The first new material from Broadcast after a nearly three-year delay following Work and Non Work, this two-track single showed the group still in excellent form, not to mention well into shaking off the Stereolab comparisons. "Echo's Answer," which ended up on The Noise Made By People the following year, is simply captivating, with keyboards sounding like low bells performing a simple, haunting melody. Extra string synths and touches softly add to the minimal effect, while Keenan's soft vocals add to the overall air of mystery. "Test Area" has drummers Perkins and new member Keith York laying down a rolling, space-rock groove with some fine fills, as keyboards and guitar drones and lines swoop around the mix. Halfway through, the mood perceptively changes, with rough, snarling bass keyboard underpinning a more complex percussion effort, at once a touch faster and stiffer and, thanks to the variety of instruments audibly used, more quirkily funky. An aura of slightly gloomy energy hangs over the piece, and quite nicely at that.
Echo's Answer Review
by Ned Raggett