I remember going into Other Music one day in 1997 and being instantly bewitched with the sounds of harpsichord, strings, a locked-down groove and, especially, the singer's distant, chilly vocals. It was Broadcast's "The Book Lovers" and I pretty much fell for the band right there, picking up their singles comp, Work and Non Work, on the spot.
It would be almost three years before we heard from them again, to the point where I almost forgot they were still around. But they were hard at work on their debut album, The Noise Made By People, released in 2000 which pretty much floored everyone who heard it. Adding subtle electronics to the mix (they were on Warp, after all), there was just something perfect about Broadcast's retro-futurism that managed to be both detached and inviting. "Come on Let's Go" was one of the year's best singles.
Trish Keenan's icy coo was instrumental to Broadcast's appeal, and it was with great shock and sadness to hear she had died this morning from complications with pneumonia which she contracted after getting the H1N1 flu in December. Broadcast were one of the best bands of the last 15 years, no question, restlessly creative. If you don't own The Noise Made By People, Haha Sound and Tender Buttons, your record collection is not complete. (You should also pick up b-sides comp The Future Crayon too.) I'd like to think if there is an afterlife, Broadcast would be playing in the lobby. She will truly be missed.
Here's a rarity, the amazing Two Lone Swordsmen remix of 2000's finest song, which was originally released in 1999 as the b-side of vinyl-only single "Drums on Fire":