Boards Of CanadaPosted: February 6, 2012
Some times I feel like I’m the only one who likes Boards Of Canada. This, I know, is bullshit – Last.fm shows they’ve got almost a million listeners, and that’s only people who use Last.fm. People in the electronic music world love them… even terrible Leicester rockers Kasabian bang on about them in interviews.
So why do I feel like I’m on my own with them? Well firstly none of the people I chat about music to care for them particularly. Yep, that’d make me feel like I’m the only one that cares.
The second thing is the music itself.
There’s a bit in Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar where he talks of his characters going into a place called The Forgotten Works; they go to pick up strange things, strange things that have been buried there for a long time, things that resemble every day objects warped out of true recognition by being buried for a long time in this strange place.
That’s what Boards Of Canada’s music sounds like to me.
To expand on this, it sounds like childhood filtered through your unconscious, coming up murky and skewed. With the achingly beautiful melody’s floating just out of reach. A bit like My Bloody Valentine I suppose.
I might sound precious but this is really how I feel about them
It’s not that BOC don’t play on this sense of mystery. They haven’t played live since the 90’s, they’ve given about 5 interviews in their lives, they lied about them being brothers (in a reverse White Stripes move), they have blurred childhood science program images on their front covers, they call their songs things like “The Smallest Weird Number”
Most people’s most beloved BOC album is “Music Has The Right To Children”. Now, I do love this album, but some times with the samples they put in it feels like they’re trying too hard to do the warp(ed)-childhood thing. They use actual vocal samples from 70’s children’s science programs and well.. It feels like someone trying to be Boards Of Canada to me, just not subtle enough compared to some later work. The most succesful tracks feel like they just exist, that they were never made at all.
So I’ve waxed lyrical about Boards Of Canada, two Scottish brothers, who love a mystery and haven’t released an album in 7 years.
Enjoy the empty ache.