Boards Of Canada, Hi Scores

Rob Young

By Rob Young

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Scottish brothers Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison originally released this mini-LP in 1996, two years before their iconoclastic album Music Has the Right to Children. It's considered their first "official" release, even though the super-prolific pair had been actively making music since the late '80s in a variety of guises. Boards of Canada's eerie, atonal electronica can be a rich and indulgent experience, so a six track dosage like this is a good way to ingest it.

First proper release from the electronic music titans who brought you Music Has the Right to Children.

Boards of Canada's music often brims with a childlike sense of wonder, wide-eyed and open-minded. On “Nlogax,” the rhythm thumps unsteadily, like a toddler learning its steps; a soulful vocal sample scuds through a tremolo effect that renders it indistinct. The lugubrious electric piano in “Turquoise Hexagon Sun" plods over faraway voice recordings as muffled as Charlie Brown's teacher. Huge, lumbering rhythms — not unlike the earthy folk rock momentum of Fairport Convention — transport the imposing mass of “Everything You Do Is a Balloon." Although the weirdest stuff was yet to come, Hi Scores shows BOC already in full possession of their unique gifts.