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The Campfire Headphase


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Audio CD, October 18, 2005
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The Campfire Headphase + Geogaddi + Music Has The Right To Children
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Campfire Headcase is Boards Of Canada first release since 2002's Geogaddi! The album is very much classic Boards, building on themes and sounds that can can be heard in their intervening remix work for Beck, Clouddead and Boom Bip. Warp. 2005.

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This Scottish duo's third album is their most shoegazer-y and gorgeous. For the first time, acoustic and electric instruments intrude on their landscape, which brings them closer to the work of artists like Four Tet and M83. But there's an intricacy to their beats and a strange, underwater quality to their samples that's strictly BoC. It's weird woozy music that's lovely and alien. "Dayvan Cowboy,"for instance, is a slow-paced bit of moody psychedelia; the drums don't even kick in until two thirds of the way through. The hypnotic, analog synth-driven "Farewell Fire"sounds like some lost tune by space-kraut pioneers Cluster. This is music you listen to when drugs don't work anymore; it's more reliable and a whole lot cheaper besides. "Oscar See Through Red Eye,"one of the more percussive songs, is perfect for languid late night dancing, but most of the album is sublimely made for the bean bag chairs. --Mike McGonigal

1. Into the Rainbow Vein
2. Chromakey Dreamcoat
3. Satellite Anthem Icarus
4. Peacock Tail
5. Dayvan Cowboy
6. A Moment of Clarity
7. '84 Pontiac Dream
8. Sherbet Head
9. Oscar See Through Red Eye
10. Ataronchronon
11. Hey Saturday Sun
12. Constants Are Changing
13. Slow This Bird Down
14. Tears From the Compound Eye
15. Farewell Fire

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 18, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B000AP2ZQC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,964 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

I have listened to most of their other songs, and this is just another really great album.
Thaddeus Burns
I am a fan of all kinds of music and there are times when you just want to kick back and listen to something that puts your mind and body at ease.
ERIC WILSON
It's great music when you still get that geeling EVERY time you listen to it. this is a brilliant album that has become one of my favorites.
Wayne A. Edwards

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Betche on October 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It was inevitable. From the post rock experimentation on the In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country EP to the 'dirtier' tracks on Geogaddi, the signs were there. Then, endorsement of Bibio's folktronica and some very psychedelic remix work for Beck and others occured. We all should have known that this is how The Campfire Headphase would turn out. Heck, what else does one play around the campfire? Certainly not rusting analogue synths. I think Dayvan Cowboy is the best song on the album. The fact that it sounds nothing like Boards of Canada is besides the point. Including that song, the album is My Bloody Valentine/Incredible String Band/Tortoise with electronic textures and soft beats. Haven't listened to those groups? You should - they're all good, and they've all influenced BOC's sound from the beginning. If it was anyone else but BOC, we'd all be saying it's a sublime, understated masterpiece. The point is this - you experiment, or you repeat. The best musicians make music for themselves, and if they get some fans, so much the better. We didn't really want Music Has The Right To Children (Part 2), and so this progression of an album is what we have. I may not enjoy every track on The Campfire Headphase, but I have to respect BOC's artistic vision - the sound is dense and alluring, and the flow of the whole is nearly seamless. Thank you BOC, for expanding your horizons, and ours.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A. Johnston on October 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"The Campfire Headphase" is an exceptional release but it is far from a 5/5 album. Really, folks...we're all excited after such a long wait but do keep in mind the conotation of a perfect score. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a 7.

A few notes:

The introduction of guitar is, despite some opinions, a nice way for BoC to avoid parodying themselves. BoC simpy could not have made another wholly synth/sample album and gone much further out. While creativity has no bounds, being rooted in such a signature sound as that of the mighty Boards does create some very narrowing criteria this faar down their road. While I wouldn't go as far as to compare this album to Bob Dylan going electric, the acoustic/organic feel of TCHp will be the hardest element for some to adjust to.

There are a handful of new "classics" here but few with quite the same level of crushing timelessness as previous albums. As a "single, unified listening experience," TCHp holds up well. It is consistent, warm and nice. Put it on and let it loop while you paint, draw or just stare out the window. Still, songs do tend to meander longer than in the past. While BoC has always proved kings of the solidly built yet simple and enthralling electronic song, many of the tracks here seem to get lost in their own loose discipline. While it's just as easy to blissfully zone out to, there is much less here to snap you from your frosty coma and recognize when a particularly good bass bomb or synth chime has struck just that much deeper.

Should you buy it? Sure, so long as it's not your first BoC purchase. After about ten listens, I am of the opinion that it's certainly a fine work but it is not a towering work such as their previous two.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By sunchemical on December 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What many reviewers seem to miss with this album, and almost anything by BoC, is that the music was written by, and most likely for, synaesthesists; i.e. those of us that taste shapes, feel sounds, and/or smell colors.

I am not certain if BoC are synaesthetic or not (although their song titles lead me to believe this), but they are the only musicians that I have discovered with the uncanny knack to capture colors and shapes within their music so effortlessly and to express it in a such a confined space. This album consists of subtle hues of greens and blues, with yellow highlights, that permeate through sunlit windows, with golden, soft velvet curtains, illuminating the lazy particles of dust hanging in a cold haze.

The Campfire Headphase is defintely a step up from Geogaddi (not that Geogaddi is a bad album but it was not as enveloping as their previous EPs and album) and feels more like the natural progression from Music Has a Right To the Childen. This is one of those albums that I would only recommend to a few people - not because it is bad, but because I know that the majority of listeners would never understand and never truly appreciate the experience that is brought to the mind when listening to it.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Lister on June 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
All Hail mighty BoC! Oh. Hang on. This sounds different. Boo! Boo! Down with BoC!

-pretty much the response this album got on release. The cutting phrase 'Least great album' was bandied about. Gotta admit, I felt that way too. Gone was the lofty shimmer of Geogaddi and MHTRTC.

Anyway, I'm glad I waited six months before writing this review, because 'Campfire Headphase' has grown on me in an gradual, organic way, like a tasty mushroom. As a really good album should. The thing I initially liked least, I now like best: the contrast. MHTRTC was crystalline music - icy and measured. Geogaddi followed that with a kind of spooky-movie feel - very dense, very unsettling, sort of David Lynch-y. So far, so "cool"

Now think about words like 'warm', 'organic', 'rich'. Not so traditionally "cool" in concept, huh? Ditto 'guitar' in the IDM world, right? Obviously, still with lots of crackly synths and woozy warbles. The change takes some getting used to, but now I'm loving this album, end to end. Ok, then, enough banter: to specifics

Dayvan Caravan is magnificent, possibly my favorite BoC track ever. An enormously long build up unfolds to a surging orchestral/murky choir theme with a trademark 'just so' melody bleeped on top of that. How in the world do BoC take 5 bare notes of melody and make them into an emotional epic?

Tracks like Satellite Theme Icarus & Ataronchronon are actually more representative of the mood, though - with the sound of gentle waves in the mix and a calming reflective feel. Think of people on a beach, sipping banana daquiri's as the sun sets. Robot people.
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