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to those people who say "BoC should go in a new direction"


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something like this:

 

And i think for their next release the boards should go in a totally new direction, cause at least for me there is no point in doing the same thing over and over again.

 

or in various reviews, like the boomkat review of the tch ep, or the pitchfork review of iabpoitc, you'll find passages like "if you'd perfected this sonic playground, you'd want to stay here forever too"

 

 

 

 

 

so, okay:

 

in the shift from geogaddi to tch, for example, i must ask, how much more can a band change their sound, while still remaining the same band? i mean, ffs, BoC changed GENRES when they went from geogaddi to tch, from electronic music to wyrd folk. i struggle to think of two songs that are more different than "dayvan cowboy" and "devil in the details" (or for that matter, "devil in the details" and "roygbiv"). all of the sounds used are different; i can't think of one link between the two, or between most of the tracks on tch/geogaddi. people seem to be forgetting that tch introduced, among other things, (1) harp - macquarie ridge, (2) feedback-drenched electric guitar (!?!) - dayvan cowboy, (3) washed-out acoustic guitar - chromakey, etc etc.

 

though one might argue that certain synth sounds, certain 'signature' BoC things always remain, but wtf, what band doesn't have things like this? why does no one whine when lusine creates basically the same album for 9 years? or monolake? or basically any band or electronic music act? even autechre have SOME consistency of production, of sound. i just can't figure out, why are BoC somehow expected to completely change their sound, and stop using synths or whatever (especially when they HAVE changed their sound, from skamified electronic music hiphop, to psychedelic wobbly darkness, to guitars and wind noises and flutes and harps)? we should also be whining about the fact that richard devine hasn't released a reggae album yet, i guess?

Edited by playbynumbers
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I hear you. I think the BoC sound has changed quite dramatically from Old Tunes to MHTRTC to IABPOITC to Geogaddi to TCH. I think what you may be seeing, though, is reviewers and fans trying to put language on a vague sense of dissatisfaction, and not quite pinning down what is really bothering them. As I think you'd agree, adding new instruments - flute, harp, tablas, etc - does not in and of itself signal a bold new direction; it could just amount to so much window dressing.

 

Few fans want to acknowledge that the artist they love may be past his or her creative prime. I see it all the time around here; whenever a slightly disappointing release or leak happens, you see some of the same rationalizations. The loyal fans will say things like: "the MP3s don't do it justice," or "It's just a transitional album, they should be allowed to experiment," or "give it time, it's a grower," or "they've just matured," or "such-and-such track is classic ________" (the Pitchfork TCH review does the same thing, saying "Left Side Drive is vintage Boards"). The spoiled fans get instantly angry, they feel betrayed, and say things like "Clearly MHTRTC and Hi Scores were just flukes." (according to a comment I read by someone recently.)

 

It's hard to be objective when you're a fanboy. I try to do my best to avoid snap judgements and let things sink in. Sometimes first impressions are correct; sometimes a track or album really is a "grower" and takes time to appreciate. With Boards' music the latter is usually the case. It took me a while to appreciate IABPOITC, and I think TCH has a very slow burn.

 

All that said, I do feel there is something slightly lacking in the latest Boards releases. They lack a certain amount of passion and urgency. It was most noticeable to me when listening to the Dayvan remix. Even though I think it's a flawed remix, the middle part with drum and guitars seems to have more vigor and excitement and menace than many recent Boards tracks. I noticed this again when, after listening to the TCH EP, I went back and put on the Hell Interface remix of Trapped. What a cracking, vigorous tune! Where is that energy on Boards new work? It seems like they're trying to capture it on Skyliner, with only partial success. Of course it's not all about the aggressive tracks; Boards also used to have a knack for making eerie tracks, and melancholy slowly evolving tracks, with great melodies. But I believe melodies truly are a gift from god. I doubt you can really achieve a great melody from studio tinkering. Are we ever going to see the sorts of brilliant interlocking melodies of June 9th or Everything you Do is a Balloon again? Are we ever going to hear the complex builds of a Nlogax or Telephasic Workshop again? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it.

 

I think these are things a fan just has to come to terms with. As BoC age, their output will probably get even sparser as they grow less prolific. They'll probably grow gradually less inspired, with fewer tracks that give you that "ah fuck what an amazing tune!" feeling. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather that Left Side Drive and Heard From Telegraph Lines exist than not. They're excellent, if slightly less than brilliant, tracks. And we should be thankful that BoC still exercise a high level of quality control. I felt genuinely betrayed when Orbital went off the deep end into cheese, but I haven't got that feeling from BoC yet. Yes, they seem to be treading some of the same ground. I mean this in terms of "sound structures," not the actual "sound components of the tracks"; Peacock Tail sounds to me like a paler version of Telephasic Workshop or Nlogax for example. But I think that's OK. I'm not ungrateful; BoC have given me some of the best music I've ever heard. And I wouldn't be surprised if they still have suprises up their sleeves.

