Public Service Broadcasting
Bright Magic

Release Date: 24 September 2021
Release Date: 24 September 2021
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Public Service Broadcasting release their fourth album, Bright Magic, via Play It Again Sam. An album in three parts (Building A City / Building A Myth / Bright Magic), it is their most ambitious undertaking yet, bringing you to Europes heart and de facto capital, the cultural and political metropolis that is the Haupstadt of the Federal Republic of Germany Berlin.

Though PSBs 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 its an impressionistic portrait of a city from the ground up. A Eureka moment of sorts came in November 2018 when Willgoose heard Walter Ruttmans radical Berlin tape-artwork Wochenende (or Weekend), which is sampled on three of Bright Magics 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 hed constructed in his mind. 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 citys energy involved Willgoose walking the Leipzigerstrasse, site of the citys first electric streetlight, using a wide-band electromagnetic receiver from Moscows Soma Laboratories. 

He wrote and recorded in Kreuzbergs famous Hansa Tonstudio recording complex. This brought closer several inescapable musical touchstones: Depeche Modes classic eighties triumvirate, U2s Achtung Baby and, crucially, Bowies Heroes and Low. Indeed, the Warszawa-evoking The Visitor whose designated colour is the particular Orange of that albums sleeve was initially intended to feature a sample of Bowie reflecting. As well as EERA, the albums other guest voices include Blixa Bargeld, veteran of The Bad Seeds and Einstürzende Neubauten, who becomes the voice of Berlins 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.

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