Posts Tagged ‘The Race For Space’

Public Service Broadcasting perform Go! at BBC 6 Music Festival 2015. Public Service Broadcasting is a London-based pseudonymous musical duo consisting of J. Willgoose, Esq. on guitar, banjo, other stringed instruments, samplings and electronic instruments; and Wrigglesworth on drums, piano and electronic instruments.[3]

They take samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material, attempting to ‘teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future’. The band have released two albums, “Inform-Educate-Entertain” (2013); a second one, “The Race For Space”, released on 23rd February 2015.

Go! is the second single to be taken from Public Service Broadcasting’s new album “The Race For Space”.  turned their attention to the people who might not get as much love when it comes to things like the moon landing, those in the control room, for their new video ‘Go!’. They tied that together with evidence that the moon landing did indeed actually happen – contrary to the beliefs of a surprisingly large amount of people – and J. Willgoose finds their doubting a total mystery.

“I find it a particularly sad indictment of our species that arguably our greatest technological and spiritual achievement – leaving our own planet and walking on another celestial body – is viewed by the more cynical as a colossal waste of money or, worse, as the greatest hoax ever perpetuated.”

Their new album The Race for Space is out now,

On this rare occasion, at the site of the first BBC transmission (Alexandra Palace), J.Willgoose gives a rare talk about their unique approach and creative process, he introduces PSB’s upcoming album ‘The Race For Space’ followed by a mesmerising set of their past material. We eagerly await the release in Feb 2015.

In 2015, it’s easy to take for granted how important and far-reaching the space race was. But imagine yourself in 1957: News breaks that there’s something in the sky — in space — and if you tune your shortwave radio to an especially high frequency, you can hear its signal chirping back to you as it circles the Earth. It’s called Sputnik, the first man-made satellite launched into orbit. The Soviet Union’s groundbreaking success ushered in a new era, and nothing has been the same since.

Five years later, John F. Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech persuaded the American public that space was a frontier beckoning to be pioneered. Ascending to the stars would be the next step in mankind’s evolution. To many, that idea of space and the awe of discovery permeated practically every aspect of American culture with a sense of possibility and excitement — but also deeply felt dread as we pondered life’s meaning in the cosmos.

These themes lie at the core of Public Service Broadcasting’s new album, The Race For Space, a song cycle that retells the American and Soviet tentpole events between 1957 and 1972 — roughly from Sputnik to Apollo 17 — and lets us hear that historical arc the way many experienced it at the time.


Part musical group, part performance-art outfit, Public Service Broadcasting is the innovative and geeky work of Londoners J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth. The two earned their reputation for marrying looped dance beats and electronics with spoken-word passages culled from old public-service messages, synced to meticulously edited film footage projected while they perform. With The Race For Space, Willgoose and Wrigglesworth incorporate original news broadcasts and communications between the astronauts and NASA’s master control. From song to song, this tapestry of source material narrates each chapter chronologically, placing the listener inside the drama of the moment — propelled by futuristic Kraftwerk-meets-Aphex Twin-meets-Daft Punk sounds suitable for a laser show at the local planetarium.

“The Race For Space” opens with a mood-altering choral overture and JFK’s inspirational speech as a haunting invocation. “Space is there, and we’re going to climb it. And the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there,” Kennedy says, as a soaring choir gives every line extra resonance.

The duo crafts tiny instrumental flourishes that illuminate the story. “Sputnik” includes the distant yet unmistakable bleeping of a satellite. In “Valentina,” chiming wordless voices from folk duo Smoke Fairies honor cosmonaut Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space. And the somber celestial silence in “Fire In The Cockpit” recounts the deaths of Apollo 1’s three crew members.

Yet The Race For Space’s biggest showstoppers use sound to build cinematic excitement — as in the exuberant “Gagarin,” which bursts with slinky disco riffs and funked-up horn blasts while playing reports about cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space. Meanwhile, “Go!” channels fiery, motorik beats, intricate guitar licks and TRON-era synths as the Apollo 11 team counts down before landing on the moon — a moment punctuated by Neil Armstrong’s famous line, “The Eagle has landed.”

The most stirring moment of all comes in “The Other Side,” about Apollo 8 slingshotting itself around the dark side of the moon. Public Service Broadcasting demonstrates its masterful touch for storytelling when the dusty drum machines momentarily drop out — just as the astronauts lose contact with NASA ground control. The song builds anxiety and tension as we sit nervously for what feels like an eternity — and then swells to a joyful release when the voices from space finally reconnect.

Public Service Broadcasting fittingly closes with “Tomorrow,” a melancholic and meditative final statement that admires how far we’ve come. Decades later, all this can seem like far-off history. But Willgoose and Wrigglesworth’s ambitious concept music allows listeners to rekindle that same wonder again. Space still has the capacity to captivate.

Following their critical and commercial success of last year’s debut album and after extensive touring throug out last year and over the last eighteen months Public Broadcasting Services have a new album for release next year in February 2015 titled “THE RACE FOR SPACE”. The only appropriate place to debut the new album is at the National Space Centre in Leicester on the 26/27th February. The Album Recorded at the Pool Studio and Abbey Road Studios in London, with exclusive footage from the British Film Institute the new album will tell the story of the American and Russian Space Race from 1957-1972 their guitar driven electronica. propulsive drumming and the spoken word samples prove these shows should be something special.