Boards of Canada
Geogaddi


4.5
superb

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (109 Reviews)
June 25th, 2014 | 18 replies | 1,429 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For Tomorrow: A Guide to Contemporary British Music, 1988-2013 (Part 59)

In an alternate timeline, Boards of Canada made a killing creating comfortable mood music. So much of their output edges right up to chill but it never becomes comfy. You can’t really sink into the plushness of a Boards of Canada song because the deeper you go the more unsettling it gets. Like its predecessor, Geogaddi contains the decayed synths and fuzzy vocal samples from those days your Biology teacher sent you down the hall to wheel the big TV and VCR into the room. But unlike its predecessor, your mom administered the wrong dosage of Ritalin that morning and now the tape is playing too fast in your brain. All the elements from Music has the Right to Children are still intact but they feel panicky, too fast, and off in subtle ways.

Here’s a fun game for you. Next time you and a batch of chums are high as hell and looking to chill, throw on Geogaddi’s “The Devil in the Details”. Superficially it should fit the occasion. The tempo is slow, there are no drums, and the echoing synth trails off into the comforting horizon. But what is that vocal? “Just relax and enjoy this pleasant adventure,” it says, “Here you are, secure and protected, in this, your special place.” Should be fine, but it’s all wrong, chopped up, twisted through the synths, and lowered in pitch so that the voice becomes an indecipherable growl. It’s weird and totally not chill bro.

This is where Boards of Canada, almost exclusively, reside. In the gap between calm and fright. Much of their music is constructed like moments right before jump scares in horror movies, eerily calm with the nagging sense that something is waiting around the corner. “You Could Feel the Sky” prominently features a sound not unlike the creak of an old floorboard under your foot. “Beware the Friendly Stranger” (Sheesh, title alone) is 38 seconds of ominously rustled leaves and off kilter carousel melody. “Gyroscope” thunders down on you with a merciless rage, leaving only enough air for a panicked child to count seemingly random numbers. “Sunshine Recorder” is “Turquoise Hexagon Sun”’s spiritual sequel, as it too goes wandering about the woods except whatever light crept in the latter has been snuffed out in the former. These are dark lands and it's Boards of Canada’s exclusive domain here. There’s nobody else in electronic music that can conjure feelings like this, a gnawing terror stretching back to pre-pubescent classroom anxieties.

But, like in Music Has the Right to Children, the fear and tension is there to bring the beauty into magnificent focus. “Over the Horizon Radar” is nothing but gently pressed synths over a comforting breeze while “Dawn Chorus” sports massive, brain cleansing synth washes over a loping breakbeat. It’s the closest Geogaddi comes to the bliss of “Roygbiv” but a pitched cry prevents pure nirvana.

If nothing else, Geogaddi emphasizes just how readily accessible Music Has the Right to Children was by being its far more difficult sequel. That album readily gave itself over to beauty on multiple occasions with that lingering dread more relegated to the sidelines. Geogaddi does what a followup to a classic should do. It continues exploring the sonic terrain laid out by its predecessor while treating its audience like thinking human beings in the sense that it always challenges and never panders. Geogaddi travels to some weird places, but it trusts you enough to follow it. It’s a worthy journey every time.



Recent reviews by this author
Sugababes Angels with Dirty FacesColdplay A Rush of Blood to the Head
The Streets Original Pirate MaterialClinic Walking With Thee
Pulp We Love LifeBasement Jaxx Rooty
user ratings (785)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Kevin K (5)
Basically, this is a record that may or may not mold into your heart, may mold into it a little bit ...

J. Ponton EMERITUS (4.5)
The Scottish duo create a subtly evil package that takes listeners on a unique journey that is diffe...


Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2014



1592 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Full series: http://holidaykirk.com/
Twitter: @HolidayKirk

New review every Wednesday.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2014



18011 Comments


this is great, and i agree with all your points. this album is a push and pull between subtlly unsettling and alarmingly beautiful. people always want to call it "evil and dark" but those are far different vibes than this album gives off

one little thing

All the elements from Music has the Right to Children are still intact but they feel panicky, too fast, off in subtle ways that unsettle in subtle ways.


gt rid of one of the "subtle ways"

Digging: Autechre - Draft 7.30

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2014



9075 Comments


Nice review man. I can't get into this band unfortunately :/

YoYoMancuso
June 25th 2014



10855 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

love this group so much and this is their greatest achievement. Awesome review.

Killerhit
June 25th 2014



5209 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

pretty shitty album

Wadlez
June 25th 2014



3820 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of life's mysteries, how can a man in this universe not get into Boards...

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2014



9075 Comments


It's quite a conundrum really

tommygun
June 25th 2014



23569 Comments


nice review pal

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

MrSirLordGentleman
June 25th 2014



4073 Comments


Awesome review, I hope this band will click with me one day

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2014



30873 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is great, and i agree with all your points. this album is a push and pull between subtlly unsettling and alarmingly beautiful. people always want to call it "evil and dark" but those are far different vibes than this album gives off


While I completely share your opinion of the album and the atmosphere and feelings that it evokes, I do feel that it is designed to work on different people in different ways

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Amphoteric
July 11th 2014



1435 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just heard the beginning of Music Is Math on an Adult Swim bump, haven't heard that on AS in a while

Digging: Deadwood - Picturing a Sense of Loss

Kman418
July 11th 2014



9824 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I do feel that it is designed to work on different people in different ways [2]

srsly i feel different about this album and experience a new atmosphere every time i listen to it i cant imagine ever having a clear enough understanding of it to ever be able to make a statement like "geogaddi is an ____ album" for myself let alone a blanket statement like that that could be applied to everyone and the album as a whole

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Keyblade
July 11th 2014



14242 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is great, and i agree with all your points. this album is a push and pull between subtlly unsettling and alarmingly beautiful. people always want to call it "evil and dark" but those are far different vibes than this album gives off


While I completely share your opinion of the album and the atmosphere and feelings that it evokes, I do feel that it is designed to work on different people in different ways

Completely agree with both of you

Digging: Phlebotomized - Immense, Intense, Suspense

CK
July 16th 2014



4876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

May bump this to a 4, but this isn't nearly as good as Music Has The Right To Children

zakalwe
July 16th 2014



6554 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The review is better than the album and that's saying something.

StallionMang
July 16th 2014



5222 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's just as good, maybe better than MHTRTC

Digging: TTNG - This Town Needs Guns

Ricochet
July 26th 2014



1764 Comments


oh autumn 2013 nostalgia... this gets better with every listen.. could 5 it..

StallionMang
July 26th 2014



5222 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fuk it's been ages since I jammed BoC what am I doing



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy