23 Songs, 48 Minutes

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.

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.

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