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Boards of Canada - Geogaddi (Warp)

The latest record by Scottish band Boards of Canada (Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison) is without question the most anticipated electronic record to come out in a long time. The last full-length by the duo, 1998's Music Has the Right to Children, was one of those records that simply everybody liked. I don't remember hearing a single negative thing from anyone about this amazing, if not terribly innovative recording.

The band must realize that they were onto something because their latest Geogaddi is a strikingly similar record, almost to the point of fault. In fact, if it weren't so damn beautiful I would probably criticize the band for not trying something new.

Similar to Music, the playful sounds of children's voices (often distorted by waterlogged tape loops and eerie vocoders) textures many songs on the disk. And as to be expected, the interior artwork of the record again has images of children playing. Their trademark blend of synths and chilled-out hip hop beats abounds, though scratching has mostly been sacrificed in favor of tape looping. Also, the beats are much more subdued on Geogaddi and have less of a hip hop feel to them.

A general sense of foreboding gives way to downright darkness on this outing. Equally beautiful as it is creepy, "Dawn Chorus" has the slowed-down sound of a warped record played over funky beats and contains samples of voices that could either be cries of bliss or muted groans of terror. The band has a knack for suggesting the sinister in the disorienting context of beautiful melodies.

The material found on Geogaddi may not be as strong as that found on Music (though the track "1969" is as lovely as anything they have recorded) but it is still undoubtedly a solid release that will please fans and newcomers to the band alike.

- Robert Lanham
























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