 

I just hope they release a box set of their early work. That'd be all I'd ever ask of them.

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I hear you. I think the BoC sound has changed quite dramatically from Old Tunes to MHTRTC to IABPOITC to Geogaddi to TCH. I think what you may be seeing, though, is reviewers and fans trying to put language on a vague sense of dissatisfaction, and not quite pinning down what is really bothering them. As I think you'd

agree, adding new instruments - flute, harp, tablas, etc - does not in and of itself signal a bold new direction; it could just amount to so much window dressing.

 

well, i was addressing the argument that their sound hasn't changed, not that their music has/hasn't improved ... i'm not sure that the two are related

 

 

 

 

Few fans want to acknowledge that the artist they love may be past his or her creative prime. I see it all the time around here; whenever a slightly disappointing release or leak happens, you see some of the same rationalizations. The loyal fans will say things like: "the MP3s don't do it justice," or "It's just a transitional album, they should be allowed to experiment," or "give it time, it's a grower," or "they've just matured," or "such-and-such track is classic ________" (the Pitchfork TCH review does the same thing, saying "Left Side Drive is vintage Boards"). The spoiled fans get instantly angry, they feel betrayed, and say things like "Clearly MHTRTC and Hi Scores were just flukes." (according to a comment I read by someone recently.)
as i said, i think this is a whole different argument, but i may as well respond ... i actually do believe, unfortunately, that BoC are (1) past their prime or (2) having sort of a fallow period creatively. the middle third of TCH (tracks 6-11) is the worst stretch of music that they've ever created ... and yet, i have hope, if only because of slow this bird down, left side drive, peacock tail, dayvan cowboy, etc. this doesn't mean that i'm no longer a "loyal fan," but just perhaps that i'm not a "loyal fanboy"

 

 

 

It took me a while to appreciate IABPOITC, and I think TCH has a very slow burn.

 

i appreciated iabpoitc the first time i heard it, it was immediately beautiful and captivating, at least for me ... i've heard TCH perhaps 300-400 times in the past eight months, and no, it's just their worst album. it isn't quite as bad as i'd first thought, but still, a few great tracks don't save it as an album

 

 

 

 

All that said, I do feel there is something slightly lacking in the latest Boards releases. They lack a certain amount of passion and urgency. It was most noticeable to me when listening to the Dayvan remix. Even though I think it's a flawed remix, the middle part with drum and guitars seems to have more vigor and excitement and menace than many recent Boards tracks.
"menace" isn't the point with tch/tch. and i only recall "passion and urgency" in geogaddi and a few tracks scattered throughout their other work ... overall there's a pastoral vibe. the production isn't quite as juvenile/raw/'passionate', in a way, but i think that their production values have gone way up. though i'm not sure that we should blame BoC for maturing; the old tunes stuff was made, what 20-25 years ago? it would be odd if they'd retained all the youthful ferment, i think ... nothing wrong with mellowing out and fine-tuning your sound

 

 

 

I noticed this again when, after listening to the TCH EP, I went back and put on the Hell Interface remix of Trapped. What a cracking, vigorous tune! Where is that energy on Boards new work? It seems like they're trying to capture it on Skyliner, with only partial success. Of course it's not all about the aggressive tracks; Boards also used to have a knack for making eerie tracks, and melancholy slowly evolving tracks, with great melodies. But I believe melodies truly are a gift from god. I doubt you can really achieve a great melody from studio tinkering. Are we ever going to see the sorts of brilliant interlocking melodies of June 9th or Everything you Do is a Balloon again? Are we ever going to hear the complex builds of a Nlogax or Telephasic Workshop again? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it.

 

i like the entire tch ep way way way more than the trapped remix ... there are plenty of great melodies all over tch/tch, i wouldn't even know where to begin. perhaps we just disagree here

 

 

 

Yes, they seem to be treading some of the same ground. I mean this in terms of "sound structures," not the actual "sound components of the tracks"; Peacock Tail sounds to me like a paler version of Telephasic Workshop or Nlogax for example. But I think that's OK. I'm not ungrateful; BoC have given me some of the best music I've ever heard. And I wouldn't be surprised if they still have suprises up their sleeves.

 

I just hope they release a box set of their early work. That'd be all I'd ever ask of them.

