Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space
Public Service Broadcasting are a couple of London musicians who craft instrumentals studded with excerpts from the BBC archives – think Explosions In The Sky-esque post-rock, but with an aim to educate as well as entertain. The Race For Space focuses on the key moments of the space race, from the launch of Sputnik in 1957 to the near-disaster on Apollo XIII. Each piece is made to fit the context of the field recordings: “Sputnik”‘s soaring string work evokes the wonder of sending an object into space for the first time, “E.V.A.” brings out the science-fiction futurism of the spacewalk, “Fire In The Cockpit” is dense and sounds like the personification of dread itself. “Gagarin” is a fittingly funky tribute to the first man in space, but “Valentina”, ostensibly about the first woman in space, doesn’t seem to have the same effort put into it. “Valentina” is the only real disappointment here, however. As far as educational music goes, this is among the very best.