Home > Bargain > Boards of Canada – Geogaddi

Boards of Canada – Geogaddi

Warp Records, 2002

Rarely does one scope around a bin of cheap CDs and find one that is actually on one’s want list.  Boards of Canada’s “Geogaddi” had been a target of mine ever since it had been named one of the better CDs of the last decade.  I had read articles referencing it and heard a few people speaking high praise for it.  There was no way it was going to sit there collecting dust.

Boards of Canada are a Scottish duo with guys named Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin.  They’ve only put out three full records, including this one, but their adeptness at sweeping, soothing compositions is quite impressive.  “Geogaddi”, when listened from beginning to end, might send you into a state of rolling your eyes into your head.  Disclaimer:  If you listen to this record based on my review, I am in no way responsible for if your eyes do not roll back to their usual forward position.  Instead, please accept my apologies for the likelihood that you now resemble a zombie.

The record consists of the interweaving of transitional tracks (a minute or so) and longer players.  Most of the shorter tunes are curious blips, though the pretty tones used in “Dandelion” and “In the Annexe” could have used a few more minutes.  Given that a few of the lengthier tracks have no problem with being repetitive, it’s curious as to the reasons why the duo cut these two tracks short.  Maybe I’ll have to go read around somewhere.  I did have to go look up the situation with “Magic Window” and its nearly two minutes of silence.  Was this a message from the band that the best calming sound is silence?  Or is there an importance to the album run time of 1:05:54?  Ah, who knows.  I’m just a writer.

I am glad that when Boards of Canada go long, they go for about four minutes or more.  “Alpha and Omega” uses the same notes progression for most of its seven minutes, but the infusing of dark static, vocal utterances, and fades makes the whole thing a mesmerizing experience.  One could very easily put one’s head back in a chair and phaaaase ooooutt.  “Sunshine Recorder” sounds like something Rjd2 might appreciate due its introduction that includes a sort of smeared electronic note and an active drum beat.  Like “Alpha and Omega”, it is a fine tune to listen to when calming down is necessary.  A song that feels like it is twice its three minute length, “Corsair” just makes one feel lobotomized.  It’s just so serene.

After listening to the whole disc a few times, my favorite track is one of the earliest.  “Music is Math” is not only a true statement in my mind, but it also epitomizes the beauty that Boards of Canada are capable of constructing.  The light, warm tones float above each other while an unobtrusive back beat provides harder texture just works so well.  Regardless of what I think about the rest of the album’s enjoyment level, this song makes it all worth it for me.

Boards of Canada have the requisite website to seek various information, but I recommend the group’s Youtube channel for listening.

As time has gone on, I have grown a deeper appreciation for electronic music.  The boom and crash that is rock n roll is still a great thing to have at the ready, but sometimes one just needs to concentrate or cut back on the distraction of vocals.  Boards of Canada excel in this type of electronica and will always be worth listening to when they put out new material.  The duo’s last record, “The Campfire Headphase”, came out in 2005 and though six years is about the maximum line where a band is either about to put out a new one, I’m worried.  The News section of their website hasn’t been updated since 2006!  Uh oh.

It’s possible that Sandison and Eoin are working on side projects, family, etc.  Until an official announcement of the band’s existence comes out, people should go out and listen to some Boards of Canada.

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