 

ah okay, back to the original thing ... i guess i can kind of see what you mean, with certain tracks. but then you have something like dayvan, or left side drive, or slow this bird down, which seem extremely groundbreaking and creative and original. in a 25-year career, though, i don't see how any artist could avoid revisiting their earlier work

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Heh, pbn I think you gave my comments a more thorough picking over than they deserved, seeing how they were fairly disjointed.

 

 

 

as i said, i think this is a whole different argument, but i may as well respond ... i actually do believe, unfortunately, that BoC are (1) past their prime or (2) having sort of a fallow period creatively. the middle third of TCH (tracks 6-11) is the worst stretch of music that they've ever created ... and yet, i have hope, if only because of slow this bird down, left side drive, peacock tail, dayvan cowboy, etc. this doesn't mean that i'm no longer a "loyal fan," but just perhaps that i'm not a "loyal fanboy"

 

I strongly disagree here. I think '84 Pontiac Dream and Sherbet Head are two of TCH's best tracks. The only tracks on TCH that actually bother me are Peacock Tail, OSTRE, Hey Saturday Sun, and Farewell Fire. Hey Saturday Sun is the worst offender, sounding like a randomly patched together Frankenstein to me. Peacock Tail is the runner up, I don't really get why people like this track so much, sure it builds when most other TCH tracks just sit there, but I don't know, from those first warm bass plucks it sounds like Bobby McFerrin or something. OSTRE is fine, very well produced as everyone says, but seems to exhibit the same Frankenstein problem as Hey Saturday Sun. No matter how well the parts are stitched together, I just don't feel it gels into something that interesting (to mix metaphors). Farewell Fire I find dull, and I resent BoC doing the gimmicky "fade out" thing.

 

Bitching aside, though, I really like TCH. I think I like it as much as Geogaddi. They're such different albums it's almost silly to compare them. I like them for different reasons. Geogaddi is so dense and chewy, even if there's a moment you don't like just wait a second and another track will start. I love the profusion of musical ideas, but there is something too obvious about the album to me. I think a lot of it has to do with the "hard" drumming, it seems almost cartoonish at points. Music Is Math would be such a fucking excellent track, easily in my top BoC list, if it had IABPOITC subtle drumming instead of the blatant in your face washing-machine thump behind it. It's a great psychaedelic album, I guess in general I just prefer the autistic, weird and remote side to BoC's music, which is more evident on MHTRTC, IABPOITC, and TCH. I think at this point I've listened to TCH more than Geogaddi, which has to mean something. I listened to Geogaddi more intensely, for a few weeks non-stop, but haven't come back to it as often.

 

 

 

 

"menace" isn't the point with tch/tch. and i only recall "passion and urgency" in geogaddi and a few tracks scattered throughout their other work ... overall there's a pastoral vibe. the production isn't quite as juvenile/raw/'passionate', in a way, but i think that their production values have gone way up. though i'm not sure that we should blame BoC for maturing; the old tunes stuff was made, what 20-25 years ago? it would be odd if they'd retained all the youthful ferment, i think ... nothing wrong with mellowing out and fine-tuning your sound

 

Well put. I agree with everything you've said here.

 

 

i like the entire tch ep way way way more than the trapped remix ... there are plenty of great melodies all over tch/tch, i wouldn't even know where to begin. perhaps we just disagree here

 

Guess so. The thing about the melodies on TCH/TCH, is that for the most part I don't think they are fully developed. These days BoC seem content with more "melodic squiggles" as opposed to full-fledged melodies. I think this is most noticeable on OSTRE and 84' Pontiac Dream off TCH. With the Trapped remix, or Red Moss, or June 9th, the melodies just seem to be fully integrated with the percussion, and seem to somehow reach their fullest expression. They weave around, come back, interact with other melodies, in a beautiful way. When I first listened to Left Side Drive and it got to the melody that's introduced at the end, I thought "Ah, here's where it's going to go to the next level." But it didn't, and the song ended. That's the difference for me.

 

 

 

 

ah okay, back to the original thing ... i guess i can kind of see what you mean, with certain tracks. but then you have something like dayvan, or left side drive, or slow this bird down, which seem extremely groundbreaking and creative and original. in a 25-year career, though, i don't see how any artist could avoid revisiting their earlier work

 

Well I'm sure you're right. In general I tend to be too critical. I haven't been disappointed with a Boards release yet. And in a way I think TCH has something that MHTRTC and Hi Scores don't have, a certain sort of "drug casualty" frailty that I like quite a bit.

