Field Theory –  Broads (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Broads_-_Field_Theory_(cover)Somewhere around the halfway point of the effervescent Climbs, the first calling card from this new album, I realised that I wished I still took drugs! There is something about their wonderful musical chemistry experiments, their mixing of hypnotic background drone with trippy folktronica, sweeping strings and brooding undercurrents that feels like a euphoric trip. It is music which seems to roll over you in waves, it builds slowly cocooning the listener in fuzzy warmth and claustrophobic loveliness. And whilst it does all of that it also feels like a defining moment for music, it feels as if barriers, which up until now have kept certain genres from socialising, have been crossed and trampled to dust. This feels not just an important musical step, this feels actually groundbreaking.

Yes, I know that similar electronic experiments have been going on for many years and many new musical forms have sprung forth because of it, but with Broads, and Field Theory in particular there is something new at work. An ability to create celestial music on the one hand and evocative electronic dance at the other, both worthy in their own right but it is when this musical duo weave the two halves of their collective musical brain together that the magic really happens.

One half of that brain is responsible for the neo-classical minimalism of tracks like Romero, all space and mournful piano, silence punctuated by sound, the other gives us shimmering and more structured song moods such as Tiamat or the more conventional dance floor vibe of Us And The Buzzing. But when those two hemispheres met the result is glorious. The Lecht wanders from brooding soundscaping to widescreen electro-rock drama, Built Calypso is a Floydian cinematic soundtrack and Lund is dark, dystopian and atmospheric.

This Norfolk duo, hence the name I guess, stride a number of genres on this, their forth album, from vibrant synth-pop to ambient drone and pass through any number of post-rock, shoegaze and post-punk sub-genres along the way, throw in some film score, geographic interpretation, the sound of isolation and incidental meanderings and you have a startling and exciting leap forward. Okay, I don’t miss taking drugs, and after all why would anyone need to when you can now inject Broads straight into the brain…in a manner of speaking.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
This entry was posted in electronic dance music, folktronica, post-folk, post-rock, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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