Every so often something clever and new comes along and makes you sit-up and take note. J Willgoose esq and Wrigglesworth are a pair of musical pioneers from London with a keen interest in archived Public Service Broadcasting. They take samples of voices from the past and combine them with electronic landscapes and crashing guitars to create something that somewhere between a homage and celebration.
The BFI archive contains pickings for the duo, who have managed to combine nostalgia with a fresh new sound; breathing life into things long forgotten. A new generation has begun to explore the rich historical tapestry which lies within. British Sea Power are key protagonists in this field, with their live rescoring of From the Sea to the Land Beyond bringing a new lease of live to the archive footage in Penny Woodcock’s documentary.
Inform-Educate-Entertain can be taken on three levels. Firstly, there’s the music. The samples are set to an electronic soundscapes, whilst they incorporate a range of musical styles into their sound. On the whole, it works well. Then you have the samples themselves. Again, on the whole, they are brilliantly segued into the sound; entertaining and informative. Most importantly, everything melds together brilliantly.
When it works, it’s brilliant. ‘Spitfire’ for example is a masterpiece; vibrant, joyous and gloriously colourful. It sounds so fresh and relevant. The first half of the album continues in this vein. ‘Theme From PSB’ makes you want to get up and pull some shapes, whilst ‘ROYGBIV’ is a much more restrained affair; slowly seeping into your psyche.
Unfortunately, the high standards of the early part of Inform-Educate-Entertain seem to slip over the last few songs, begging the question about where the pair will go next with their sound. It seems to lose focus and direction, merely stuttering to a close. On the whole though, it’s a breath of fresh air.
Inform-Educate-Entertain certainly fulfils its remit. It will be interesting to see what Public Service Broadcasting do next.