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Boards of Canada: "In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country"

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BoC is more touching and serene than ever before

Quite possibly the most beautiful Boards of Canada release ever, and an exceptionally beautiful title in the pool of all electronic music. This touched me more personally than any other BoC release, even though they are brilliant, in different ways. In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country still contains the sonic elements that are so characteristic of BoC - the triphop lo-fi analog oldskool layered ambience - but this time they're somehow more powerful than usual.

Kid For Today opens up the EP with trippy off-beat drums and a melody that feels like soft sand flowing through between your fingers. (And when you listen closely, you'll notice it sounds quite a bit like Olson from Music Has The Right To Children - just something to note). My personal favourite, the minimalistic Amo Bishop Roden will quickly get to you with its small movements, its fragile steps. It's haunting and emotional and like the very best of BoC, it's not just heard, it's felt. The title track is just inspired. It's a self-contained microcosmos, full of life, presenting itself through warm pads, vocoded lyrics (yes, lyrics) that you don't have to discern to appreciate and a beat that has that BoC texture that you just don't hear anywhere else. And finally, while it's an understatement to say that all BoC tracks are unique, Zoetrope manages to create something that's perfectly unlike other BoC tracks. A full 5-minute journey of music with no layers, no constructive sounds - just harmony, without any drums to get in the way. It's like a poem. The vibrato could've been a bit more subtle though.

This EP reserved a special place in my heart. I said that "Peel Session" defines Boards of Canada - well it does, but this EP takes it all just a little bit further. I don't know why this album provokes these feelings of love, warmth - and longing - but it just does. I will not put up any samples of this EP because the whole of it needs to stay in one piece. It's impossible to understand Boards of Canada based on samples of 10 or 15 seconds. You must hear it in its entirety.

TOP TRACKS: Kid For Today, Amo Bishop Roden, In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country


  1. Kid For Today
  2. Amo Bishop Roden
  3. In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country
  4. Zoetrope
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Warp Records 2000

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Review by Saboteur

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