They have made some of the most evocative and uncategorisable music of recent times. Mark Robertson speaks to BOARDS OF CANADA about making records, starting families and the spaces between the notes.
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oards of (‘anada's music is weird. Weird
in a good way. that is. (iood music
should make the listener/eel. be it happy. sad. adrenalised. even angry or confused. An emotional response is the most an artist can hope for from the listener. Boards ol’ (‘anada’s music and even after speaking to them it's still not entirely clear why is among the tnost emotive. touchy l'eely noise you could lind.
There is a sense ol~ vast space. an air of
melancholy. Keyboards burble. snare drums twang and barely audible children giggle and shriek in delight. And there’s an odd. oil-centre. almost wobbly quality to the music that is truly their own. It casts up vivid shapes. colours and
landscapes. lt invokes the spirit of old kids' TV shows. corny 70s sci-ii and the noise made by the wind. liew moments of modern music feel quite this nostalgic.
Quick history lesson: they l‘ormed in earnest in the early 80s their moniker derived from the National liilm Board ol’ ('anada in and around lidinhurgh as a sextet playing trippy indie rock which 'still had a deﬁnable edge that made it Boards ol‘ ('anada‘. Alter several years of experiments the hand was pared down to a duo who are in lact brothers. though they refrained from divulging the fact. keen not to be likened to ()rbital's llartnoll brothers or indeed the ()smonds. Alter several highly sought alter. limited rttn sell-releases. they hooked up with Warp to release .llus-it' Has [he Rig/11 to (Vii/(Iron in NW. Regarded by many as one of the linest electronic albums ever made. it has a quality and texture that sets it apart from most conjuring with sounds ol‘ this kind. llip hop beats roll against pastoral surges ol synth and unidentiﬁed noises pulse and surge. In the same way as no one quite sounds like Bob Dylan. Mogwai or Shellac. no one quite sounds like Boards of Canada. A second record. (imgm/t/I‘. l‘ollowed in 2002. sounding like a huge maths equation unl‘olding extremely slowly. and went deeper and darker than its predecessor. A clutch of re- releases and a couple of lil’s surfaced in the