 

In all art there's an "X Factor" that you can't really describe but you know it when you see it or hear it. It's that inspiration that seems to come from a higher place. You can't learn it, you either have it or you don't. Why is it that some paintings which are much less technically accomplished than others can have a greater impact on the viewer? How is it that certain minimalist tracks, like Kid For Today, can have a greater impact on me than busier and more "complex" tracks like Alpha and Omega, which I find almost unlistenable? I don't know, but I do know that this "X Factor" is fleeting, and most artists only have it for a while. Its sort of a morbid thing to contemplate and I hope Mike and Marcus don't obsess about it. As long as they're still excited about what they're doing, I don't expect they'll become self-parodies. I'm a bit afraid of the "flirting with commercialism" element of the TCH EP but we'll see how that plays itself out in the long run.

 

Edit: flirting with commercialism in the sense of the choice for the single, and breaking the mold of Hi Scores, Twoism, and IABPOITC by adopting the standard "single and remix" format. Plus adding the video. Just seems too conventional to me. The music on the TCH EP is still uniquely BoC, though.

Edited by lumpenGriff
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Since my post became the reason(sort of) for this thread, I should clarify.

 

First, I like Campfire a lot, but what I liked the most were the NEW elements - guitars, violins(Dayvan is great, and it did take a while for me to appreciate it). As a whole, it's a solid album. Nothing like the new EP.

 

And the reason why I think they should go in a new direction is not because I'm fed up with their "vintage" sound, but because they no longer seem too fond of it themselves - they sound like they are trying not to alienate fans but the cost is that they've lost their edge somehow.

 

There is natural progress in their work - at least what we've heard from it - play 1995's Twoism and 2005's Campfire and you'll see an entirely new direction. Twoism is good - it sounds pretty amateurish nowadays to some people, but it is genuine and rich emotionally. Campfire is much more professional, polished, but still retains their edge(at least on most of the album). On Hi Scores(the EP) and Basefree(the song) they give vent to their industrial influences - without losing their identity at all. Geogaddi was like a darker and much more detailed version of MHTRTC, not many new things, but still quite successful. On Campfire they used guitars, still remaining quite true to their aesthetics.

 

On the new EP, however, they stepped backwards for some reason. It's not a case of being subtle again like on In A Beautiful Place..., it's just, at least for me, a retreat. We all know from interviews that they have made some entirely acoustic works(including an "unplugged" version of MHTRTC!!!). I'd love to hear that. Or, I'd love to hear a proper recordeing of those live tracks which names are unknown but we all love.

 

Instead, they decided to stick to the basic formula one more time. This time, however, it just doesn't work so well. And probably one of the reasons is growing pressure from fans - boc should really forget about their fans for a while cause it seems detrimental. So, in conclusion, i think they will do best if they spend at least four years working on new material before they decide to release something new(it will be good to get a box set of old stuff meanwhile) and they shouldn't be afraid to release their not-so-"vintage" boards material.

 

I think most people here should be ok with that, playbynumbers included.

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lol, hopefully you won't mind if i keep writing long responses, this whole topic is something i've been constantly thinking about ever since TCH came out

 

 

 

 

I strongly disagree here. I think '84 Pontiac Dream and Sherbet Head are two of TCH's best tracks. The only tracks on TCH that actually bother me are Peacock Tail, OSTRE, Hey Saturday Sun, and Farewell Fire. Hey Saturday Sun is the worst offender, sounding like a randomly patched together Frankenstein to me. Peacock Tail is the runner up, I don't really get why people like this track so much, sure it builds when most other TCH tracks just sit there, but I don't know, from those first warm bass plucks it sounds like Bobby McFerrin or something. OSTRE is fine, very well produced as everyone says, but seems to exhibit the same Frankenstein problem as Hey Saturday Sun. No matter how well the parts are stitched together, I just don't feel it gels into something that interesting (to mix metaphors). Farewell Fire I find dull, and I resent BoC doing the gimmicky "fade out" thing.

 

yeah i was oversimplifying a bit ... sherbert head is actually one of the best tracks on tch. i'm quite annoyed by tracks 14-15, as well. i suppose more accurately, what i was trying to say is that from track 6 to track 15, the only quality tracks are 8 and 12-13 (imo, of course).

 

i quite agree about the 'frankenstein' thing; especially on pontiac and hey saturday sun ... very very weak tracks, easily among the worst stuff BoC have ever done. also OSTRE is rather dull, i have to agree, though i still like it ... and i totally :heart: peacock tail, i dunno!

 

 

 

 

Bitching aside, though, I really like TCH. I think I like it as much as Geogaddi. They're such different albums it's almost silly to compare them. I like them for different reasons. Geogaddi is so dense and chewy, even if there's a moment you don't like just wait a second and another track will start. I love the profusion of musical ideas, but there is something too obvious about the album to me. I think a lot of it has to do with the "hard" drumming, it seems almost cartoonish at points. Music Is Math would be such a fucking excellent track, easily in my top BoC list, if it had IABPOITC subtle drumming instead of the blatant in your face washing-machine thump behind it. It's a great psychaedelic album, I guess in general I just prefer the autistic, weird and remote side to BoC's music, which is more evident on MHTRTC, IABPOITC, and TCH. I think at this point I've listened to TCH more than Geogaddi, which has to mean something. I listened to Geogaddi more intensely, for a few weeks non-stop, but haven't come back to it as often.

