March 06, 2003

Boards of Canada "Twoism"

Originally released as a limited-edition twelve-inch, Twoism is both a far cry from and a wonderful look-forward-to for Boards of Canada. While it's not as grand as their most recent work, especially last year's Geogaddi, it's certainly lovely in its own right. For a debut album, it's rather tight, though "tight" is a relative term when it comes to electronic music, isn't it? The musicianship is high, and they sound like they're already experts at the game.

That's not to say that Twoism is a flawless record. On some tracks, like the otherwise lovely "Twoism," there's a weird kind of offness that reminds me of the days of cassettes, when the tape would slip and drag a little bit; at first, it sounded like either their recording tape or my CD was defective. It's a technique that is rather annoying and takes away just a little bit of the magic. The only time the music really falters is the out-of-place "Basefree," which is a drum-machine gone terribly terribly wrong. Okay, so it's not really bad, it's just out of place with the rest of the groove.

Not to fear, though. Twoism is loaded with mellow, slightly intoxicated chill-out grooves that would easily make for some wonderful fodder for those moments when you need a "relaxing" atmosphere. Then again, that's all that Boards of Canada are trying to do, and they do it well. Numbers like "Iced Cooly" and "Seeya Later" are lovely, mellow, rum-scented beat-driven chillout grooves, and could easily turn your bedroom into a lovely little relaxation grotto. While Twoism may be the simple babysteps that would lead to later greatnessm if they had never made a record after this, they would have at least made a pretty good record.

--Joseph Kyle

No comments: