4.10.15

Boards of Canada: the campfire headphase


This lot just had a bunch of reissues which made the nineties seems like "twenty years ago today". Oh yeah crikey, it was actually twenty years ago...

In fact "Geogaddi" (2002) had been, and remains, a crushing disappointment. This was wilful obscurantism. Where had their sublime knack for aeolian melodies vanished to? By the time "the campfire headphase" came out in 2005 the dialogue around electronic music so convincingly established in the 1990s had moved on. Even those acts who followed the drift to glitch like Autechre had found that idea worn out.

I'd always pegged BOC as a surrogate Black Dog anyway. One with a slightly stronger "breaks" bent. Scottish Hip-Hop innit. So when "the campfire headphase" came out and senior party officials had declared that it "used guitars" I didn't even bother to listen to it. Using guitars! Seemed like such a passé move.

And yet, as the LP is now irremovably stuck to my record player in 2015, if this was a surrender to the currents of history then it couldn't have been a more glazed-eyed and woozily transfixing one. Certainly it evokes a head-nodding reverie sitting beside glowing embers - perhaps even on a beach? What is audibly evident though, in this embrace of the physical, is an overt mourning of the death of rave - the end of all our fevered dreams.