 

i really like the 'hard' drumming of geogaddi, especially the live drums in 1969 ... sort of harsh, demonic, powerful, dark. the subtle drumming definitely works in other contexts though. i haven't listened to tch quite as much as geogaddi ... i suppose i should note that i'm a huge huge fan of geogaddi, perhaps i'm biased

 

 

 

 

The thing about the melodies on TCH/TCH, is that for the most part I don't think they are fully developed. These days BoC seem content with more "melodic squiggles" as opposed to full-fledged melodies. I think this is most noticeable on OSTRE and 84' Pontiac Dream off TCH. With the Trapped remix, or Red Moss, or June 9th, the melodies just seem to be fully integrated with the percussion, and seem to somehow reach their fullest expression. They weave around, come back, interact with other melodies, in a beautiful way. When I first listened to Left Side Drive and it got to the melody that's introduced at the end, I thought "Ah, here's where it's going to go to the next level." But it didn't, and the song ended. That's the difference for me.
aaah okay ... yeah the best examples of the full-fledged melodies thing would be, i think, 'seqouia,' 'whitewater,' and 'june ninth,' where everything just flows together perfectly. also that transition into the second part of 5/9/78, and how it all comes together later on. i don't think they've entirely lost this, though; peacock tail has a very 'merged' or 'integrated' sort of deal, with the percussion/melody ... also macquarie ridge, dayvan.

 

i was also sort of taken aback by the sort of hasty synth ending to left side drive, though i've learned to like it ... the track does seem maybe a couple minutes short, though, despite its awesomeness

 

 

 

 

In general I tend to be too critical. I haven't been disappointed with a Boards release yet. And in a way I think TCH has something that MHTRTC and Hi Scores don't have, a certain sort of "drug casualty" frailty that I like quite a bit.

 

oh i haven't been disappointed yet either ... the worst BoC album is still better than like 95% of all other music. i definitely think that TCH had added another hue or 'place' to their music ...

 

 

 

 

In all art there's an "X Factor" that you can't really describe but you know it when you see it or hear it. It's that inspiration that seems to come from a higher place. You can't learn it, you either have it or you don't. Why is it that some paintings which are much less technically accomplished than others can have a greater impact on the viewer? How is it that certain minimalist tracks, like Kid For Today, can have a greater impact on me than busier and more "complex" tracks like Alpha and Omega, which I find almost unlistenable? I don't know, but I do know that this "X Factor" is fleeting, and most artists only have it for a while. Its sort of a morbid thing to contemplate and I hope Mike and Marcus don't obsess about it. As long as they're still excited about what they're doing, I don't expect they'll become self-parodies. I'm a bit afraid of the "flirting with commercialism" element of the TCH EP but we'll see how that plays itself out in the long run.

 

yeah, damn, i really agree with this; the german romantics called it 'genius,' in a specialized sense of the term. this seems most obviously true when you hear BoC clones, and then the real thing; both are using basically the same sounds, but there's just this odd 'x factor' with BoC where it somehow fits together in an absurdly perfect/beautiful way; some people are just closer to the muses than others. and i don't begrudge BoC the opportunity to make some money off of their music ...

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Since my post became the reason(sort of) for this thread, I should clarify.

 

oh lol, i didn't mean to be attacking you personally or anything ... it's just the general sentiment that kind of annoys me

 

 

 

On the new EP, however, they stepped backwards for some reason. It's not a case of being subtle again like on In A Beautiful Place..., it's just, at least for me, a retreat.
i can see this ... skyliner really does sound like a geogaddi b-side, but i dunno, left side drive seems like enough of an original creation to exonerate BoC of the charge

 

 

 

Instead, they decided to stick to the basic formula one more time. This time, however, it just doesn't work so well. And probably one of the reasons is growing pressure from fans - boc should really forget about their fans for a while cause it seems detrimental. So, in conclusion, i think they will do best if they spend at least four years working on new material before they decide to release something new(it will be good to get a box set of old stuff meanwhile) and they shouldn't be afraid to release their not-so-"vintage" boards material.

 

I think most people here should be ok with that, playbynumbers included.

 

verily ... they're way too conscious of their fans (judging from the most recent set of interviews, particularly). and i would sell my unborn children into slavery for that box set

Edited by playbynumbers
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A lot of good points. Especially:

 

And the reason why I think they should go in a new direction is not because I'm fed up with their "vintage" sound, but because they no longer seem too fond of it themselves - they sound like they are trying not to alienate fans but the cost is that they've lost their edge somehow.

