Would it be madness to label Boards of Canada the electronic Belle and Sebastian? Curiously nostalgic, occasionally twee music made by famously press-shy Scots — those words describe Boards of Canada as easily as they describe Belle and Sebastian. With Twoism, Boards of Canada even have their own Tigermilk, a once rare album which was known to change hands for three-figure sums until it was re-issued.
It probably wouldn’t be madness to label Boards of Canada as auteurs either. By now they have marked out their musical territory pretty clearly and explored it so thoroughly, that after an album like Geogaddi, it’s difficult to imagine where the duo have left to go.
Twoism isn’t quite so rigidly defined. While tracks like “Oirectine” and the title track are almost unmistakeably Boards of Canada, much of the album, which was originally released in 1995, finds the duo dabbling in different kinds of dance music for a change.
“Seeya Later” is positively slinky by the band’s standards, and “Basefree” hurtles along in comparison with everything they have ever recorded. Boards of Canada’s use of sampled voices, which made Geogaddi and Music Has the Right to Children seem like soundworlds unto themselves, is hardly in evidence on Twoism, apart from a voice buried in the mix on the opening track “Sixtyniner.”
So Twoism is less a film for the ears than the albums Boards of Canada have followed it with, and more a series of snapshots. Clocking in at around thirty-six minutes, it’s a great introduction to Boards of Canada for those of a short attention span.
Written by Damian McVeigh.