(written by the Grönland Bear 2010)
Broadcast 2000 is the musical creation of Joe Steer, a classical music graduate with a unique take on folk using computer-generated looping of acoustic instruments. In 2010 Grönland Records released the self-titled debut album 'Broadcast 2000', with the original bedroom recordings enhanced by violin parts from acclaimed violinist Tom Hobden (Noah and the Whale) and additional production by star producer Eliot James (Kaiser Chiefs/Bloc Party). The record is full of veritable symphonic gems, featuring layered vocal stylings along with complex yet harmonious musical arrangements that include double bass, cello, guitar, ukulele, glockenspiel and percussion all sung and played on the recordings by Steer himself. As a live band Steer has assembled his own mini-orchestra of exceptionally talented London based musicians who together give his songs a thrilling life of their own.
Steer began writing songs while in his early teens in rural Devon, “Growing up in the middle of Devon means you have little else that could possibly occupy your time apart from music. No football teams to support, no high street or shopping centre to hang around in. In fact, the majority of my school buddies were in bands.” After playing in a number of bands as a teen, Steer studied music and played in an orchestra before starting the band Artisan. When his long time co-writer and Artisan band mate Lee Schofield decided to move to Africa, Joe resolved to pursue his own project.
He ensconced himself in his north London flat and proceeded to experiment, writing the songs he would later record, and, unexpectedly for him, sing, on the EP Building Blocks: “Although I’ve never really thought of myself as a vocalist, I started writing the Broadcast 2000 songs always thinking I’d just put some vocals on as a guide, then get a proper singer to sing them once I was happy with the tune.” Needless to say, his captivating tenor is once again featured on the new release.
The new album fully justifies Steer’s move to branch out of the confines of his home studio in the hope of enhancing the density of his compositions: “The idea of getting a 'proper' producer on board to help finish the recordings wasn’t really to change my sound, but to allow me to thicken out the arrangements and add many more layers of instrumentation than I could with my basic recording setup at home. That said, I hope the music hasn't lost that 'home-studio' sound – I kept telling Eliot, the producer, that I still wanted it to sound like I recorded it in my bedroom, but this time as if I've crammed a full orchestra in there!”
The Broadcast 2000 live band currently consists of the musicians Tom Andrews (glockenspiel), Chris Banner (percussion), Pedro Del Battenberg (percussion), Louise Golbey (harmony vocals), Kelly Underdown (violin), Jade Brightwell (violin) and Alex Eichenberger (cello).