Saturday, April 19, 2008

Geogaddi - Boards of Canada (RECORD STORE DAY)

Geogaddi (Special Book-sleeve Edition)

Boards of Canada
Warp Records.

SCQ Rating: 81%

Ryan – So this is Boards of Canada’s ‘Satan-Album’, eh? I read about it. There’s all kinds of devil-worship stuff in there and look! Its running length is 66 minutes and 6 seconds…. That’s too crazy [not to be intentional].

Yusif – Yeah I don’t know…. Sometimes they just make that shit up to get your feathers ruffled though.

R – Yeah, and I’m the kinda guy who falls for that stuff…

Y – More aptly, you should want to fall for that kinda stuff… makes decoding the album so much cooler.

R – Yeah but check out that last song [‘Gyroscope’]… it had weird tribal drumming. I was just putting my coat in the closet and that song made me feel like I was in the middle of some coat-hanging spiritual ritual thing. That’s probably the band doing some seance to their devil, to start the record with.

Y – Did you just hear the fridge buzz?

R – No… well, yeah.

Y – Here’s the thing: take this [‘Sunshine Recorder’]. This is classic Boards. Could’ve been right off Music Has the Right to Children.

R – Well, kinda. Thing is, you have to consider that on a basis level, these songs largely sound the same. You know, those brothers haven’t really changed much craft here.

Y – Why fix what isn’t broken?

R – Exactly… so yeah, you have to judge the material more on mood and narrative now. It’ll sound the same, but it isn’t, right?

Y – Darker. That’s the word everyone will use. But it’s probably the best.

R – Yeah, definitely. Think about how crazy dark this record has been so far… I feel like I’m alone in space right now – what is this song?

Y – ‘In Annexe’. I’d kinda like to live in the Annex… you know that Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew lives over there? So many mad-cool indie musicians are all camped out that way.

[‘Julie and Candy begins’]

R – OK, that does it… this song is great, what an album. Listen to this!

Y – I’m listening, I’m listening… holy smokes, Calgary just scored! With what, 50 seconds left?

[50 seconds later]

R – Is it just me or does listening to ‘The Smallest Weird Number’ make you feel like you’re lost in some haunted woods?

Y – No, but close. Calgary lost. ‘1969’ is absolute bad-ass though… deep downtempo beats with crazy throw-on samples happening. They’ve filled out their sound even more, without overwhelming us.

RGeogaddi has a lot of this. That’s probably the fourth song that has shown a much-needed climax to keep these repeated melodies interesting. There’s a robot in there even singing “1969, in the sunshine…”! Hear that?!?

Y – I’m loving that… I felt like that was a little Daft Punk in my Boards of Canada… that’s my kinda combination.

R – What is this record, 23 songs? Even if half of these are interludes, that’s a bit much. Boards of Canada are an albums-band… you can’t just cut their record off part-way! How do they expect us [to get through it all]?

Y – I agree… but think about Music has the Right to Children. That was pretty long too. Over time, listening to these records opens up the album’s narrative, like you said, and in that case Music Has the Right to Children had a great flow to it. It just takes some familiarizing before you get it. Geogaddi will be the same way. 23 songs will feel like 12 when you know the record well enough.

R – On the other side, some of this material is exceptional. Check out this 'I See Drones'. It’s 40 seconds but I wish it was longer… when even the interludes are this great, I shouldn’t complain in the least.

Y – 'The Devil is in the Details' is definitely one of my favourite so far. So hypnotically creepy. A staccato, echoey melody with some seriously unsettling samples of film stock and a spiritually-dizzy young child. OK, I believe you now… this is definitely the Satan album! How could it not be!?! What is ‘A is to be as B is to C’, with its backward speech and warped tones?!? I’m torn between being afraid of and comforted by.

R – Don’t look at the album art, then. In the Special Edition copy, the artwork is pretty overwhelming. All the faces and people are gyroscoped into six. Six. Six faces on those creepy kids, six people on the album cover –

Y – I don’t think it would still be scary if we just turned the music off.

[Verdict Time]

R – This is some serious chill-out music. ‘Diving Station’ is deep bass hip-hopping good. Geogaddi is probably not credited with being the all-champion pinnacle of down tempo music, but it is. I truly hope one day when people look back at the ups and downs of Down Tempo as a genre, they’ll see that Geogaddi reigned over the others like it was in some giant castle. More voices, more samples, and more potential theories revolving around it.

Y – As I just realized several minutes ago, this is prime-time Boards of Canada – giving Music has a Right to Children a serious challenge for album-supremacy, and therefore, genre-supremacy. The amount of layers in these recordings are impressive, and what’s more surprising in how they balance that weight by moving between comforting hibernation and scary isolation. Geogaddi is more difficult to approach and maybe our difficulty to understand is its greatest strength: it’s so mysterious but rewarding that we continually try to come back and solve it.

R – Wow, maybe it’s because you just finished saying that, but it sounded amazing. That’s award-winning stuff.

Y – Ahh, the last song isn’t even a track. It’s just the remaining time they needed to have a running-time of 66.6. Warp Records had something to do with this!

No comments: