Made in the DIY spirit spawned by punk five years earlier, these recordings comment on the contemporary political climate as the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher revived its failing popularity with the British victory in the Falklands War.
Hours of radio broadcasts are condensed into brief sound bites that illuminate the political and social climate of the 1980s. These are carefully arranged over short instrumental backing tracks which provide structure and pace, as well as underscore the rhythms and cadences in the speakers’ phrases.
Ambiguous in tone, and without commentary, these tracks leave it to the discerning listener to pick out the rhetoric, contradictions and absurdities in the speakers' words. You have the freedom to listen and decide for yourself.
As well as the Falklands/Malvinas War, the tracks cover topics such as nuclear disarmament, unemployment, and the celebration of individual success which came to symbolise the decade.
The six pieces were made in 1982 using a Teac Portastudio 144, the original ‘home studio’, with its double-speed, cassette-based 4-track recording and mixing console. The music was constructed from a small collection of budget musical instruments: electric and bass guitars, a Casiotone VL-1 synthesiser and percussion made on anything to hand. This was then mixed with small fragments of radio broadcasts (selected from hours of material captured off air and played back on another cassette recorder), arranged to focus on a contemporary political topic. Five of the tracks were used under the title ‘Voices from the Air’ in a theatre project directed by Janek Alexander and produced by Amsterdam’s Mickery Theatre in 1984.