Boards of Canada
The Campfire Headphase


5.0
classic

Review

by boomerwrangle USER (5 Reviews)
October 30th, 2011 | 45 replies | 4,097 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “We were picturing this character losing his mind at the campfire and compressing weeks of events into a few hours, in that time-stretching way that acid fucks with your perception.” -Michael Sandison

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

I think it’s fair to say that as human beings, we like to take journeys. We like to go places. Ever since Odysseus sailed home, ever since humans could look up at the stars and do whatever they did, we’ve liked to go places.

Some people say that music can take you places. To be honest with you, I mostly listen to music as a passive observer, maybe tapping my foot, maybe humming along, maybe closing my eyes and letting a tear roll down my cheek: but I’ve never involved, it’s always music presented to me. I’ve never been immersed in an album. I’ve never felt invaded by an album before, I’ve never been taken somewhere by music, I’ve never been taken on a journey through sound before.

I lied. You could have seen that coming from a mile away. But I was trying to make a point.
The Campfire Headphase does that. And it’s one of three albums that have, other than classical works. The other two are Selected Ambient Works by Richard James, or Aphex Twin, and Music Has The Right to Children by Boards of Canada. I’ve never heard records so goddamned invasive in my life, and sometimes these albums take me places I don’t like to go.

Boards of Canada thrives on the subtle, thrives on the the signature sort of acidwashed analogue sound that is reminiscent of the 70’s and brings to mind a fearful kind of nostalgia. Listening to Boards of Canada like you are looking back at the memories of the past and seeing things that scared you, looking back at childhood in a LSD fueled vision of the forgotten past, and is an intensely layered kind of music that shakes your headphones and takes your mind by the hold; it’s one of those albums where each song bleeds into the next, where transitions mean nothing. If we look at it in the same vein as a journey, we’re looking at the memories of the past, moving images as we look through a passenger window of a spaceship in the atmosphere. This feeling comes to the forefront in Dayvan Cowboy, where the guitar riffs blend with the atmosphere and you become transcendent of the world, thinking of the cosmos or whatever you think about in the fearful stupor of cosmic nostalgia.

It is true that Campfire makes use of acoustic guitars, but think about the quote in the beginning; this album is about loosing your mind, taking a journey transcendent of time and perception. I think that makes the use of acoustic guitars not in the least bit conventional. It doesn’t add normality to the situation, and if it does, it all traces back to the journey. It is normal to go on journeys. And in the last track, Farewell Fire, everything ends in some kind of sweeping blur, as if the tracks that came before it are to be remembered only when listened too, like you can’t recall a Campfire Track when the music isn’t playing. Everything blends together to make the only moment now. And it’s a beautiful, unsettling thing to not remember where you came from.


user ratings (581)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
sudonym (3)
Boards of Canada, without the signature atmosphere....

dvs (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Valerius
October 30th 2011



1137 Comments


Not impressed with these guys.

Valerius
October 30th 2011



1137 Comments


Have an arbitrary positive, anyway.

boomerwrangle
October 30th 2011



4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the positive man!

jefflebowski
October 30th 2011



7363 Comments


yeah, never got the appeal of these guys. MHTRTC left me cold.

Digging: Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma

Valerius
October 30th 2011



1137 Comments


I haven't heard a full album from them but I've been checking several songs of theirs from different albums on youtube, and it seems kind of mediocre/slightly good, albeit rather uninspired. Beats are kind of simple, synth is kind of simple. It's just basic to me. Maybe I'm judging them too soon, but first impressions mean a shitload to me.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2011



30865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Use of repetition in this review irks me a little. Also, you seem to have words missing left right and centre

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2011



2714 Comments


"Listening to Boards of Canada like you are looking back at the memories of the past and seeing things that scared you"

Missing an "is", right? There are several other places you miss out words too.

I've actually never given this LP a listen- I should probably fix that.

boomerwrangle
October 30th 2011



4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sorry about the missing words, I should have caught dat shit but I'll give it a fix

Rev
October 30th 2011



9377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


I haven't heard a full album from them but I've been checking several songs of theirs from different albums on youtube, and it seems kind of mediocre/slightly good, albeit rather uninspired. Beats are kind of simple, synth is kind of simple. It's just basic to me. Maybe I'm judging them too soon, but first impressions mean a shitload to me.

what's wrong with simple?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2011



30865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wash your fuckin mouth out, Krush is royalty

Rev
October 30th 2011



9377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've never checked him out, but he seems tight


What's a good starting point?

Relinquished
October 30th 2011



24407 Comments


track 2 and 3 are so fucking good

great album

Valerius
October 30th 2011



1137 Comments


Because DJ Krush *is* better than Massive Attack.
If you want a Massive Attack listen to Klaus Shulze - Irrlicht and save me your trip pop bullshit.

Rev
October 30th 2011



9377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


Because DJ Krush *is* better than Massive Attack.
If you want a Massive Attack listen to Klaus Shulze - Irrlicht and save me your trip pop bullshit.

god you come off as a righteous prick

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2011



30865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He's just old, forgive him

Polymath
October 30th 2011



3836 Comments


DJ Krush is good not gonna lie but I don't think they're on the same level. Massive Attack being higher.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2011



30865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tobin is trip, what'chu on about?

Polymath
October 30th 2011



3836 Comments


Woah, Trip Pop? Blockhead and DJ Krush are good artists but don't come near Amon Tobin, Portishead,
Massive Attack, DJ Shadow, etc. I think he just wants to be that guy who is 'different' therefore he
thinks he's more 'elite'.

And yeah Amon Tobin is pretty much Trip Hop.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2011



7018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

TRIP POP

Digging: Braid - No Coast

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2011



30865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What does trip hop sound like?



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