the pathetic caverns - music by artist - Boards of Canada
eclectic reviews and opinions
Boards of Canada
(Warp Records, 2002)
Chances are, if you remember 80's collage-rock pioneers Art of Noise at all, you remember them for the gimmicky singles with the high-profile guest spots: Max Headroom and Duanne Eddy. So it may seem a little weird for me to say that the new release from Boards of Canada, highly regarded electronica artists, sounds like nothing so much as a decade-later sequel to Art of Noise, but it's the album In No Sense? Nonsense! I'm really thinking of. Like that record, geogaddi is more repetitive than what I usually go for, but has some elegant melodies. It's beat-heavy, but not overwhelmingly so, and it has an intriguing, kitchen-sinky, cut-up sensibility. There are a lot of samples, organic and inorganic, some processed to the point where they are barely recognizable, like the warbly counting that underlies "Gyroscope", some more obvious (static, rain, rushing water and a host of more "conventional" instruments). The beats range from retro 80's drum machine sounds ("Music is Math") to what sound pretty much like real hand drums ("The Beach at Redpoint" and "Alpha and Omega,") to unidentifiable percussive sounds that lend a musique concrète quality to the record -- one of the sounds in "Gyroscope" even literally makes me think of cinder blocks being banged together.
geogaddi also picks up points for being very well sequenced -- a 66-minute dose of this sort of thing is more than I would usually want, but the flow of this one has had me listen all the way through more times than I would have expected.
Is this the electronica record you want even if you hate electronica? Probably not, but if you're curious about electronica or IDM, it might be an accessible entry point. And if you'd like to hear some of the roots of the style, check out some of the album cuts from Art of Noise.
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