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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/14/2011

R.I.P. Broadcast's Trish Keenan

By David Malitz

Incredibly sad news this morning with the passing of Trish Keenan, singer for U.K. experimental duo Broadcast. According to a statement from her label, Warp Records, Keenan died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care.

There simply weren't many bands better than Broadcast. Their debut album, "The Noise Made By People," was a swirling blast of retro-futuristic psychedelia, a good decade before that sound became so in vogue. The band's November 2000 concert at 9:30 Club in support of that album remains one of my favorite of all time. I remember they were opening for the Sea & Cake that night and I simply left the club before the headliner even came on because I couldn't imagine anything topping the sensory overload of Broadcast's set.

But the band's peak came when it stripped down its sound on 2005's "Tender Buttons," a spooky, buzzy album filled with scratchy and screechy synthesizer sounds. Stripping away the layers put even more focus on Keenan's voice. It was icy but never emotionless. Sometimes it would fade right into a synth line, you couldn't distinguish between the two. Other times it was incredibly seductive. "Tender Buttons" was the sound of a bleak future, but since Broadcast was soundtracking it, it couldn't be all bad.

By David Malitz  | January 14, 2011; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Morning click  | Tags:  Broadcast, Trish Keenan  
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