Boards of Canada just don't work like other
people. Instead of recording and sending out a demo when they
were fishing for a recording contract, they recorded and pressed
their own vinyl record. This is that record, and it is now avaialble
to their fans for the first time. (well, there were grainy digitizations
available, i suppose, and a few copies of that 1995 demo record
must've slipped out somewhere.)
And, really, it's pretty good stuff. It shows where they were
coming from, and is surprisingly good for a demo. It is a little
"sparser" than their later work, which is to be expected i guess.
But, for the most part, the "Boards of Canada sound" was more
or less fully formed at inception. Most of what they were to
do on their later work was hinted at here.
Several of the songs are noteworthy, but let me first discuss
the a-typical songs. Basefree is a more drum-driven track
then Boards of Canada usually do. In a way, it reminds of the
drummy dub of Pub and is very nice. The only other tune that
really sticks out to me is Smokes Quantity, which is
a long, wandering, ambient piece. More ambient and mellow that
Boards of Canada usually do in fact. It's decent enough, but
i think i would have preferred some of their fine drum loops
behind the keys.
However, those are the only 2 songs on this release that seem
out of place in the general BoC catalog. The other tracks fit
right in alongside Geogaddi
and Music Has the Right to Children, and do it
The whole album is kicked off with Sixtynider, which
is electronica in a minor key: mournful and slow and beautiful.
Directine features standard BoC keyboard drone with drums,
only here the drums sound almost organic and really make the
song work. Likewise, Seeya Later take the keys and layers
them with some nice deep bass riffage for wonderful headbopping.
Iced Cody again follows the formula, only here the keys
themselves are distorted. They waver and whine in an odd way
that, i swear, sounds like the instrument was wet and in the
process of shorting out, or like it was played underwater. Very
interesting, and perhaps life-threatening!
In general, this is a Boards of Canada album, and if you like
their music this is a fine purchase. If you haven't liked them
yet, then this isn't going to win you over.