>When I was younger, I was camping by a river. It was a cloudless night, and the stars completely filled the sky. I looked up at them, trying to stop my thoughts from drifting into that terrifying corner of the mind that cheerfully, and optimistically, tries to comprehend infinity. My theory is that if you try to think about the size of the universe, then one day your thoughts will spiral away at an unstoppable exponential rate, your eyes simultaneously widening with overwhelming realisation, with the words DOES NOT COMPUTE flashing up before your eyes forever.
As a distraction, I fiddled with my 12-band nerd-tastic short-wave radio, trying to find John Peel’s weekly show on the BBC World Service. Faced with such a bewildering frequencies, and lacking the fine-tuned motor skills to rotate the tuning dial, it wasn’t an overwhelming surprise that I failed. Happily, at the bottom of one of the short-wave bands I found a squealing, bubbling mass of space-electro, semi-random interference noise, which perfectly accompanied my mildly hysterical gaze into of life, the universe and everything.
If any lesson is to be learnt from all of this quasi-hippy yapping, it’s that sometimes even the most obscure sounds can fit the right occasion. Today’s New Band, Keyboard Choir, aren’t so deliberately obtuse that they sample radio static, but their songs do conjur up the same, icily distant feeling. Bugs samples an eerie clip from a 1960’s radio recording due to be played post nuclear war, and leaves an echoing, metallic shimmer of worry behind it.
In some ways, I suppose, there is a backwards-looking stripe running through Keyboard Choir‘s songs. Skylab‘s plaintive electronic sounds are the noises glum, lonely astronauts would force out of their simple onboard computers in the 1970’s. The loneliness of space and the anxiety from the confines of their mechanised life enclosure is all there.
It’s rare for a band to actually get within spitting distance of the sounds that they originally wanted to make, but it does seem that Keyboard Choir have done it. Ethereal and delicate. Super. Listen to them, here, right now!