Broadcaster has never been afraid to break musical boundaries or cross genres. A collaboration with a septuagenarian American folk music legend may seem highly improbable but with Folksploitation, Broadcaster and folk grande dame Peggy Seeger have pulled off a genre-defying album full of hypnotic and hook-laden delights.
Peggy has made 22 solo recordings and taken part in more than 100 more with other performers, but she has never before been involved in a project like this. “This is as far from traditional folk music as you can get,” she says, “but these are impossible musical recipes that work despite everything. I feel like I’ve been musically ‘outed’ – this is certainly further out than I’ve ever been! I think Ewan would be fascinated.”
Broadcaster: “I love pushing a song to its extremes – I take all the crispy bits and see what I can do to reinvent them. Subverting songs is a long process and naturally there’s a lot that ends up on the cutting room floor. But I think we’ve achieved something unusual that challenges the notion of genres and pushes a boundary or two.”
Reinventing ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ was nothing if not challenging. Originally written by Ewan MacColl for the 21-year-old Peggy in the early days of their courtship, the song has been covered by over 60 artists from Roberta Flack and Elvis, to Johnny Cash and Leona Lewis. Peggy herself has been singing it for over 50 years, and the thought of asking her to sing it in a different way was initially daunting. But she was open to new ideas and the result is the lead single First Time Ever, with Peggy’s heart-rending vocals laid against dub, groove and techno beats.
Other tracks on the album include songs from early last century that tackle the still-contemporary topics of inner city violence and drugs. Others are just great danceable tracks that will make you smile! All are given the Broadcaster treatment that takes them into a different realm.
Here’s what the press and radio said…
(Bad Bad Girl) With her weathered, steadfast voice filtered and edited, there’s steel in her performance – set to a Weatherall-esque dub rock chill. Q Magazine
(Bad Bad Girl) Utterly vital, the kind of recasting of a classic that gets Quentin Tarantino’s blood up. Sounding like Bonnie stood alone without her Clyde, Seeger’s voice drips with menace and sex. She has a catwoman slink as Broadcaster’s snarling guitars and outlaw-swagger beats stalk after her. It’s hypnotic. Music OMH
A bangin’ reworking (of First Time Ever). Mojo
(First Time Ever) Excellent! I love this! Janice Long, BBC Radio 2
(First Time Ever) It’s got under my skin and I think it’s utterly beautiful. Dave Gorman, Absolute Radio
(First Time Ever) has scarcely sounded as wild as it does now, back in the hands of its original owner. Daily Telegraph
Thrilling contemporary takes on old folk themes. Daily Mirror
A daring (and) uncompromising dance record that hurtles at you in a blazing barrage of offbeats, loops and samples. Daily Telegraph
There’s a burgeoning Scottish tradition of roots remixing … but it’s rarely done as smoothly as Folksploitation. i Newspaper (The Independent)
Every track on Folksploitation is awesome and for once I don’t hesitate to use that word. Folksploitation is a masterpiece. Indie Showcase
Folksploitation has already ignited a whole new wave of interest in the woman whose voice cuts like the chant of a shamen across Broadcaster’s edgy techno beats with all the wisdom of the ages. It’s an utterly absorbing and frequently exhilarating experience. ….. Folksploitation is a thrilling, hypnotic experiment which Seeger’s die-hard fans will probably approach with trepidation. But ultimately, it’s a surprising triumph for this redoubtable singer’s capacity to push the boundaries and make her listeners think again. Cry Me A Torch Song Blog
One of those records that sets your mind off racing … both unsettling and wondrous. Music OMH
A genre-defying album full of hypnotic and hook laden delights. Annular Media
A strange, magical and utterly compelling trip of an album. It’s smoking! Ethical Hedonist.
An absolute triumph as dance and folk come together in harmony. If you listen to one dance album this summer make sure it is Folksploitation. Male Extra Review
Manipulates throbbing low bass and dub sounds to craft something that’s a little bit different – not an album you’d lend to your Gran but it will open a new generation to musical styles that came before. A Musical Priority
Broadcaster has done for Peggy Seeger what the likes of Martyn Bennett did for Lizzie Higgins, he has brought Peggy into greater prominence for a new generation. Pretty spectacular and all the more celebratory for Peggy’s hands on involvement! Folk Radio.com