 

As much as I can speculate on Mike and Marcus' mindset from the music, and what I've read in interviews, I'd have to agree with this. It must be strange, to try and purposefully distance yourself from the trappings of fame, and then find that that only intensifies the mystique surrounding you and makes the pressure more intense. That must be the horrible thing about even a small degree of fame; you can pretend it doesn't exist, you can toy with it - like RDJ on RDJ album and Windowlicker, and BoC on Geogaddi with the 666 stuff - but you can never escape it. I'm just glad that BoC are brothers that are going through it together, instead of being solitary artists like RDJ or Squarepusher. The weird sord of scrutiny and expectations you have to deal with would certainly cave my already sensitive psyche in.

 

Like you, I hope BoC can come to terms with their fame, find a way to be content and relaxed. Actually the potential new Redmoon gig seemed to be a hopeful sign, I hope they go through with it. They seem a bit prone to paranoia, so any sort of outward gesture towards the fans is welcome by me.

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Guest twiddler
i can see this ... skyliner really does sound like a geogaddi b-side, but i dunno, left side drive seems like enough of an original creation to exonerate BoC of the charge

 

Well that's exactly what I meant. If they hadn't released this EP now(or in this form), but waited while they had more material of the quality of LSD and Heard Through... I'd have had no complaints at all. A good album is a good album - groundbreakingly original or not. After all, good music takes a while to be made.

Edited by twiddler
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Sorry pbn, didn't see your response before I responded to twiddler. I guess we're all sort of on the same wavelength. This thread needs more chromakey, archrival and tarsier :grin:

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Not much to add to this really. Good read though, so thanks guys. I'd personally like to see them do something really different, largely building on their strongest melodies. I think that BoC have the potential to write a straight-up in your face album with the most awesomest melodies you've ever heard. I'd like to see that. Something a bit fun. Other than that, I'm pretty content with everything mostly. I still prefer IABPOITC and Geogaddi to any of their other work, but it's all good. Without TCH, I'd be less happy, so I'm not going to complain. And here here to a collection of the Old Tunes stuff.

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Guest PerryH

I don't think anything needs to be changed. They should do whatever they want. As long as they keep making music I'm in heaven

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Guest crazymonk

My only disappointment with the TCH's is that the Beck and cLOUDDEAD BoC remixes are two of my favorite tracks of theirs. I was hoping they would go full-tilt into the emotional psychedelia of those two tracks, but the TCH's seemed to pull back. Still, I dig them.

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Guest Archrival
something like this:

 

And i think for their next release the boards should go in a totally new direction, cause at least for me there is no point in doing the same thing over and over again.

 

or in various reviews, like the boomkat review of the tch ep, or the pitchfork review of iabpoitc, you'll find passages like "if you'd perfected this sonic playground, you'd want to stay here forever too"

 

 

 

 

 

so, okay:

 

in the shift from geogaddi to tch, for example, i must ask, how much more can a band change their sound, while still remaining the same band? i mean, ffs, BoC changed GENRES when they went from geogaddi to tch, from electronic music to wyrd folk. i struggle to think of two songs that are more different than "dayvan cowboy" and "devil in the details" (or for that matter, "devil in the details" and "roygbiv"). all of the sounds used are different; i can't think of one link between the two, or between most of the tracks on tch/geogaddi. people seem to be forgetting that tch introduced, among other things, (1) harp - macquarie ridge, (2) feedback-drenched electric guitar (!?!) - dayvan cowboy, (3) washed-out acoustic guitar - chromakey, etc etc.

 

though one might argue that certain synth sounds, certain 'signature' BoC things always remain, but wtf, what band doesn't have things like this? why does no one whine when lusine creates basically the same album for 9 years? or monolake? or basically any band or electronic music act? even autechre have SOME consistency of production, of sound. i just can't figure out, why are BoC somehow expected to completely change their sound, and stop using synths or whatever (especially when they HAVE changed their sound, from skamified electronic music hiphop, to psychedelic wobbly darkness, to guitars and wind noises and flutes and harps)? we should also be whining about the fact that richard devine hasn't released a reggae album yet, i guess?

 

As a proud BOC fanboy I say: Excellent post!

 

I hear you. I think the BoC sound has changed quite dramatically from Old Tunes to MHTRTC to IABPOITC to Geogaddi to TCH. I think what you may be seeing, though, is reviewers and fans trying to put language on a vague sense of dissatisfaction, and not quite pinning down what is really bothering them. As I think you'd agree, adding new instruments - flute, harp, tablas, etc - does not in and of itself signal a bold new direction; it could just amount to so much window dressing.

