Boards of Canada - Twoism
‘Twoism’ retains a cult status elevated above even Boards of Canada’s sought after albums and the pressing to vinyl of this early EP as part of the duo’s series of repressings from Warp seems long overdue. From the opening distant chiming synths of ‘Sixtyniner’, which settle within faded hip-hop beats, this is music that exerts a rare and magical power through sounds that suggest and entice.
‘Melissa Juice’ displays a sense of depth one would have thought impossible to achieve with the naïve sounds employed, as two Tomorrow’s World synths delicately wrap around one another and a degraded shuffle pins down this ambiguous and understated texture. The title track allows the percussion to dominate more, with slowly undulating synth pitches inducing a sea-sick melancholy, while in ‘See Ya Later’ melodic elements appear to be continually receding into the distance with synths so saturated by tape decay that they sound like memories of orchestral brass. It’s tough to pick highlights from such a commanding set of tracks, but, if pushed, one might turn towards the destroyed breakbeat stutters of ‘Basefree’ or closer ‘1986 Summer Fires’, which must rank as one of Boards’ most powerful ambient cuts, where a plaintive synth chorale appears to decay on itself as tape distortions subtly accumulate.