Boards of Canada



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 1999’s Music Has the Right to Children was more languid than luminous, and 2002’s Geodaddi was more cynical than sinister, The Campfire Headphase’s 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

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

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.