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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 84 - 08/12/03

Broadway Project
The Vessel
Memphis Industries

Last year's Compassion, the debut album from Daniel Berridge's Broadway Project, was hailed above the skies by critics, with top scores in Jockey Slut, The Times, and the NME. Who compared the music with a diversity of artists such as Tom Waits, Portishead, Boards Of Canada, Pink Floyd, the Orb, Air and Eric Satie. Ambitious, and getting away with it.

Broadway Project first appeared in 1999, after Dan Berridge (due to illness) had moved from London back to his parents house in Sussex. He needed to do something creative, bought a sampler and BP was a fact. Some of his music isn't far from the mid-90s hip trip-hop "wave", with Bristol's Massive Attack, Portishead, and Tricky (later Sneaker Pimps, Ruby, and too many others). Are we talking a second wave then? Not really, even though there are elements of, say, Portishead. Then there's also traces of Saint Etienne and many others, without BP losing their own sound.

"Beauty" sets a magic start to the album, and makes my mind drift to Mogwai or maybe Godspeed You Black Emperor for a split-second. Then starts a dark and melancholic route through some nightly soundscapes both soothing and scaring. "Unborn" is a beauty, a quiet, laidback song without much "special effects". Other tracks are almost to heavily coated in layers of bits and pieces of Berridge's cut and paste technics. Vocalists Richard Palmer and Nikki Jenkins contribute, Palmer (being sort of a BP associate?) also credited as the co-composer/writer (lyrics?) for 6 of the 10 songs included.

Highly melodic stuff for the night time. However, I feel that the songs tend to float down the same river creek. Same pace, same temperature. Maybe not hot summer daze music, but quite refreshing nonetheless.

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