Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Review - Broads - Field Theory

Broads - Field Theory 

LP / CD / DL

Out Now

8.5 / 10

Review by Mikey.

This is about as close as you will get to being part of a beautiful, pulsing machine, and it is drifting through an unknown universe.  This is the World according to Broads.

Toze sets the scene for the journey. The engines thrum, the navigational systems light up and synthesized chatter issues brief last minute orders.  In Climb, Milly Hirst and James Ferguson work their lyrical brilliance to convince us that we are making the right decision. The vocals are sparse and hypnotic, like an essential and unforgettable last order, given before departing for lands unknown.

Habitat starts with what could be the delicate tapping in of co-ordinates. This is classic road music, drawing us through vast aural expanses and wide-open spaces. With tracks like this coming through your headphones, the miles will be disappearing under the wheels of your chosen machine.

Broads have the collective quality to create and carry off an album of this stature. From the glitchy, computer-based zorbing of Us And The Buzzing to the glorious, raging guitar of Mixed Ability Sequencing, they handle themselves impeccably and take the listener to seldom visited musical realms.

With its stunning minimalist opening, Romero is my favourite track of the album. Nature swirls around the subtle and haunting piano, leading us into a new day and the possibility of cracking the surface of a pristine lake for a solitary swim.  Let Me Take It From Here reconnects us with Broads and brings it back to the machine. Building out of delicate Tenari-On style synth to a pulsing percussive finale, we finally find out what it is going on inside the hive mind of Broads.

Tiamat is almost like drifting on autopilot. Everyone else is asleep. It is a very reflective piece and it sits perfectly before the grinding plunge of Mixed Ability Sequencing. A thrashing, short stomp through the cosmos in which Broads get the chance to flex their muscles in a guitar laden shift back to Earth.

In The Lecht, we are present at the birth of new life, stretching and yawning into a sunrise. Delicate strings and piano take us forward into a track that has an astonishing mid-section before dropping down to depths both known and unknown to close in an ambient, cathedral drone.  Heartbeat pulsing and systems normal, Built Calypso removes you from Field Theory. You have now been returned to the World.

Broads have gone through a patient and steady climb to get to this point in the World of Electronica. Field Theory is a brilliant and intricate creation and a perfect distillation of their collective talents.

My bags are packed, and I have already booked myself on to the next trip.


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