Boards of Canada Twoism (reissue)

[Warp; 2002]

Styles: electronica, ambient, IDM
Others: Mouse on Mars, Dntel, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Mum, Squarepusher

When Boards of Canada's debut EP, Twoism, was released in 1995 on the groups label Music 70, things were kept on a very small scale. The scale for that release was so small that it meant only 100 vinyl copies were ever produced. While that helps those who were lucky enough to pick up a copy in 1995 get higher bids on eBay, its bad news for the rest of us who have been waiting to hear Boards of Canada's first offering.

Luckily, our friends at IDM superlabel Warp records have reissued the EP on compact discs, which are far more convenient than the vinyl copies ever were. Now that the complete discography of Boards of Canada is available on compact disc, the musical medium of the people, listeners can now chart the evolution of one of the best electronica groups around.

Just because Twoism is a very early recording for the group, don't expect anything drastically different than what they've already released. Even at this nascent stage, the groups sound is typically Boards of Canada: dreary synth melodies layered on top of simplistic beat-box rhythms. While this lack of stylistic diversity might hinder a lesser group, it only stands to help Boards of Canada. Boards of Canada do what they do very well, so why change?

Comparing this EP to the Boards of Canada's two long-players, Twoism captures more of the childlike innocence and naïveté from "Music has the right to children" than it has in common with the more dramatic and complex sounds of Geogaddi. Need an example? Notice the melodic line played on the synthesizer in the coda of "Basefree"; it makes an appearance at the beginning of Music has the right to children as "Wildlife Analysis."

While officially designated as an EP, the eight tracks on Twoism clock in at over 30 minutes, firmly placing it in LP territory. Twoism is certainly not a fans-only release, it makes a perfect introduction to those new to Boards of Canada, although those new to the group will definitely want to to pick up the magnificent Music has the right to children.

IDM, and electronic music in general, bears a stigma of being overly cerebral, cold, and sterile. But Boards of Canada have consistently discredited this stereotype by creating music that is not only NOT cold and sterile, but warm, inviting, and much more emotive than the vast majority of music being released. Boards of Canada is psychedelic music they haven't invented the drugs to match.

1. Sixtyniner
2. Oirectine
3. Iced Cooly
4. Basefree
5. Twoism
6. Seeya Later
7. Melissa Juice
8. Smokes Quantity