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Album Review

Forget everything you ever thought was dull or ponderous about ambient music, as Boards of Canada return like Greek heroes — unbound from a genre that often sounds like a washing machine begging for a swift kick. Pay attention, Radiohead. Boards of Canada traced a disturbed childhood in the arctic, austere Music Has the Right to Children, but here there's a slightly warmer feeling. More central, tweaked vocals add a new dimension to the "hard beats + bittersweet melodies" pattern of the past; songs like the gorgeous, ice-melting "Zoetrope" glide along on simple celestial glimmers without a single bassline in sight. It's as if the band is thawing out in preparation for something. Even when it's hard to tell what that might be. Tiny, exploratory decisions — no matter. You'll likely want to crawl inside this EP's washing machine for a long, long time. [An LP version was released in 2013.]


Formed: 1996 in Scotland

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Boards of Canada are the duo of Michael Sandison (born June 1, 1970) and Marcus Eoin (born July 21, 1971). Based on the northern coast of Scotland, the group got its start on acclaimed experimental electronica label Skam in 1996 after recording an obscene number of tracks and pressing the best of them up as a miniscule-run 12", Twoism, an eight-track promo EP the group sent to labels in lieu of a demonstration tape. The pair's first official release appeared on Skam toward the middle of 1996, and...
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In a Beautiful Place Out In the Country - EP, Boards of Canada
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