s a moving end to the EP, one that is a fitting tribute to those who built the ship and those who perished upon its demise. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. The Unsinkable Ship
    2. White Star Liner
    3. C-Q-D
    4. The Deep

    Third album from Public Service Broadcasting, the brainchild of London-based J. Willgoose, Esq. who, along with his drumming companion, Wrigglesworth, and their bass player, keys and horns man extraordinaire, JFAbraham, is on a quest to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe.

    Released 7th July, on Every Valley Willgoose takes us on a journey down the mineshafts of South Wales valleys. Yet the record is a metaphor for a much larger, global and social malaise, using the history of coal mining to shine a light on the disenfranchised.

    The album features guest vocals from James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers), Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut, the award winning Welsh singer Lisa Jên Brown, and Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell on lead single ‘Progress’.

    Recorded at the Ebbw Vale Institute, South Wales.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Every Valley
    2. The Pit
    3. People Will Always Need Coal
    4. Progress [ft. Tracyanne Campbell]
    5. Go To The Road
    6. All Out
    7. Turn No More [ft. James Dean Bradfield]
    8. They Gave Me A Lamp [ft. Haiku Salut]
    9. You + Me [ft. Lisa Jên Brown]
    10. Mother Of The Village
    11. Take Me Home

    Public Service Broadcasting

    Live At Brixton

    Public Service Broadcasting are pleased to reveal the release of a double LP/CD live album of their sold-out performance at Brixton Academy from ‘The Race For Space’ Tour, recorded on 29 November 2015. A taster of this release can be viewed here as the band perform their celebration of the moon landings with crowd favourite, ‘Go' https://youtu.be/y8rNlFYRcgs

    “We first talked about the possibility of a live album and DVD a long while before Brixton and I have to confess that I ruled it out almost immediately” says frontman J. Willgoose, Esq. “I was persuaded over a few months, though, by both the reaction on the night - which was overwhelming - and of those who watched the stream as it went out live, that something special had occurred and it truly was worth documenting. Brixton had been a dream of mine ever since seeing the Manics there on their Everything Must Go tour many moons ago. Playing there as Public Service Broadcasting, and selling it out, was something I never even thought of as a possibility. It’s my favourite venue in the world and we wanted to make it a show to remember.”

    The show features arena-level production crammed onto the Brixton stage with a 13- piece choir, 5-piece string section, expanded brass section, a longer set list, Smoke Fairies guesting on Valentina, a surprise special guest, dancers, pyrotechnics and more as the London-based band wow a hometown crowd with a very special performance. The release will be accompanied by a DVD filmed on the night along with an audio commentary from the band and bonus features. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. The Race For Space
    2. Sputnik
    3. Signal 30
    4. Theme From PSB
    5. Night Mail
    6. London Can Take It
    7. Valentina
    8. Korolev
    9. E.V.A.
    10. If War Should Come
    11. Spitfire
    12. Lit Up
    13. The Other Side
    14. Go!
    15. Tomorrow
    16. Gagarin
    17. Everest

    Public Service Broadcasting

    The Race For Space

    Following the critical and commercial success of their debut album last year and 18 months' extensive touring and festival appearances, Public Service Broadcasting release their eagerly anticipated second album, 'The Race For Space'. Once again working with exclusive archive footage from the British Film Institute, the new record tells the story of the American and Soviet space race from 1957 - 1972 via the duo's eccentric mix of guitar-driven electronica, propulsive drumming and spoken word samples culled from this uniquely rich period of modern history.

    'The Race For Space' follows 'Inform - Educate - Entertain', Public Service Broadcasting's debut album which reached number 21 in the UK album charts and was nominated for 'Best Independent Album' at the AIM Awards 2013, as well as being The Guardian's Album of the Week and one of BBC 6Music's Top 10 albums of 2013.

    Short biog: Taking in archive material from a variety of sources the new album sees the corduroy-clad J. Willgoose, Esq. and his faithful drumming companion, Wrigglesworth, continue their mission statement to Inform, Educate & Entertain. Through both the record and their uniquely spell-binding live audio-visual ‘Transmissions’, audiences witness the band weave samples from these films around live drums, guitar, banjo and electronics, creating an array of diverse tracks. What emerges is, by turns, thrilling, moving, funny and powerful. The Independent’s Simon Price said of the band : “In their love of history, and their understanding of the dignity of the wartime generation, they remind me of British Sea Power, although Stereolab are closer sonically. PSB are progressive without the florid ornamentation of Prog, dense and complex with not a semiquaver wasted. It's an industrious, diligent sound, and, in the flesh, surprisingly danceable: slamming chemical beats accompanied by old cine footage, providing a peculiar opportunity to party to Pathe news”

    TRACK LISTING

    1. The Race For Space
    2. Sputnik
    3. Gagarin
    4. Fire In The Cockpit
    5. E.V.A.
    6. The Other Side
    7. Valentina
    8. Go!
    9. Tomorrow

    Public Service Broadcasting

    Inform - Educate - Entertain

    “They blend the voices of the past with the music of the present to astounding effect” Independent
    “Genuinely original, innovating and amazing” Artrocker Best Electro Act 2013

    Public Service Broadcasting release their debut album which will be accompanied by an extensive 46-date UK tour in February, March and May.

    Taking in archive material from the BFI and StudioCanal along with classic American public information films (such as the brutal driving-safety messages found on single ‘Signal 30’), the album sees the corduroy-clad J. Willgoose, Esq. and his faithful drumming companion, Wrigglesworth, seeking to fulfil their mission statement over a wide range of subject matter and styles.

    Through both the record and their uniquely spell-binding live audio-visual ‘Transmissions’, audiences will witness the band weave samples from these films around live drums, guitar, banjo and electronics, creating an array of diverse tracks. What emerges is, by turns, thrilling, moving, funny and powerful; or, if you will, informative, educational and - most of all - entertaining.

    The Independent’s Simon Price said of the band : “In their love of history, and their understanding of the dignity of the wartime generation, they remind me of British Sea Power, although Stereolab are closer sonically. PSB are progressive without the florid ornamentation of Prog, dense and complex with not a semiquaver wasted. It's an industrious, diligent sound, and, in the flesh, surprisingly danceable: slamming chemical beats accompanied by old cine footage, providing a peculiar opportunity to party to Pathe news”

    TRACK LISTING

    Inform – Educate – Entertain
    Spitfire
    Theme From PSB
    Signal 30
    Night Mail
    Qomolangma
    ROYGBIV
    The Now Generation
    Lit Up
    Everest
    Late Night Final


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