“Broadcast and The Focus Group is the most experimental outing for Broadcast to date, continuing as it does in the vein of the Focus Group’s Hey Let Loose Your Love and We Are all Pan’s People. It goes places Broadcast only hinted at in tracks like “Minus Two”, “One Hour Empire”, or anything off the Microtronics EPs. Only “The Be Colony” and “I See, Oh I See” feature the traditional vocal-oriented structure of past Broadcast works (others have vocals, but they are supportive hexes to the musical spells). The rest is a dense, fragmentary fog of found and imaginary sound unstuck in the eye of a Ouija board. It favors House’s operational dream logic and “bad looping”, which creates an amalgamation of tracks bursting with ideas and suggestive of patterns which could, by the less careful hand, be plucked from their loom and made mundane by slapping hip-hop beat onto them (a technique Broadcast never exercised despite their frequent tagging as a “trip-hop” band).
Moments begin to click together and forms “songs”, only to be splintered by incoming patches of yappy flute barks or backwards-masked voices. The entire album is an exorcism of an dead universe. Nothing can stay together here. It’s hauntology as a pasture of incidental tones and half-ripped photographs. The video footage is unable to focus. The lens’s view is eternally obstructed. The wild blurs of compounded biographies come off like a fever dream of a memory play. “You Must Wake” takes some library synth sounds a la Boards of Canada and scorches them in fire. The transition between the lush mellotron-buried-in-water poetry of “Royal Chant” and the angelic choir of “What I Saw” is a series of animal chatter, dying battery pitch shifts, and a series of knocks against a screen door.
The mélange of anxious crows, unstable broken glass, malignant organ drones, strange robotic walkie talkie static, hypnagogic junk piano, drug cocktail backward-masking, interrupting rotary telephones, screaming phantasms, and hazy campfire auras of Inca Ore-like cassette excavations makes for a high quality Halloween FX tape, but there’s more going on here, and more at stake.”-popmatters review