Review #54: Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space

Artist – Public Service Broadcasting
Album – The Race For Space (2015)

Check it out –

Public Service Broadcasting are an electro/alternative duo from London, UK. PSB interestingly only write instrumental music, no vocals, stating that “singing is never going to work. I’m not going to be happy with it, I’m not going to be comfortable playing it to other people”. Instead of recording vocals PSB every so often use samples of old public information broadcasts, propaganda videos and archive footage, which explains their name. Public Service Broadcasting brought their debut album ‘Inform-Educate-Entertain’ out in 2013, which gained reasonable success, and now follow that up with ‘The Race For Space’.

The Race For Space was an interesting and enjoyable album, just a very odd mixture of genres. The theme of space travel runs through the entire album in the form of sampled speech, but is overlain on a funk style track one second, then an ambient synth track, indie rock track, moody acoustic track and so on. This adds variety to the whole album and I feel keeps the listener intrigued, rather than confused at the switches in style. Each track seems authentic to its genre, experimental at times, but keeps the general electronic, indie, funk components in check. These parts are also performed very well by the two members, both multi-instrumentalists and obviously very competent at those instruments. The theme of space throughout this album is portrayed in a very interesting way, feeling more real coming from the original audio recording in relation to space travel. My personal favourites are the more funk styled track ‘Gagarin’, reminding me slightly of Rush’s ‘YYZ’, and the intro track ‘The Race For Space’, as i feel it sets the tone of the album.

The Race For Space is an interesting and creative album. Having a theme run through makes it feel like more of an entire piece of work, whereas it’d feel a bit disjointed without (due to the range of genres).


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