Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Very Warped Epilogue: Part Two

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Now we come to a whole bunch of stuff I picked up long after I covered them in the main series. There's some real gold stuff here; the beginnings of what would be the 'golden age of Warp. Except this time we're going to start with a release that wasn't on Warp, but leads nicely into the history of the Label itself.


Twoism is the LP that brought BoC to the attention of Warp, and they were signed on shortly thereafter. Despite this they released one final EP on their previous label; Skam Records. I snagged a copy from Discogs, it comes in a paper-thin card case, with only the words "Boards Of Canada" on it, as you can see above. However the picture doesn't let you see the embossed braille on the case (which also just says Boards Of Canada), foreshadowing future weirdness like on the Geoggaddi vinyl. Like Twoism, it serves as a precursor to the trademark BoC sound, with bits of more techno-styled tracks inbetween, give it a listen.



After this EP, the Boards also released an album on their own label Music70, Boc Maxima, but all 50 copies were only distributed to family and friends. However like the Old Tunes tapes it isn't that hard to find online, and a lot of the songs appear on other, later BoC releases, namely Music Has The Right To Children. But there are a few that are exclusive to this release, including one that is among of my favourites of theirs. Whitewater starts off fairly unassuming but at around a minute in, the main melody hits and in that moment it became an instant favourite.



Another exclusive that errs more on the techno side of things is Red Moss, that opening sting really shows off how much old TV and the National Film Board Of Canada (where they took their namesake from) influenced them. However it doesn't stay that way for long, and it soon becomes a techno driven number in the vein of June 9th from the Hi Scores EP, cascading beats and all.




Similarly, fellow Warp mainstay Squarepusher dropped his debut on AFX's Rephlex label. It's an eclectic mix of atmospheres, and is a perfect introduction to all things Squarepusher: the breaks, the bass guitar and the genre hopping are all present here. I'd even go as far to say that the opening track from it wouldn't sound too out of place on one of his later releases such as Hello Eveything or Just A Souvenir.



The trend I noted back in the Go Plastic entry for the 'pusher to put an ambient piece around halfway through his LPs seems to have started here. This track has the honour of being the first I heard from this album,and for dethroning both Tommib and Tommib Help Buss as my favourite ambient Squarepusher tracks. The progression is just perfect.



There's even a little bit of hip hop/trip hop stuff on Feed Me Weird Things, of the two I much prefer the darker sounding U.F.O's Over Leytonstone (in part due to that title), it's got an atmosphere that reminds me a little of cuts from Massive Attck's Mezzanine, there is a lot of variation throughout as sounds come and go into the mix, and even a little bit of a cheeky 303 at about 3:30.



I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop myself here, rest assured I have another part planned, I was going to put it on the end of this one, but it's big enough as it is. So instead, join me next time for what I'm affectionately calling the Aphex Twin blowout.

One Very Important Thought,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A Very Warped Epilogue: Part One

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So here we are, the first of a final few installments of the warped posts, I can't say how many posts it will be but I digress. It's taken us a long time to get here and I wasn't sure how I was going to end it, but over the past couple of days I've been thinking, and this is what I came up with. I know the Warped Leftovers posts haven't been too popular, so instead I decided I would give my favourite tracks from the warp crew one final hurrah spanning a few posts.


A track I really wanted to include in the Incunabula overview, but decided it was too long, Windwind holds the same territory as 444, a long instrumental with an incredible haunting intro. Despite being from 1993, I'd say the track still sounds very futuristic, it's not incredibly complex but it more that does the job.



F.U.S.E's debut I mentioned previously is just as amazing, Incunabula and Dimension Intrusion both encapsulate my favourite elements from that early techno sound and are from the same year. It's a shame it's not track 1 on the LP, because that intro and bassline combo is bloody fantastic. In fact, I'd go as far to say as the entire {Artificial Intelligence} set of albums are worth your time.



Likewise, another of my favourite slices from Dimension Intrusion is the 13 minute epic Theychk. Again, there's not much complexity to it, but there's enough variation on that initial sequence to keep it interesting. especially when the samples come in and every so often a concerned voice asks you "What's wrong?".




Similar to Plaid, Seefeel are a band I've admired but could never get 100% into their releases. Their philosophy is great; to create electronic-esque soundscapes using acoustic instruments, there are a lot of sustained sequences and motifs throughout, which I enjoy from a technical standpoint, but not from a listening one. That isn't to say they don't have tracks I don't like however: I discovered this one through an ambient compilation (and was only available on that until it was included on the 2007 re-issue of their debut LP) and since then it's grown to have a firm place in my collection.



Another tune I really dig from them, taken from the Starethough EP (which the original CD pressing unfortunately suffers from CD Bronzing). I picked up on Spangle just before the whole Warp20 thing kicked off, and I just love the floaty, dreamlike nature of the track. An often overlooked gem if I do say so, especially considering most copies have been lost between the bronzing and the Warp warehouse fire.



And that covers up to 1994 in tracks I've missed out while documenting Warp's history. I would take it a bit further, but a few of these are long ones, so join us next time where I'll be covering Boards Of Canada's pre-warp release that got them signed to their current home, and a few other bits and pieces on the way..

Looking Back,
-Claude Van Foxbat