Review Summary: Charming and creepy intelligent dance music hiding shyly behind Boards' more popular albums.
Boards of Canada is a Scottish electronic/IDM duo consisting of Mike Sandison & Marcus Eoin, a group best recognized for their gorgeous 1998 album Music Has the Right to Children
. The album took listeners to Boards of Canada's interesting mindscape, taking one to the kind of world that had a lot to say yet left much more to be explored by its visitors. Afterwards they released 2 other records, Geogaddi
and The Campfire Headphase
, the two of which cemented a holy trinity of Boards' most beloved albums. While the success of these 3 records made an umbrella of interest over the rest of their lesser-known albums (not to mention for other artists of the same genre), their back catalog doesn't seem to have gained much more prestige or prominence within Boards' discography, including their 1995 album Twoism
. Well why the hell shouldn't it?
may not be as profound as their big 3 LPs, but what's here is certainly a treat for listeners of Boards of Canada and IDM music. Where Music Has the Right to Children
was wistful and breezy, and Geogaddi
was murky and hostile, Twoism
feels like a little bit of both. The title track is a perfect example and representation of this album, as it feels very gentle and calm but also quite melancholic and scary. The later interlude "Melissa Juice" not only feels like a lighter Music
track, but it's also surprisingly one of Boards of Canada's most catchy and soothing songs to date. There's even a track straight from that album, "Smokes Quantity", the only noticeable difference being a hidden minute-and-a-half tune at the end. With a more coarse percussion, "Basefree" is a bit edgier, similar to Geogaddi
's "Gyroscope". Also worth mentioning is "Oirectine" and "Seeya Later", two tracks that have an airy, resonant gleam that give Twoism
some of its own unique feel.
Boards of Canada don't sing in their music, and usually sample a child or woman's voice. This time around, there are no samples to speak of either, making Twoism
slightly bare compared to some of their other albums. Since Boards of Canada promote interpretive analysis in their music, this can be good as it opens up some of the imaginative prospect. Otherwise, as in traditional Boards of Canada fashion, the album has an eerie, thought-provoking sound with a nostalgic tint, the kind of which that feels elusive and interpretive. One can expect gentle, if somber, chill-out songs that gleam a bit on top of its gloomy presentation. If you are a fan of Boards of Canada, Twoism
is a great record that may not be too long but has a hard-hitting vibe that's definitely worth checking out.