Boards of Canada

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Boards of Canada are, interestingly, a Scottish (i.e. not Canadian) electronic duo comprised of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin. Having origins dating back to the early 90s, these guys were waaay ahead of their time in innovation, style, and esthetic. Being troglodytes regarding all things electronic, they are die-hard analog equipment devotees, giving rise to their classic and immediately-recognizable sound. With warm drones, seasick spinning tremolo, incredibly catchy and unmistakable beats, their ultimate hallmark are vocal samples stolen from archival nature videos, public awareness announcements, and random statements of numbers / colours.

I was introduced to Boards of Canada in my early teens by an idolized cousin 10 years my senior. Driving in his old Honda through the snow in wintertime, I distinctly remember listening to the sonic whirlwind of “Geogaddi” fly around us in a vertigo-inducing trance, thinking he was insane to even refer to this garbage as “music”. Regardless, I attained a copy the cd because I wanted to be cool and show off my yet-to-become-esoteric music taste. Months later I decided to give them another go, and became obsessed with the 38-second interlude “Beware The Friendly Stranger” (, listening to it over and over again. Eventually I became sufficiently brainwashed to stop incessantly pressing ◅◅ and just let the album play. Hit ▻▻ and now we’re here.

Since 1995, Board of Canada have released a plethora of music, some of which represents the most important and genre-defining art of their era. 1998 LP “Music Has The Right To Children” has rightfully received overwhelming critical acclaim (including many perfect scores), with the aforementioned 2002 follow-up “Geogaddi” following close behind. Other highlights include 2006 EP “Trans Canada Highway”, 2005 LP “The Campfire Headphase”, and this year’s post-6-year hiatus comeback “Tomorrow’s Harvest”. You’d be hard pressed to find a modern electronic artist who wouldn’t give a shout out to at least one of those.

Favourite Track: Sunshine Recorder (… never have the words “a beautiful place” been so eerie and unsettling.

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