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Twoism Original recording reissued

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, November 26, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Originally issued in 1995, Boards of Canada's Twoism EP makes it clear the Scottish duo of Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin were on to something from the start. As their first recorded work, scarce, vinyl-only copies of Twoism have been lustily sought after by rabid fans since the 1998 release of BoC's amazing, impossibly original Music Has The Right To Children and the quieter, but equally devastating Geogaddi. While not as adventuresome as those records, this EP is still Boards Of Canada all the way, as ample chunks of the band's unsettling and deeply involving style are easily found in songs like "Smokes Quantity" and the title track. Other songs such as the almost danceable "Seeya Later" show a more straightforward ambient/techno side that, while presented more nakedly here, is still quite apparent in their later work. While some might be disappointed after spending God knows what on a copy of Twoism only to find it suddenly available anywhere, others looking for more of BoC's melancholy, spellbinding compositions should take fast advantage. --Matthew Cooke
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 26, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B00006NSQ9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,226 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Board of Canada's discography is a source of consternation for their fans. Several of their releases only quasi-exist- no one has heard them. Twoism for many years has only been around in the form of low quality mp3s. The poor fidelity of the sound only served to augment the listening experience. A seminal, obscure album of broken sounds further degraded by poor reproduction that still took resourcefullness to track down.
Hearing the proper release has been a bit of a revelation. For the most part I knew what to expect. (some of the songs here have been been recycled on subsequent BoC releases) However, there are new levels of detail present in the sound. That being said nothing about Twoism is overly polished. The synthesizers used sound as if they are drawing their last breath. The melodies are distant and suffocated.
Boards of Canada at this point in their career were even more minmalist then they are now. The signature Boc formula was already perfected on these tracks. Vintage synthesizers spitting out chilhood melodies over slow breakbeats. The melodies are happy, but they evoke a fake, drug-induced happiness that enhances the distance and detachment.
Probably the two most interesting tracks on Twoism are "Oirectine" and "Basefree". They sound unlike anything else Boards of Canada ever released. There's a definite industrial influence, interpreted as only the boys could. "Basefree" sounds like it should have been on Autechre's "Tri Repetae", but I think "Basefree" is actually predates that album. "Oirectine" features a severaly damaged, overly sinister, melody. "Twoism" and "Sixtyniner" are the prototype early Boards of Canada tracks.
Twoism is essential for any Boards of Canada fan and any fan of electronic music. Twoism was ostensibly a demo which got them noticed by Skam records. The rest is history.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a really bleak album, more than even Geogaddi, which has a backbone of aggression that keeps it from becoming depressing. Not that fans expect upbeat, but usually there's a Nlogax, ROYGBIV, Aquarius, or Dawn Chorus to leaven the mood. Here Iced Cooly plays that role, but the synths are distorted to the point that the effect is more queasy than whimsical. For me a hallmark of the BoC sound is emotional ambivalence - innocence with a menacing undercurrent, psychedelia with a hint of madness - but the cumulative effect of these tracks is just dour.
A case in point would be the opener, Sixtyniner. The twinkling, autumnal synths are great, until this oboe-like sound and plodding beat come in and make it sound almost comically sad. The highlights of the album for me are Oirectine and Melissa Juice. The former is the epitome of minimalist composition; the opening tones alone vibrate at the perfect pitch to make your flesh creep and your hair stand on end. The reverb and distortion make the song sound as if it was recorded in a culvert or train tunnel; towards the end, a backward, loping beat is introduced that gives it a sinister, funky intensity. Totally eerie and unclassifiable. Melissa Juice is a slight composition that captures a nostalgic feeling in the way only BoC can.
Of course BoC completists have to have this EP; in fact, thanks to the miracle of filesharing, most of them already do. As far as I can tell the remastering is great and definitely justifies a purchase if you already know you like the material. And despite the downer mood it induces, there is a sense of vast open space on this album that makes it stand out when compared to, say, the more self-conscious and fanatically detailed Geogaddi. Still, for those new to the music of BoC, I would start with the superior Hi Scores EP, or either full length album, Music... or Geogaddi.
Comment 28 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Every BOC album has something to offer and "Twoism" is no exception. Not as consistently engaging as "Geogaddi" (my fave), it is more even than "Music has the right to chidren" in my view.

'Sixtyniner', the opening track, is the BOC tune that always comes to mind when I think of them. It has an otherworldy, BOC anthem-like quality that pervades some of the tunes on the longer "Geogaddi" and "Music has the right to children" CDs.

'Oirectine' is a cool, upbeat track that leaves a feeling of unrequited emotion like so many other BOC tracks do.

'Ice Cooly' is even cooler than 'Oirectine'; this is almost jaunty in a distorted, spacey sort of way.

'Basefree' is BOC doing Autechre-style hardcore techno/machine music! Hard driven and yet achingly beautiful with yearning synth themes weaving through the insistent beats. Brilliant!

'Twoism' is another jaunty track littered with distorted spacey synth tunes. Another cool tune.

'Seeya later' is a track that almost seems aloof and indifferent. Beat-driven yet definitely not dancable like another reviewer suggested.

'Melissa juice' is the only track that doesn't really do it for me. It just seems like a filler and doesn't really fit between the two tracks that surround it.

'Smokes Quantity' ends the album with the same otherworldy ambience that 'Sixtyniner' begins it with. This track is also on the "Music has the right to children" CD. I think it has more impact here, especially as the last one and a half minutes of the track - seemingly unrelated to the rest of it - gives a sense of completion to the album.

One really annoying aspect of this album is, like many Warp label releases, there is a lot of audible distortion, e.g the track 'Twoism' (and I don't mean the deliberate BOC-generated fuzziness). Poor production values seem to litter the Warp albums I have bought. Pity when the musical product is usually so special!
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