There are few artists out there who could have their album plagiarised before it’s even released, but such is the case with Boards of Canada’s The Campfire Headphase.
Since the album title and release date were revealed earlier this summer, several imitators have used the given track-listing to flood cyberspace with their own BoC-like sounds, passing the forgeries off as “leaks,” and in turn provoking a series of mislead (or just plain faked) reviews amid the stirrings of anticipation. However, such is the level of intrigue surrounding the enigma that is Boards of Canada that these kind of perplexing anomalies are nothing new to their followers.
As if becoming the musical equivalent of Thomas Pynchon, Board of Canada’s psychedelic dreamworld has generated a certain amount of folklore amongst those whose curiosity has been entranced as much as their imagination. For if these tales are actually to be believed, then such a place is no dream. On the contrary, it’s one which their albums are only mere fleeting glimpses of.
Very little is actually known about Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison. (You could probably count the number of live appearances and interviews they have given on your fingers.) For those of whom the music by itself just isn’t enough, it doesn’t take long to become familiar with the image of the duo laboriously recording their work, hidden from sight in a bunker while living in the remains of a commune in some secret, rural location. The world of “Turquoise Hexagon Sun,” as we may perceive it, is a kaleidoscope of desolate green pastures, ice-cold seas, abandoned lighthouses, and a horizon of serene blue skies. Somewhere in the belly of a forest near Scotland’s Pentland hills, hallucinogenics are being consumed around a bonfire, their music the soundtrack to the experience – for decades now, this is the world within which Boards of Canada have been producing music, films, and images as part of an art-collective meant only for the eyes and ears of their friends and family.
This aura of mystery which the pair have drawn around them is only furthered by the fact that in that twenty-odd years of recording music, only three full-length LPs (including The Campfire Headphase) have been made available to the record-buying public. Since the breakthrough of their 1998 release Music Has the Right to Children, reams of websites have sprung up, amassing evidence that might decode the meanings and secrets of their songs. Everything from subliminal, backwards messages, references of religious cults, numerology, and even mathematical patterns, are all speculated over in an attempt to shed light on the many hidden layers within their music. So when a preview of the album cover for The Campfire Headphase is suddenly upon us, looking tantalisingly similar to Music Has the Right to Children,the growing furor is quite understandable.
It’s no secret that the sinister undertones of Geogaddi weren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but those hoping for a sequel to “Music Has…” will most likely (and deservedly) be disappointed. Though the new release may well be a return to similar elements, possibly moving away from the eerie darkness of Geogaddi, anyone waiting for Music Has… Mark II are better off giving up that fantasy altogether. Boards of Canada’s albums are designed as wonderfully cohesive and organic soundtracks to imaginary movies (Geogaddi being an intricate overture suited for a haunting, through-the-looking-glass type adventure), so a repeat performance is about as likely a director remaking one of his own films. Furthermore, as the nature of the duo’s lifestyle means severing a connection from what they consider to be a homogenous culture, pandering to the expectations and demands of others would, thankfully, seem out of the question.
With a spectacular ability to morph from the sounds of your dreams to your nightmares in the blink of an eye, the vibe of hazy nostalgia that underpins their music does indeed feel like it’s a part of a world that we would, without them, perhaps have no other such ease of access to. While the masses eagerly await the arrival of The Campfire Headphase as if it were a renewed ticket to an altogether surreal destination, one gets the impression that, were it not for some vague obligation specified in their record contract, the outside world might never even be fortunate enough to hear these sounds at all.
Taken from http://www.seewhatyouhear.com/