London-based band Public Service Broadcasting are back at it again, this time mining the American/Soviet attempts to reach the Moon for their latest album, The Race for Space.

Retelling the story of the American/Soviet space race of 1957–1972 using hard-to-come-by access to the British Film Institute’s archive on the subject, Public Service Broadcasting’s The Race For Space is a collection of potent widescreen sonic paintings liberally studded with snatches of some of the most evocative broadcasts ever transmitted.

Fans of PSB’s 2013 debut Inform – Educate – Entertain will immediately be at home with this collection of propulsive, atmospheric and occasionally dancefloor-worthy pieces.

The PSB modus operandi continues to be a kind of well-supervised collision between Kraftwerk and The Orb (if neither had a phobia of guitars) – consequently The Race For Space is quite short on actual songs, but long and luxurious on evocative soundscapes.

More after the break

From the wordless-choir-plus-JFK of the opening title track, through the genteel chillout-tent beats of Sputnik to the weightlessness of Valentina, The Race For Space is a more insistent and coherent proposition than ‘instrumentals-plus-scratchy-old-voice-recordings’ might at first seem.

And while it’s not the toughest challenge you could present to your set-up, without wide, deep and well-defined soundstaging The Race For Space could sound a bit of a mess. Timing is crucial too, plus an explicit midrange is required to fully appreciate all that history.

  • Duration 43m 32s
  • Standout track Go! One of the few overtly punchy parts of the album, and none the poorer for it.

Buy Public Service Broadcasting's The Race for Space on CD at Amazon

Buy Public Service Broadcasting's The Race for Space on vinyl at Amazon

Comments

spiny norman's picture

Correction

Umm, the name of the band is wrong in the title!

EDIT thanks for correcting

Products featured in this story