Back in 2008, Broadcaster took samples from the award-winning BBC Radio Ballads series and gave them a radical makeover on his debut EP Primary Transmission. These ground-breaking radio programmes – created by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker and Peggy Seeger for the BBC during the 1950s and 1960s – were masterpieces of broadcasting, weaving the voices of those living in everyday Britain with songs written from, and about, their experiences. These tapestries of speech, sound and song were considered revolutionary for their time and opened up new vistas and techniques for radio documentaries.
Broadcaster took these voices from the past and set them against a new musical backdrop, breathing fresh life into their stories. Primary Transmission maintains the integrity and humour of the original recordings and, with a nod to Fatboy Slim and Moby, offers a unique interpretation that is moving, haunting and very addictive.
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Here’s what the press and radio said…
Colin Murray, BBC Radio One
I loved it before I heard it played on the radio and I adore it even more now. It deserves to be played ALL over Radio One. If we’re doing our jobs right as the nation’s greatest, you should be hearing that in a lot of places – very special indeed!
Colin Irwin, The Guardian
Could do for the English tradition what Moby’s ‘Play’ did for Alan Lomax’s field recordings… The opening track, ‘England’ has been championed by Colin Murray at Radio One. It still came as a shock, however, to find Peggy Seeger enthusiastically promoting Primary Transmission and selling it at gigs on her recent tour. “I love it”, she says. “It’s great to hear the music done in that way”.
Bill Brewster, Ministry of Sound Radio
It’s on the playlist. I’ll be playing it a lot – it’s right up my street.
Gillian Anderson, The Daily Telegraph
Anyone who doubts the poetic power of ordinary people’s speech, should hear a revolutionary new use of it, in Primary Transmission …. mixing samples into powerhouse dance beats. It’s an unlikely marriage – but I think it’s brilliant. All it needs is a radio network with the imagination to play it.
I love this! It’s been welded to my CD player at home for a week to catch unsuspecting visitors. I’ve been calling it ‘flat cap house’.
Robin Denselow, The Guardian
Startling and radical … and surprisingly poignant.
Classic old-school house with bustling, funky bass, organ and brass, this is a righteous Balearic tune with a lovely folky refrain.
Highlands FM (Australia)
Broadcaster amazed me, uplifted me and brought tears of sheer delight to my eyes. It’s so innovative!
A triumphant celebration of funky and exuberant beats – this really is pure and simple, unadulterated good fun! This is a refreshing and vibrant reinterpretation that deserves plaudits for its achievement.
Suddenly there’s a clatter, a burst of brass, then a barrage of beats that sounds like the escape committee from Fatboy Slim’s loft, and Ewan MacColl sounding like Elvis and Peggy Seeger sounding like an angel.
The Beat Surrender
British Working Mens Club meets Lemon Jelly – it makes an interesting blend!
Rock n Reel
It’s an unlikely juxtaposition, but it works beautifully and could become the unlikeliest dance hit of the year.
There’s an exciting, edgy quality to these new tracks, generated in part by the sometimes relentless beats, while the looping of various melodic fragments and figures can be intensely satisfying. It’s addictive and surprisingly moving.