03 May 2005

Boards of Canada

Example


After a teensy bitchfest in the Gutter I thought it was time for a few words on Boards of Canada... Yes, the fellows plop out some faintly affecting scratches and bleeps and washes, yes they dabble inconsequentially with the occult and mnemonics, yes they make all the right squeaks and noises re: album covers and track titles but... i don't know, to me there's just something missing, an odd absence of content that nevertheless makes me keep buying their records for the simple reason that I figure the next one is gonna blow me away. To me, the sinister/innocent duality that they seem to be going for just doesn't pay off, at least not anymore than your average knob twiddler - to my mind there's plenty of people/bands out there doing similar things in more interesting ways.

I've been trying to see more, feeling that all the praise they get must mean I've missed something fundamental here, something elemental even but... I just don't think it's there...

Comments invited and required for my peace of mind.

And, for those who love the band but haven't bought any of their records (I bet there's loads of you), here's a few tracks to sweeten the critical blow:
Smokes Quantity

Sixtyniner

Chinook (from Maxima)


Have to say, I haven't heard the last two myself yet...maybe the secret is just around the corner...

Or maybe the answer could be found here. I guess David Koresch lives on in BOC fans...

10 comments:

Helen said...

My main problem with Boards of Canada is that so many of their songs sound the same. If they had only ever released one album I think I would like them much more. Though now and again when indulging in the capricious 'shuffle' I am taken by surprise by a good Boards of Canada song, when they sound more like library music and less like funky cooking show music. The Beach at Redpoint I think is the last song this happened with. Though also worthy of a listen is their very early demo tape which contains completely bizarre, thick cheese, and styles they've not returned to since. Maybe I will (gulp) post some MP3s of these songs if I can dig them out.

thor said...

's funny 'cuz Sixtyniner is my favorite BOC track...doesn't sound much like their other stuff, which can get a bit same-y; to me the album experience of Music Has the Right to Children is pretty great. Listening to the the whole record...the way the fuzzed and buzzed snippets work between the full-on tracks lends the experience a sort of fractured feeling...and the round tones give it sunset melancholy...

johneffay said...

I think that you're spot on about them. They're one of those bands that people are always telling me I will like. Then I listen to them and think 'so what?' Whilst they sound nothing like each other, I always group Boards of Canada with Mogwai in the 'must try harder' category.

Loki said...

absolutely agree on Mogwai... terribly disappointing in so many ways...not crap, just not great... i guess i find it easier to deal with bands who go all out for crapness but one's with unfulfilled potential...

dweller said...

I think the best work BOC have done was the EP a beautiful place in the country. I've listened to that walking in the park autumn afternoon, staring thru red leaves walking over the grass and around the trees. I also found myself singing my own lyrics to one of the tracks on that ep. The music itself on both occasions was stimulating creation on my own part. Not to make up for something lacking, but more to do with an intimacy and sharing that this kind of music has. My advice is as with all music. Don't listen to all an artists work all at once and do take it for a walk.

eelg_erom said...

you said: plenty of people/bands out there doing similar things in more interesting ways.

jackie chan say: one example is worth a thousand lectures.

........................ BOC is nice background music. provided the right (BORING) foreground

GTTRBRKZ said...

There's some examples from early BoC cassettes over at Dozer blog.

http://dozerblog.blogspot.com/2005/04/boards-of-canada.html

K.C. said...

There is much out there that fits in the BoC genre, but very little of it sounds as good as BoC when examined under the microscope of ketamine. I find that to be a suitable benchmark.

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease said...

The Beach at Redpoint I think is the last song this happened with.

kits online said...

I've listened to that walking in the park autumn afternoon, staring thru red leaves walking over the grass and around the trees.

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