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Following the records made in collaboration with Francisco López and the instrumental ensemble Zeitkratzer, John Duncan returns to solo work and to exploring further the sound source he's always preferred, shortwave. We know nothing about the actual radio transmission that Duncan picked up on 18 April 2002 in the course of a single recording that gave life to this work. Only shadows remain, taking on the aspect of bells, resonating into infinity, together with reverberations and apparent choruses that stretch into emptiness. In some sections it seems as if you're listening to the ghost of a choral composition, a complex construction cut off from our senses with only a reflection given to savor, which alternately thins out and becomes dense, almost like breath. Duncan's ability to accumulate tension and energy is striking, even without dramatic passages or resolutions; PHANTOM BROADCAST could be read as a paradoxical, infinite extension of a single climactic moment, because the climax itself has force and incisiveness, unravelling in an infinite series of declinations and minimal tonal variations. The use of sounds trouvé (the reference to Surrealism is taken from Duncan himself, who compares this work to a process of automatic writing) seems to urge us to explore that which passes by us instead of ignoring it, and with extreme delicacy manages to discover folds of irridescent sound.
-- Daniela Cascella, Blow Up