Boards of Canada are two Scottish techno-hippies who make the most beautifully melancholic and psychedelic fall-color funk ever. Theirs is a kind of damaged sound, like old scratchy sound track LPs or 8-track tapes warbly from too much dashboard sun. But where 1999s Music Has the Right to Children was more languid than luminous, and 2002s Geodaddi was more cynical than sinister, The Campfire Headphases chief asset is its overtone of sincerity. The warbly samples are still there, mostly as segues, a kind of reminder that the best music evokes memories and makes a sound track for new ones. Precious guitar shapes coil between acid-washed strings, like My Bloody Valentine and Portishead collaborating on long-overdue follow-ups, as on the perfectly titled, Hey Saturday Sun. In other artists hands this kind of downtempo becomes sonic wallpaper, but here BOC make perfectly crafted comedown mandalas. What makes this monumental in its wistful way is how much it captures the pop zeitgeist that more known artists (see Moby and Thievery Corporation, for starters) have attempted this year, with mixed results. In their own quiet way, BOC have become equal parts Aphex Twin and Sigur Ros, fearless electronic explorers capable of gentle, patient and quietly indulgent beauty.
Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.