Ahhh.. after sifting through o-so-many fakes, finally, the unmistakable sounds of BoC.
I have no idea why my taste in music is so incredibly myopic, but deep down, I almost feel as if I've earned the right. See, thankfully, due to my profession, I have an abundance of free time... couple this with an intense love for music, and you have me, sorting and sifting through literally thousands upon thousands of songs, Artists, albums, groups, keeping only the incredibly small percentage that I feel actually inspire me, or that in which I personally hear true brilliance. Virtually all of these thousands of tunes are 'recommendations', mind you. Not just audioscrobbler/last.fm recommendations, I search everywhere and anywhere for similarity in taste and style, sometimes even breaking away completely to see if anything radically dissimilar speaks to me... but most being music I 'should' like, based on what I DO like, and to be entirely fair I do end up finding a decent portion of music I can enjoy. However, I can honestly say that, for me, Boards of Canada have always been on a plateau entirely their own, even entirely of their own making, one could say, ever since my first listen years ago. 'Myopia based on past experience', I'll say.
It's not something I can quantify or explain away... I don't know their recipe, and I believe the style and substance is much harder to pin down and/or label than just about anything else out there: Tool, Nine inch Nails, Radiohead (comparisons with the latter bother me, very much so, and just strike me as silly)... even Aphex Twin, for example. I can say this, however: I haven't heard anything that I can fairly and justifiably compare to BoC. I hope that someday I will.
Their latest contribution, The Campfire Headphase, seems both unique and more of the same (thank god) compared to their past work. I'm not big on reading or writing posts or journals or blogs (this is my first authoring attempt, my apologies for the odd writing style and all of these brackets), but I thought I'd take a look to see what others had said about Campfire, and have noticed that a few of the (supposedly) more devoted BoC listeners considered this a departure, almost complete in the eyes of some, from their previous albums, and were upset or disappointed by this. I've never quite fully understood this mind set. In my opinion, Artists, like individuals, change and evolve over time, their music following a parallel path (this does NOT hold true for those 'Artists' for whom music is merely a way to make money, walking corporate pawns such as a Timberlake or Nelly, for example, whose only 'evolution' is based on the current shifts and trends in American culture in order to obtain or retain mass appeal). If an Artist's work has changed or evolved to the extent to which you no longer enjoy or appreciate it, perhaps you're not really an avid fan of the Artist, merely an admirer of a style or genre they previously espoused. To say 'X Artist used to be great, before they changed...' is no different than saying 'I'm not actually a fan of X Artist, but I DID like where they happened to be 5-10 years ago'.
Campfire Headphase is BoC's latest evolution, and my current favorite album. In it, they're able to create a mood an atmosphere which is entirely unique... both powerful and surreal (thus my name, *not* related to the Artistic style of Surrealism in any way). Tracks like Dayvan Cowboy, for example, will go down (in my library at least) as both instant classics and enduring snippets of near perfection.
'Constants are Changing', though it leaves one wanting more, is despite this somehow just the right length, and some of the best proof of that intangible something only BoC has been able to produce.
It always strikes me that while on the surface some of their music may seem to be somewhat simple, 'Constants' is an example of this, upon further listening one begins to realize this couldnt be further from the truth... there are layers of depth in each and every piece that make re-listening often more enjoyable than the first listen, and with open ears there is always something new to pick up. This could help to explain why they're perched so high atop my Artist list... although their music is best listened to with an amount of focus to be fully enjoyed (it seems to rely heavily on the intellect, for instance, and isn't something one would bump loudly whilst shooting hoops or hopping around in a gold rimmed low-rider. with spinners.), there is nothing I prefer listening to more while I'm working, especially as my work demands creativity and unorthodox thinking... the music compliments this perfectly.
Peacock Tail was another high point for me.. upon first listen, I do admit I was wondering where they were headed with it until two minutes into the track, when it all seemed to come together in perfect harmony... its undoubtedly one of my favorites.
I could go on to attempt to deconstruct or 'critique' each and every track, but I don't want to, and I'm not going to... thats not my purpose, and its hard to judge or weigh tracks against one another when you view the whole album as a masterpiece of sorts. I merely wanted to give my opinion of BoC on the whole, this newest album in relation to that opinion, and most importantly, to let people know that the album deserves a listen, maybe two or three... who knows, you may be like me, and it may end up seriously enriching your life (this is no exaggeration).
A lazy Saturday afternoon, a comfortable hammock hung high in the air at a precise angle to take in the entire sprawling Parisian skyline... a potent cup of opiate tea, a mixture of new and classic BoC playing in the background of it all...
times like these make life worth living, and then some.