 

Few fans want to acknowledge that the artist they love may be past his or her creative prime. I see it all the time around here; whenever a slightly disappointing release or leak happens, you see some of the same rationalizations. The loyal fans will say things like: "the MP3s don't do it justice," or "It's just a transitional album, they should be allowed to experiment," or "give it time, it's a grower," or "they've just matured," or "such-and-such track is classic ________" (the Pitchfork TCH review does the same thing, saying "Left Side Drive is vintage Boards"). The spoiled fans get instantly angry, they feel betrayed, and say things like "Clearly MHTRTC and Hi Scores were just flukes." (according to a comment I read by someone recently.)

 

It's hard to be objective when you're a fanboy. I try to do my best to avoid snap judgements and let things sink in. Sometimes first impressions are correct; sometimes a track or album really is a "grower" and takes time to appreciate. With Boards' music the latter is usually the case. It took me a while to appreciate IABPOITC, and I think TCH has a very slow burn.

 

All that said, I do feel there is something slightly lacking in the latest Boards releases. They lack a certain amount of passion and urgency. It was most noticeable to me when listening to the Dayvan remix. Even though I think it's a flawed remix, the middle part with drum and guitars seems to have more vigor and excitement and menace than many recent Boards tracks. I noticed this again when, after listening to the TCH EP, I went back and put on the Hell Interface remix of Trapped. What a cracking, vigorous tune! Where is that energy on Boards new work? It seems like they're trying to capture it on Skyliner, with only partial success. Of course it's not all about the aggressive tracks; Boards also used to have a knack for making eerie tracks, and melancholy slowly evolving tracks, with great melodies. But I believe melodies truly are a gift from god. I doubt you can really achieve a great melody from studio tinkering. Are we ever going to see the sorts of brilliant interlocking melodies of June 9th or Everything you Do is a Balloon again? Are we ever going to hear the complex builds of a Nlogax or Telephasic Workshop again? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it.

 

I think these are things a fan just has to come to terms with. As BoC age, their output will probably get even sparser as they grow less prolific. They'll probably grow gradually less inspired, with fewer tracks that give you that "ah fuck what an amazing tune!" feeling. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather that Left Side Drive and Heard From Telegraph Lines exist than not. They're excellent, if slightly less than brilliant, tracks. And we should be thankful that BoC still exercise a high level of quality control. I felt genuinely betrayed when Orbital went off the deep end into cheese, but I haven't got that feeling from BoC yet. Yes, they seem to be treading some of the same ground. I mean this in terms of "sound structures," not the actual "sound components of the tracks"; Peacock Tail sounds to me like a paler version of Telephasic Workshop or Nlogax for example. But I think that's OK. I'm not ungrateful; BoC have given me some of the best music I've ever heard. And I wouldn't be surprised if they still have suprises up their sleeves.

 

I just hope they release a box set of their early work. That'd be all I'd ever ask of them.

 

As a proud BOC fanboy I say: Get off the crack!

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Guest Archrival

"the middle third of TCH (tracks 6-11) is the worst stretch of music that they've ever created ..." Pathetic!!!! Are you kidding me!?! :omg:

 

I dont agree with that!!!! I would say some of their best work is right there....Its all about taste bro.

 

6 A Moment Of Clarity (0:51) nice little interlude that sets you in the mode for 84 Pontiac Dream

 

7 '84 Pontiac Dream (3:49) This is easily one of the best tracks BOC ever made!!! BRILLIANT!!!!! 5 out of 5.

8 Sherbet Head (2:41) Dark and moody, love it. 4 out 5

9 Oscar See Through Red Eye (5:08) how can anyone front on this track! epic BOC stuff..5 out of 5.

10 Ataronchronon (1:14) one of their best short tracks ever!!!!! 5 out 5

11 Hey Saturday Sun (4:56) BRILLIANT!!!!!!

 

Seriously its just about taste...imho I think TCH is their best work yet...I think they just evolve as artists and become better and better. Havent heard the TCH ep yet but im really looking forward to it (only heard Skyliner wich is also one of the best BOC tracks ever)..LSD seems to be nice of what I heard and both the shortinterludes will be nice I bet.

Edited by Archrival
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Very nice thread.. one of the most interesting ones in this subforum lately. thanks for that.

 

And I definitely agree with PlayByNumbers in his first post. Boc have changed a lot but in the end they still remain BoC; duh it's not like they've changed members in this band. They are allowed to have a trademark sound (that's why we like them and that's how everyone recognizes them) and obviously they're also allowed to make changes to their music and so they did; just listen Twoism and right after The Campfire Headphase; 'nuff said, really. Anyone who doesn't hear the difference in those 10 years is just neglecting it or just being ignorant.

