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November 25, 2002
4.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Boards of Canada album was made in 1995. I would say that it does not contain the most imaginative work that BOC has ever done, that would be contained in their albums The Campfire Headphase, Geogaddi, Music has a Right to Children, and also their newest album, Tomorrow's Harvest. That said, I'm still giving this album four stars, because there is some interesting stuff on here that a BOC fan shouldn't write off.

**The music**
Let me summarize these songs quickly:
1.) Sixtyniner - The sounds seem to somehow suggest a 1980s nature film or TV show, like Marty Stouffer's Wild America, for example.
2.) Oirectline - Fuzzy sounding, suggesting dreams of the past and nostalgia. Weird, but not ominous, more gentle.
3.) Iced Cooly - Cheerful, but with a really deep twangy baseline reminiscent of a very viscous fluid being sloshed around in an oil drum.
4.) Basefree - Fragments of a lonely melody with an operating machine-like baseline.
5.) Twoism - Again, pretty lonely and nostalgic. Suggestive of a deserted landscape, but the constantly moving baseline suggests that something is at least getting done out there, like building a survival shelter or a fire.
6.) Seeya Later - Cheerful, but still fuzzy. Echo suggests an expansive, empty room, or cavern.
7.) Melissa Juice - The melody in this also is also fuzzy and nostalgic, but is probably also the most gentle and personable of all of the songs on her, suggesting perhaps an endearing person named Melissa. I know the "juice" could be construed to have sexual connotation, but I see no evidence of this in the music.
8.) Smokes Quantity - a whirling accompaniment, some simple drum beats, and the melody is throaty and thick, similar to sounds made by bull frogs.
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