Broadcaster (performance name of Lewis Atkinson) is back with another new creation titled Folksploitation as he takes folk music history and blends it up with dub, groove and techno beats for a new generation. In 2008 he released ‘Primary Transmission‘ which took samples from the original Radio Ballads and created something entirely new that was described at the time as the equivalent of dance music for discerning BBC Radio 4 listeners. This new release is set to make a bigger splash….
On ‘Folksploitation’ Broadcaster has taken the limelight from the Radio Ballads to Ewan MacColl’s wife Peggy Seeger who at 77 years of age was not afraid to get actively involved. Peggy’s son Callum was also involved in producing the album who’s also a co-counder of Red Grape Records who released this and ‘Primary Transmission.’
‘Primary Transmission’ was less about narrative and more about soundbites which was symptomatic of how the Radio Ballads were put together: blending spoken word with song. Folksploitation pulls a stronger link to song writing narrative, so much so that Peggy recorded a staggering 52 tracks of unaccompanied songs during one day for this release. In terms of daring they take it to the brim with ‘First Time Ever‘, a song that was written by Ewan for Peggy and has been covered by numerous artists from Roberta Flack to Johnny Cash. Despite a reluctance by Broadcaster to include the track which proved difficult to pull together, his hard work paid off when he managed to break it down to three chords, making it the stand-out track of this release.
Peggy had this to say:
“This is as far from traditional folk music as you can get,” she says, “but these are impossible musical recipes that work despite everything. I feel like I’ve been musically ‘outed’ – this is certainly further out than I’ve ever been! I think Ewan would be fascinated.”
Another stand-out track is the heavy dub ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood‘ on which Peggy’s lyrics of ‘Daddy’s got a .38 he’s got an M16′ becoming all the more poignant when it was recorded around the the time of the riots.
Lewis Atkinson has done for Peggy Seeger what the likes of Martyn Bennett did for Lizzie Higgins, he has brought Peggy into greater prominence for a new generation. Pretty spectacular and all the more celebratory for Peggy’s hands on involvement!
Folksploiatation is released on Red Grape Records and is available from our store