 

I still enjoy all BoC's output and of course some is better than others but you have that with all artists. And of course everything is also based on taste.

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I definitely agree with pbn on the fact that their sound has changed a ridiculous amount between each album. I've never understood that critique. I think what annoyed me most about the TCH's was that the sounds within the album don't change that much. On Campfire, there are a couple songs that sound nothing alike each other (Chromakey, Dayvan, SAI, Sherbet Head) and those are by far the standouts. A lot of the rest sounds so similar that even though they are good tracks certainly, they drag the album down quite a bit. The Boards first few releases were so much better than anything out at the time in my opinion, it wasn't even a question for me that if they came out with something, it was the best thing I'd heard that year. Now with Campfire and the EP, I can't say that. I think I'm actually enjoying Bibio's two releases quite a bit more than the last two BOC records. Now Bibio's a great artist, but he only does really one thing and does that really well. With BOC, I know how diverse the sounds on Geogaddi were and I'd expect that on any album from them, but with Campfire and now the EP, for some reason they're not doing it, and that quality that makes Bibio's albums so engaging is dragging BOC's work down very far.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

PS Yay for boxset.

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Guest chromakey_dreamcoat

The first time I heard Campfire Headphase, I really disliked it. Over several listens, I began enjoying it and recognizing their style within the album. They are the same artists, after all. What I prefer about The Campfire Headphase is the better structured tracks. They just wanted to change their music making methods by including some guitar riffs and I think this was a nice add. Perhaps, you may find Music Has The Right To Children and Geogaddi better, but The Campfire Headphase is very close to them, IMO.

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i'll agree that there's a bit more 'sameness' than i might have previously noticed ... but "the same everything" seems a bit much. some new elements have certainly been introduced, and not instrumentally

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Guest lost cloud

Thank you all for that thread! I learnt more english :rolleyes: seriously I think you have all good opinions about BoC and their lasts albums. I will try to add my thought there:

 

The first song I listened of BoC was aquarius (version 3) and I was stunned! I was so happy to hear something in the same time brand new and much more sky sounding than pink floyd and all others... After this I listened to geogaddi and I didn't like it, I was quite vomitting at some tracks, I realized they were too crazy for my ears, they took too much acid to play music I stupidly thought (cliché of psyché music) But I knew this album was a kind of big forest where I just wasn't able to go inside. After more listenings this album is now the best one I've never heard in my life. Each track is a travel through the jungle: a lot of plants, animals, flowers, suns... for me, they created a new way of melodies :heart:

It was exactly the same for music has the right for children, I didn't understand it at the begining, but after I found it less intense than geo. Those 2 albums are two planets to discover. It is what I love in boards of canada (those albums): you can listen many times the same album and you will do different trips, you will like it more and more. It's what I call the "tripness" of an album :laughing:

 

With the other albums it was a different approach for me. twoism I found it beautiful directly , without listening to it very carefully, but it is even better when you care, i got a feeling of an incomplete, or a too fast album. in the beautiful place... was the same, I loved it since the first rythm.

the others albums less famous like hi scores; hooper bay, I didn't have enough time to "study" them but of course they are good too.

Campfire Headphase: the first time i felt in love with it, and d cowboy was the high point of that surrounding toxic beauty; after this there is a few tracks before slow this bird down which are too flat, too easy, or maybe I am not able to understand them.

 

trans canada highway: d cowboy:not new, left side drive: wonderfull since the first listening, the rythm is made by a kind of wind, I love it!! heard from telegraph lines: a very classic; "cliché" sound of what the human imagine about heaven, one of my favorite songs of boards of canada now. skyliner: I don't like it so much like the others. Under the coke sign: wonderfull. the remix: I like it very much

 

I think boc made two kinds of albums: those which needs many listenings and a lot of attention, they include so much different sounds. Those albums which are weird are the best for me. (geog, mhtrtc, twoism..)

and those which catch directly the brain, like tch/tch. Those albums work quickly, they are easier to "access" but still good, there is a different value between the 2 main kinds. To answer the thread I'd say that boc is keeping up the very nice quality music until today and I know they are still able to surprise ourselves by making a new album with another horizon of inspirations! But what boc needs really now is to meet their public/fans in concerts or performances... just like rave parties in the fields of grass!!!

 

I hope there is not too much mistakes in my english above :happy:

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let's have a link to your version of 'hooper bay' then cloud.

 

lol.

 

 

interesting read guys.

 

a lot of flailing speculation going on though.

 

i'd say just chill and dig the tunes.. boc don't owe you anything.

Edited by loganfive
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