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Boards of Canada

Tomorrow's Harvest (2LP)

Label: Warp, Music70

Format: 2LP

Genre: Electronic

In stock

€34.00
€30.60
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*2024 stock* "After all the intrigue, hidden codes on 12" records that went on to sell for astronomical amounts of money on eBay, adverts on Cartoon Network, a song played at a Tokyo intersection, and other covert shenanigans that made the Daft Punk teaser campaign look prosaic, here I am, in the Warp offices in North West London, signing a disclaimer ahead of an exclusive listen to the new Boards Of Canada album, Tomorrow's Harvest. It's a fitting way to listen to a record by a band whose obsessive fans are something of a cult, and one so devoted that they would drink poisoned Kool-Aid if Marcus or Mike Sandison (the brothers BOC) said it tasted good. Once we leave the confines of Warp HQ, we're not allowed to talk about it. Not even to our nearest and dearest. We can't even say we were here. The first rule of BOC Album Playback Club is you don't talk about BOC Album Playback Club – until the embargo is lifted.

Covert listening "parties" (there's beer and other journalists present) like this are normally reserved for massive artists on major record labels – Boards of Canada aren't (neither is WARP), though they have always kept a level of clandestine secrecy over their activities for the duration of their career. They didn't even admit that they were brothers for the first few years of their existence and rarely talked to the press, until breaking cover in 2005 to dispel some of the many ridiculous myths circulating about them and their music.

But casting aside all the background noise for a minute there is only one (very important) thought on my mind: is it any good? Immediate reaction? Yes. It'll definitely recapture the interest of anyone who felt that The Campfire Headphase was a bit lightweight. It's pitched somewhere between the mellow pastoralism and childlike nostalgia of Music Has The Right To Children and the denser, more complex song structures of Geogaddi. They've not gone dubstep and it certainly isn't EDM. It's resolutely BOC, but their trademark sound has evolved. They're giving all the analogue synth jockeys like Oneohtrix Point Never and Emeralds a run for their money with some epic, layered work-outs dripping in their trademark cloying melodies, but also heavy in drones and some of their best drum programming yet.

On first listen, it's their darkest, most dystopian record, sonically cluttered and a million miles away from the sentimental reverie of MHTRTC, though there are still some on-going themes that link their fourth album to their first (public) release. Thematically (according to the fanboys) some of the inspiration for the album comes from Deadly Harvest, an obscure, low-budget 1977 Canadian film that was ahead of the curve in warning of the dangers of climate change, dealing with massive crop failures in North America and the destruction of social order as a result. This idea seems to be reflected by the song titles ('Cold Earth', 'Sick Times', 'New Seeds'), the album sleeve and the overall mood of the record. There are plenty of garbled, unintelligible vocal samples to drive the hardcore fans mad trying to decipher where they're from and what they mean.

Only being allowed one listen to a record makes a kneejerk reaction inevitable, but my initial impression is that this will become the serious Boards of Canada fan's favourite album, but anybody who came in at The Campfire Headphase will probably be opting out. It's an intense, weird, beguiling and deeply complex record and I can't wait to hear it again." - thequietus.com

Details
Cat. number: WARPLP257
Year: 2013
Notes:
Gatefold cover with printed inner sleeves. Issued with a digital download code. Made in the EU.