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Bright Magic


Artist: Public Service Broadcasting
Label: Play it Again Sam
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 September 2021

Public Service Broadcasting release their latest album, Bright Magic, via Play It Again Sam. Bright Magic brings the listener to Europe’s heart and de facto capital, the cultural and political metropolis that is the ‘Hauptstadt’ of the Federal Republic of Germany – Berlin...

Public Service Broadcasting have been “teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future” for more than a decade. 2013’s debut album Inform - Educate - Entertain used archival samples from the British Film Institute as audio-portals to the Battle Of Britain, the summit of Everest and beyond. Two years later, The Race For Space used similar methods to laud the superpowers’ rivalry and heroism in orbit and on the Moon. In 2017, joined by voices including Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield, Every Valley was a moving exploration of community and memory via the rise and fall of the British coal industry.

Bright Magic differs from their previous albums, being less linear and narrative, instead it’s an impressionistic portrait of a city from the ground up. It's driven by ideas of illumination and inspiration, electricity and flashes of light and colour and sound (all the tracks would eventually be colour coded). 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.

It creates a timeless soundscape to get lost in and for that reason alone is worth your time checking out. You'll either love it or be indifferent to what they're trying to achieve.


Nick Smithson

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