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wobbly - Playlist
This new album by Wobbly is about radio broadcasting - not in the same way as heard on William Basinski shortwave compositions, but in a fashion that gives you a behind the scenes glimpse at the shadowy mechanisms of commercial radio. Consequently this album consists of warped audio excerpts from actual broadcasts and internal industry advertisements. After a particularly unnerving introduction by someone called Broadcast Programming, an organisation that edits radio playlists to max out a station's audience, mentioning all kinds of unpleasant things (are there any two words in the English language more chilling than 'adult contemporary'?). All this talk of demographics and the entirety of civilisation being herded according to their projected tastes and predilections is absolutely terrifying, and although often very funny, is by no means an uplifting experience. Fortunately Wobbly is on hand to cut up all this with sophisticated, deftly mangled electronic productions, helping you digest all the unpleasantness with a smile on your face. I'd have to do some serious rummaging to confirm this, but I'm fairly sure some of these samples have cropped up previously on Wobbly's brilliant collaboration with Matmos and People Like Us, Wide Open Spaces, a masterpiece in country music plunderphonics if ever there was one (and there was). If anything though, these excerpts make more sense when set into this album's context, as part of a satire on commercially geared broadcasting in the USA, which perhaps disconcertingly, turns out to be a highly addictive listen...