Boomkat Product Review:
Originally released in 2003 and 2005 as limited edition 3" CDs, Broadcast's "Microtronics" sets of squelchy library electronix and analog beat loops have been spliced together and remastered.
Broadcast's romantic fixation on the Radiophonic Workshop's soundtrack work, and the library music that accompanied so many of that era's B-movies and TV shows has provided a backbone to their music since the earliest twangs of their debut single 'Accidentals'. But it wasn't until 2003's "Microtronics Volume 01", cheekily subtitled "Stereo Recorded Music For Links And Bridges", that their passion unravelled fully. These tracks aren't just Broadcast tunes with library elements, they're Broadcast's attempt at assembling proper library jams - short, sharp interludes and themes assembled from sonic elements that wouldn't sound out of place on "Haha Sound" or "Tender Buttons".
The longest track runs just over two minutes - they aren't songs, they're spry strip-lit odes to a long-gone era. Crate diggers will have a field day - with clattering live drums and burned-out electronics, there's a similar blunted atmosphere to "Microtronics" as the masses of interchangeable oddities Madlib fills his sampler banks with. Influenced by Italian mad scientists like Piero Umiliani, Bruno Nicolai and Alessandro Alessandroni, the KPM label, and roguish British eccentrics like Basil Kirchin, John Baker, and even Delia Derbyshire, these vignettes vibrate with genuine glee. It's as if being cleaved from their duties as a proper band, Broadcast were able to run wild into atmospheres they might otherwise have left on the cutting room floor - but it also gives a prescient look into their later recordings, like their collaborations with The Focus Group, and their soundtrack to Peter Strickland's "Berberian Sound Studio".
It's a varied selection too: there's the shuffle of sci-fi dancefloor number 'Microtronics 02', the ruff 'n tumble stop-start tape saturated psychedelia of 'Microtronics 04', or 'Microtronics 05' with its post-"Haha Sound" spy movie dub-jazz drum edits. The second side pushes further into the red, with the jerky bass-led 'Microtronics 13', submerged exotica jammer 'Microtronics 14', and Cluster-esque 'Microtronics 15'. It's essential business that adds deeper shades of color to their immaculate catalogue.