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Public Service Broadcasting Announce New Album “Bright Magic” due 24th September 2021 via Play It Again Sam + Share New Video/ Single “People, Let’s Dance” ft. EERA

June 2, 2021
Photo credit Alex Lake

Public Service Broadcasting announce their new album, Bright Magic, for release on 24th September 2021 via Play It Again Sam – pre-order/save it HERE

Share their new single and video, “People, Let’s Dance” ft. EERA

Announce UK tour for October and November 2021 with a London show at O2 Brixton Academy on 10th November

Public Service Broadcasting will release their fourth album, Bright Magic, on 24th September 2021 via Play It Again Sam. An album in three parts (Building A City / Building A Myth / Bright Magic), it is their most ambitious undertaking yet, bringing you to Europe’s heart and de facto capital, the cultural and political metropolis that is the ‘Hauptstadt’ of the Federal Republic of Germany – Berlin.

The London band, comprising J. Willgoose, Esq., drumming companion Wrigglesworth multi-instrumentalist JFAbraham and visuals guru Mr. B, now they also share their new single, “People, Let’s Dance”, featuring vocals from the Berlin-based musician, EERA. Incorporating a guitar riff from Depeche Mode’s “People Are People” and taking its title from a chapter of Rory MacLean’s “Berlin: Imagine A City”, the track opens up part two of the album, which finds the scene shifting to a three-day weekend club environment and an aspect of Berlin as a long-established free zone for pleasure, art and expression. The song comes with an accompanying video featuring colourful roller-skaters against a city backdrop, directed by Chloe Hayward.

Public Service Broadcasting are back with an explosive return. The new single will captivate you from the first introduction to the plentiful ambiance.

Public Service Broadcasting have directed their tone and the vital vocal collaboration with EERA to capture this industrial experimental creation whilst still being accessible and contemporary. This bold rhythm emerges and consumes the atmosphere alongside this remarkable energy simmering throughout. The synth notes alongside the expressive percussive elements unite to capture this bright, warming and despite its direct momentum, joyous elements soar. This fierce and robust energy collides into every angular direction this release explores, consistently raising the intensity within the far-reaching exploration.

Ultimately, Public Service Broadcasting have released a single emitting a unique vibrance, hypnotising tones and a truly expressive orchestration that offers a vast landscape with a story-telling attribute resonating within the structure and the tonality of this ensemble.

Public Service Broadcasting have been “teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future” for more than a decade now. 2013’s debut album Inform – Educate – Entertain used archival samples from the British Film Institute as audio-portals to the Battle Of Britain, the summit of Everest and beyond. Two years later, The Race For Space used similar methods to laud the superpowers’ rivalry and heroism in orbit and on the Moon. In 2017, joined by voices including Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield, Every Valley was a moving exploration of community and memory via the rise and fall of the British coal industry. Pointedly topical in its analyses, it reached number four on the UK charts.

Doing this felt inevitable, somehow,” muses J. Willgoose, Esq. “In my head, it was whirring and pulsing away for a long time, even before Every Valley – this fascinating, contrary, seductive place. I knew the album was going to be about the city, and its history and myths, and I was going to move there. So it’s quite a personal story. It’s become an album about moving to Berlin to write an album about people who move to Berlin to write an album…”

Though PSB’s use of electronics and surging guitar rock remain familiar, Bright Magic uses samples, and the English language, sparingly. It differs from their previous albums in other ways: less linear and narrative, instead it’s an impressionistic portrait of a city from the ground up. A Eureka moment of sorts came in November 2018 when Willgoose heard Walter Ruttmann’s radical Berlin tape-artwork Wochenende(or Weekend), which is sampled on three of Bright Magic’s tracks. Created in 1928, the piece collaged speech, field recordings and music into a sonic evocation of the city. Resolving to integrate these long-gone fragments with new manipulated sound sources, he set about making his own Wochenende, a narrative drama for the ears which decodes and realises the dreams of Berlin he’d constructed in his mind. 

