That whole hauntological trip produced a huge swathe of albums that looked better than they actually sounded. Superbly strong graphics with dynamic typography. But the blurred dreamy retelling of a very British nostalgia towards a bleached-out spookiness rarely captures the mood for long.
However, the twisting details of Broadcast and the Focus Group’s collaboration from 2009 does an immense job of mapping out the space between dreams and memories. Throughout its 48-minute duration, it rarely sits in any place longer than it takes to describe it. A grainy photocopied collage of electronics, percussion, lo key grooves, dated field recording, and Tris Keenan’s perfectly anchor-less voice.
Only one track out of the 23 even makes it beyond the 3-minute mark. But the reality created here feels like 1000s of chinks of light caught in some weird crystal hanging on a branch in the forest at dusk. It’s impossible to even begin to absorb the details in 20 listens…
Tragically, any later day appraisal of Witch Cults can’t escape the fact the world lost Keenan barely a year after this release. Whilst her tragic passing, still stings a decade later, it’s hard not to see this album as nothing short of a labyrinthine masterpiece.
Investigate Witch Cults here