Boomkat Product Review:
In his earliest days as a recording artist, Peter Broderick assembled two CD-Rs based on sketched recordings committed to tape with old, worn-in microphones. The discs were labelled "4 Track Songs" and got bundled off to Type Records' headquarters. This was a first taster of the work that was just around the corner for Broderick, and the music gathered together for these two volumes encompassed all areas of Peter's work; you can hear the building blocks of both the Float and Home albums in these sketches, accounting for the full breadth of the young polymath's creative endeavours - as a composer, pianist, guitarist, violinist and singer/songwriter. One of the first things to strike you about this record is that so many of the roughly documented instrumental pieces here are downright incredible: look beyond the functional labelling that denotes 'More Of A Composition' and you'll hear a shatteringly beautiful soundtrack-in-miniature, setting dusted piano figures against a swelling string accompaniment. The fact that such an elegant and complete sounding neo-classical piece is laid down as a humble home fourtrack recording is somehow quite ridiculous, yet it only underlines what this Portlander is capable of - even when he's laying down homespun DIY recordings. Straying beyond the main thread of the album you encounter slightly more experimental, off-topic compositions like the tape collage hip-hop of 'Walking/Thinking' or the grainy electric drone of 'A Low End Rumble', but perhaps the most revelatory content here comes in the more overtly song-based material. During his fingerpicked acoustic numbers there's a rawness that goes beyond the kind of multi-layered polish of his work on 'Home', and there's musical common ground established with the tone of The Creek Drank The Cradle-era Iron & Wine (particularly on the upbeat twang of 'For Dave') or the songs that featured on Elliott Smith's posthumous New Moon album. One of the very best pieces here is '(Untitled #2)' - which in a funny sort of way is a very Elliott Smith thing to call a song ('No Name #2' perhaps?) - there's a ramshackle backbeat and a chord sequence that sounds uncannily like the late Heatmiser frontman's work, and for all its unkempt presentation it's a well executed and worthy tribute. The issuing of 4 Track Songs as a proper, finished album gives a valuable insight into Broderick's talent, revealing his music in all its accomplishment and diversity within a context of unvarnished immediacy that only serves to bring the listener closer to the moment of conception, effectively letting you in on Broderick's writing process at its most elemental level. Plus, somehow, the crackle of warm analogue vinyl imbues these recordings with an incomprehensible glow, a fragile loveliness that we just can't get enough of. Massive Recommendation.