Friday 1 July 2011

A Very Warped History 10: 2002 (1 Of 2)

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This time on Warped, we take a look at Boards Of Canada's follow up to their critically acclaimed Music Has The Right To Children. It takes a slightly weirder approach to the now trademark BoC sound, melding the already present nostalgic overtones with some downright strange elements. Samples of Numbers Stations, Backmasking, references to the Branch Davidians (As seen on the In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country EP before it), Hypnosis and even some slight Satanic implications (the total length of Geogaddi is 66:6), but make no mistake, this is still Boards Of Canada doing what they do best.

This LP doesn't have that slow dive into sound that it's predecessor had, it just cuts right to the chase with an excellent re-affirming of why BoC are so well regarded in the electronic world with this; Music Is Math.

But it's not long before it also let's you know this isn't the same Boards Of Canada from 1998, and do so with a track you may recognise from David Firth's Salad Fingers series; it's a melodic interlude, but with a menacing crackle and fizz lurking just below the surface, summing up the new sound of the album nicely

Geogaddi also embraces the simplicity found on the In A Beautiful Place... EP, with more than a few songs built around a recurring melody or theme. While some of the EP tracks dragged a bit; the tracks on here are more refined, with more variety and less length.

1969 features both backmasking and Branch Davidian references, the song is structured so that more layers are added as time goes on, starting with a simple 4 note loop and progressing from there, but rather than feel arbitrary, the breaks are balanced in such a way that everything flows together in a quite natural way to form the end experience.

And what's a Boards album without it's token ambient soundscape? well, there's several on Geogaddi but like Olson from their sophomore effort, this one stood out the most to me, just because it packs so much nostalgia and emotion into a small time frame, it's amazing and perfectly encapsulates the essence of BoC.

This song also stood out to me, and coincidentally happened to follow Over The Horizon Radar in the tracklist. I almost don't know what to say about it, everything from the production to the title is perfect. This track alone makes it more than a worthy successor to Music Has...

Dawn Chorus ushers in the last 4 or so tracks of the album, which crank the weirdness factor to the max. All but one of these is a BoC patented ambient soundscape, and the very last track is simply 1:46 of silence (some say to achieve that 66:6 runtime). I was torn between two of these, either this track or Diving Station, eventually Corsair won out. Normally I don't really care much for the drone side of ambient, but this track has enough subtleties to keep it fresh throughout.

And because I'm not going to post the track of silence, Magic Window, instead have this Japanese bonus track that I went to track down many moons ago, it may ruin the 66:6 runtime and have the weirdest samples of the entire album (even weirder than the Leslie Neilsen nature documentary on Dandelion), but it has some of the best sounds on the entire album. Plus it's nice after the rollercoaster that is Geogaddi to have it end on a high note.

I picked this album up along with Music Has..., so both albums kind of got merged in my head, I was new to BoC then and basically put them both on shuffle. It's been a while since I've listened to Geogaddi and I'd forgotten how good it was, it was quite nice to come back and have it almost be like my first listen. Anyway be sure to tune in next time where we will have another follow up to a classic album, Nightmares On Wax's Mind Elevation which hopefully shouldn't be too long depending on when I can get my computer woes sorted.

1969, In The Sunshine,
-Claude Van Foxbat

1 comment:

canvas art prints said...

I've loved BOC for a long time, along with Aphex Twin and Plaid they have something for any mood. Great article btw.