J. Willgoose, Esq. said “I started to get a feeling for where the title of Bright Magic wanted to take me, towards ideas of illumination and inspiration, electricity and flashes of light and colour and sound (all the tracks would eventually be colour coded). I sent it to the rest of the band, and said, I know it’s going to change, but we’ll see how the city itself colours that.” 

Willgoose moved to Berlin from April 2019 to January 2020. Combining sound archaeology and the flâneuring of the psychogeographer, one street-level pursuit of the city’s energy involved Willgoose walking the Leipzigerstrasse, site of the city’s first electric streetlight, using a wide-band electromagnetic receiver from Moscow’s Soma Laboratories. “I walked up and down recording electrical currents and interference,” he laughs. “You can hear a few of these little frequency buzzes, clicks and impulses in Im Licht (a song inspired in part by pioneering lightbulb manufacturers AEG and Siemens). It’s what I was trying to do in the wider sense, I suppose – to capture those tiny little pulses you pick up while walking through a city.”

He wrote and recorded in Kreuzberg’s famous Hansa Tonstudio recording complex. This brought closer several inescapable musical touchstones: Depeche Mode’s classic eighties triumvirate, U2’s Achtung Baby and, crucially, Bowie’s “Heroes” and Low. “The whole shape and structure of the record is very much in debt to Low,” says Willgoose. Indeed, the Warszawa-evoking “The Visitor” – whose designated colour is the particular Orange of that album’s sleeve – was initially intended to feature a sample of Bowie reflecting, says Willgoose, on “how he viewed himself as this vessel for synthesizing and refracting other influences, and presenting avant-garde influences to the mainstream. We tried to absorb a bit of that spirit.” 

As well as EERA, the album’s other guest voices include Blixa Bargeld, veteran of The Bad Seeds and Einstürzende Neubauten, who becomes the voice of Berlin’s industry on the robo-teknik “Der Rhythmus der Maschinen”. Andreya Casablanca of Berlin garageistes Gurr stands in for Marlene Dietrich in “My Blue Heaven”, an anthem of proud self-determination. 

A very pro-European record, Bright Magic is ultimately not just about one city, but all centres of human interaction and community which allow the free exchange and cross-pollination of ideas. 

Bright Magic, is released on 24th September 2021 via Play It Again Sam.

Pre-order / save it HERE.

Tracklisting:

    1.    Der Sumpf (Sinfonie der Großstadt)
    2.     Im Licht
    3.    Der Rhythmus der Maschinen [ft. Blixa Bargeld]
4.    People, Let’s Dance [ft. EERA]
    5.    Blue Heaven [ft. Andreya Casablanca]
    6.    Gib mir das Licht [ft. EERA]
    7.    The Visitor
    8.    Lichtspiel I: Opus
    9.    Lichtspiel II: Schwarz Weiss Grau
    10.    Lichtspiel III: Symphonie Diagonale
    11.     Ich und die Stadt [ft. Nina Hoss]

Public Service Broadcasting will tour the UK this October and November with a show at London’s O2 Brixton Academy on 10th November 2021. Full dates are listed below – tickets are on general sale on 9th June and available HERE.

October

Sun 24 Cardiff University Great Hall                              

Mon 25 Brighton Dome                                          

Tues 26 Bristol O2 Academy                                                

Wed 27 Exeter The Great Hall                                              

Thurs 28 Southampton O2 Guildhall                                  

Sat 30 Aylesbury Friars Waterside                                              

Sun 31 Birmingham O2 Institute          

November

Mon 1 Leeds O2 Academy

Tues 2  Llandudno Venue Cymru                   

Thurs 4 Manchester O2 Apollo                                  

Fri 5 Newcastle O2 City Hall                                      

Sat 6  Aberdeen Music Hall                                

Sun 7 Glasgow Barrowland                                  

Tues 9 Nottingham Rock City                                  

Wed 10 London O2 Brixton Academy                          

Thurs 11 Cambridge Corn Exchange

https://ffm.to/psb_brightmagic

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