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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Boards Of Canada website  Boards Of Canada - Geogaddi [Warp - 2002]

The Scottish duo is back after their groundbreaking debut album "Music Has The Right To Children" (1998). It has been a long wait; the years have produced many Boards Of Canada-wannabees and only one EP to fulfil our needs for trippy ambient-based music. "Geogaddi" is therefore one of the most anticipated albums of 2002 for the regular Warp-listener.

The critics already questioned "Geogaddi" before its actual release. "Will they be able to beat the debut album?" "What will change in comparison with the debut?" "How daring is it?", and that kind of insignificant details, that should in no way affect the way you listen to the new album. To answer these questions anyway: "Geogaddi" has no surprises to those who are familiar with Boards Of Canada. The duo has only refined their formula of hallucinating ambient psychedelia with a vaporous touch spread over the surface, lurking plastic hip hop rhythms facing dance beats and nostalgic samples that must have a link to the artists' childhood.

What really is different about "Geogaddi" compared to the debut album will only appear after the few listens: the mood is slightly darker than before. "Music Has The Right To Children" had a sense of melancholia; this new work concentrates more on the sinister part of the melodies. Melodies sounding more analogue than any other artist in the genre, almost childlike and very natural. The first real song that sticks to the mind, "Music Is Math" already proves this; a simple chord quickly covered with beats that do not follow the rules of normal 4/4 techno. The tracks "1969" and "The Beach At Redpoint" might be the most accessible tracks Boards Of Canada have ever done, but it's still not quite easy-listening. "Opening The Mouth", "Alpha & Omega" and "The Devil Is In The Details" for example, can't wait to take your consciousness to a darker place. With the silent ending track "Magic Window" - very useful to think about what you've just heard - the 66 minutes and 6 seconds of inner disturbance are over.

"Geogaddi" is certainly one of the best – if not, the best - album of 2002 so far. The debut was a masterpiece of exquisitely layered pads, lofi vocals samples and weird rhythms. But "Geogaddi" is maybe even better, more convincing and elegantly. It is certainly not the easiest music to get into; a couple of listens are needed to start enjoying the album to the full extent. From that moment you'll be able to explore the depths within "Geogaddi". I also recommend this album to the readers who have yet to explore the world of computer-based music and haven't discovered acts like Oval and Aphex Twin until now; Boards Of Canada is an excellent starting point as well. In one word: essential.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Justin Faase
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