Bright Magic review – background music, from Weimar to Bowie – The Madison Leader Gazette
As with its predecessors’ emphasis on the space race and the British coal industry, there is a strong thematic concept in the Public Service Broadcasting program. Luminous magic. This time it’s a selective Berlin story, split into three distinct movements: The Rise of the City, a celebration of Weimar-era hedonism, and a more abstract three-track requiem. Each valley, released in 2017, looked like a transitional record: the expertly chosen speech samples that had defined their first two albums were then completed by a handful of guest singers.
Luminous magic seems like a logical next step, with fewer samples, and the likes of Blixa Bargeld, Nina Hoss, and Eera a lot more to the fore. The downside is that for all of the invention disclosed here, J Willgoose Esq and Wrigglesworth lost part of their USP with this change in focus.
The MooReading The Visitor and Hoss of a poem by Kurt Tucholsky on ambient background (Ich und die Stadt) inspired by the Bowie era is powerfully melancholy. A passionate Bargeld is a good match for the industrial throbbing of the Metropolis
– reference to Der Rhythmus der Maschinen. But the Weimar-influenced songs are largely mundane, and you find yourself yearning for the earlier euphoria of Go! or Spitfire.