Artist: Boards of Canada
Title Of Album: Hi Scores 2014 Edition
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Skam Records
Genre: Electronic, Ambient, Downtempo, IDM
Total Time: 33:24 min
Total Size: 186 MB
1. Hi Scores (4:57)
2. Turquoise Hexagon Sun (5:09)
3. Nlogax (6:49)
4. June 9th (5:18)
5. Seeya Later (4:12)
6. Everything You Do Is a Balloon (6:59)
As things tend to move rather slowly under the hexagon sun, the re-release of two legendary Boards Of Canada recordings has been widely acknowledged as one of the events of the year. First was the announcement made by Warp only a few weeks ago that they were to re-release the long lost seminal Twoism, then it was the turn of Skam to bring back the equally essential Hi Scores EP. Although Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin came to the attention of the masses with the beautiful and dreamy Music Has The Right To Children in 1998, the hardcore electronic fans had known of Boards Of Canada for some time thanks to a handful of very limited releases published on the band’s own imprint, Music70.
Hailing from Scotland, the duo started recording at the end of the eighties, but it is not until Skam released the Hi Scores EP that Boards Of Canada finally started to get properly recognised. Two years later, Skam and Warp conjointly released the band’s fifth album, Music Has The Right To Children, followed in 2000 by the In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country EP, and this year’s Geogaddi.
Originally recorded in 1995 as a demo for the then unsigned duo to take to record labels, Twoism finally hit the shelves this month, creating one of the biggest buzz in recent years. Revealing the blueprint for the Music… and Geogaddi albums, this recording is commonly regarded as one of the pair’s best. Darker than subsequent releases, the mini album’s eight tracks are built around heavily sedated hip-hop beats and smooth vintage electronic sounds, emphasising on beautiful melodies rather than on complex sonic constructions. Defining dream sequences through an intelligent use of sounds, Eoin and Sandison were going against everything the electronic scene was standing for when they recorded this album, and demonstrated that it was possible to create music with a human dimension, using computers. From the simple space ballad that is Oirectine to the floating electro of Iced Cooly, with its approximate tuning, or the stellar lullaby title track and the low energy funk of Seeya Later, the album plays on a complex pattern of tricks and subversive elements to capture the imagination of the listener.
Released a year later as a follow up to Twoism, Hi Scores reveals slightly more open, if equally as drowsy, soundscapes. Evoking frosty fields at dawn, this EP demonstrates further the incredible maturity of the Boards’ sound back then. The opening title track and Turquoise Hexagon Sun, which was later included on Music…, are classic BoC, with their repetitive melodic lines cast over chilled beats, drawing attention to notions of wide open spaces while tiny sonic details activate in the background. While Nlogax takes further the dirty electro-funk sound experienced with Seeya Later, also included on this release, highlighting a more upbeat and upfront side of the pair’s musical identity, which would further blossom on Music…, the remainder of the EP is typical of the sleepy atmospheric electronica of Twoism.
With these two classic records now made widely available, it is no wonder why Boards Of Canada have become one of the finest and most highly regarded acts, not only in the UK, but all over the world. This is absolutely essential listening.
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