Monday, December 19, 2011

I'd Love To Turn You On #46 - Boards of Canada Music Has The Right To Children

Music Has The Right To Children, like all of Boards of Canada's music, has many applications in daily life. It's the perfect soundtrack for exploring a new environment, reading, or simply gazing at the sky. All of this isn't to say this is mindless lifestyle music that lacks thought and substance. In fact, the closer you get to this record the more nuance you will hear. It's one of those rare albums that is revelatory as background music AND when placed under the microscope - and, it just gets better with repeated listens. 
Electronic music at its heart is about two things - the quality of the sonic palette and the placement of these sounds. Boards of Canada, the Scottish duo of Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin, have mastered both of these elements and rank amongst the best the genre has to offer. Recorded in 1998, the samples and sounds they choose on Music Has The Right To Children are steeped in elements of hip-hop and the early works of Autechre and Aphex Twin. While that may not sound like a relaxing sample base, BoC find a way to keep the urban edge just under the surface while allowing the warmer elements to bubble up.
Music Has The Right To Children, like all great albums, should be taken as a whole, but there are most definitely entry points if you want sublime snapshots of what BoC has to offer. At the top of the heap is the simple and dreamy "Roygbiv." If there was a "single" on this album this would be it. From here there are two directions you can go - ethereal or urban/beat-oriented. For a glimpse of the ethereal side of BoC check out the distant voices and gorgeous floating synth line in "Turquoise Hexagon Sun" or the rich and fuzzy synth washes in "Open The Light." For the grittier side of the band see the endlessly funky "Aquarius" or the glitchy "Telephasic Workshop" where vocal snippets provide the bulk of the percussion. But, ultimately, your best bet is to grab a nice pair of headphones, put this record on and head out for a walk. 
If you like this album I highly recommend the band's entire catalogue, most notably The Campfire Headphase. And, if you ever see me listening to headphones in an airport, walking around a museum or reading - you can bet I'll most likely be listening to Boards of Canada.
Paul Custer

1 comment:

Fredd-E said...

nice article!

I reckon you already know about - it's my unofficial boards of canada wiki.

make sure to spread the news about boc even more and follow our facebook/twitter page too!

happy cycling!