The Noise Made by People

Broadcast, 2000

Some bands seem to spend years in my distant orbit before a final approach. I'd known of Broadcast for years, but never devoted any time or headspace to them. Then lead singer Trish Keenan died, and it somehow made me less likely to dig into them. The collector in me can be fickle about bands ending: that a sum total is knowable and finite acts as a hoarding deterrent (I guess). Then Angela started playing them around the house, effectively lowering them into my daily stratosphere. Enough so, on a visit to the annual Smorgasburg Record Flea, I picked up The Noise Made by People, while visiting the Warp booth. I chose it largely based on the title—at that point, I still didn't have a grasp of their chronology.

It ends up, I bought their debut album. Listening to it, I understand why they were accused of being Stereolab-wannabes—which now seems unfair. By the year 2000, Stereolab had moved far afield of the sound Broadcast was now mining. So much so, I wouldn't call this a direct rip off, but instead: what Stereolab might have sounded like if they had continued to develop in this musical vein. Sure Broadcast's influences were readily apparent, but they weren't simply standing on the shoulders of giants, they were jumping off from from them.