Thursday, May 14, 2009

6. Twoism - Boards of Canada, 1995 (Best of the 90s)


Boards of Canada
Warp Records.

That’s right – Twoism. As objectionable as it may seem given the domineering favoritism of Music Has the Right to Children amongst fans, I have always preferred their once-rare, once-out-of-print mini LP. Initially unveiled on a limited supply and finally remastered and re-released in 2002, this 1995 debut (the earliest confirmed LP, anyway) displayed a pioneering sound at work. From the zen-like trance of ‘Directine’ to the archaic break-beats of ‘Smokes Quantity’, Twoism had already outlined the BoC blueprint with alarming accuracy. The latter of the two was considered refined enough to warrant inclusion on their aforementioned 1998 breakthrough, whereas more experimental tracks like the drum’n’bass ‘Basefree’ or seasick ‘Iced Cooly’ give this record a rare glimpse into the Scottish duo’s early days. I suppose what clinches my love for Twoism is its succinctness, capturing all the magic and mystery of the band’s more popular work without overstaying its welcome. Nothing had sounded like this before, and no one has been capable of properly replicating it since. Fifteen years on, we’re still a few decades from being able to properly assess the influence this sound has had, as their pastoral, nostalgic take on electronica continues to reverberate around the globe.


Marsha said...

you are right on here! quintessential experimental electronica. i always loved the creepy 'smokes quantity' and the title track. I forgot to check out their latest album, thanks for reminding :)

SCQ said...

Twoism fans rejoice!

Yes, The Campfire Headphase is a pretty great album (especially the front half) if you're interested in picking it up. I found it for $6.95 at Sonic Boom last week and couldn't believe it. That record may not be their best but part of me still wanted to buy it all over again.