Boomkat Product Review:
I'm of the opinion that Broadcast are the very best thing about Birmingham... and when I say this I'm not passing off the city with a cynical snarl, far from it, but save a few young ladies that shall remain nameless, Broadcast are nudging into first place. In fact, they're partly responsible for teaching me about the wonders of electronic music altogether... growing up in the Midlands made it rather difficult to learn about intriguing alternative sounds and these strange loungey retro-fetishists popped up as if out of nowhere to take me to places anew. Before them I was of the opinion that only Stereolab could achieve such blissful heights, but on hearing Broadcast I was shocked, not only because the music was so powerfully affecting, but because they were from the city of Birmingham, and this set me on a quest which I can now thank them for. So I suppose I'm not the most objective person when it comes to grading their music? Well I don't know about that, being a Midlander I'm still able to stick the knife in when necessary, but thankfully no such abuse is needed today, 'The Future Crayon' is a jam packed collection of some of the band's finest moments - B-sides, compilation tracks and those all important EPs. Those of you familiar with Broadcast will already know of their legendary quality control, rather than throwing down half hearted experiments as B-Sides, lost tracks, sketches and covers, the Brummies would always come up with something special, measured and exciting. Included here are tracks from 'Echo's Answer' (although sadly not the title track!), 'Come on Let's Go', 'Pendulum' and the seminal 'Extended Play 1+2' EPs, with a couple of compilation exclusives to round it off and there's not a dull moment to be found. It's widely accepted that the 'Extended Play' cds contained some of Broadcast's best work, but it's very nice to hear it next to the killer and hugely underrated material on 'Pendulum' and oft-forgotten gems such as 'Hammer Without a Master'. What surprises me is how perfectly this album flows as a whole and it's difficult to hear the transitions between time periods, in fact I might even say this is edging toward being one of the finest discs the band has had a hand in. If any of you remember the band's first collection of tracks 'Work and Non Work' then there's no way you won't fall head over heels in love with 'The Future Crayon', yet another reason to get all misty eyed about one of the best acts in England, let alone Birmingham. Just buy it.