Here’s a foray into the more mysterious, occult portion of BoC’s catalog. It’s very difficult to come away from these tracks with a feeling of solid understanding, but I think I’ve consolidated my thinking, at least on these four tracks, at least for now.
Yo, I’m back with a hot new podcast, putting into words my own speculations on the true influence of psychedelics on Boards of Canada’s music. Don’t do drugs guys. (I’m serious, hit ya boy up on FB and i’ll elaborate)
Here’s a little primer for the next installment of the podcast. This is from 0:38 in Collapse, sped up some in audacity. I definitely hear a voice saying something pretty clearly, but I’m interested to hear what you guys think without my input.
What do you hear? Hit up the ol’ comments and don’t be shy!
Honestly, I didn’t think this was ever going to happen, but I found a slam-dunk crystal clear vocal sample in Dayvan Cowboy a couple nights ago. Got me all pumped, all tingly in my scalp and spine. I live for moments like that.
At 3:09, (listening to the Trans-Canada Highway version now for reference, but i heard it in both) there’s a crescendoing cymbal buildup that’s followed by two big cymbal crashes. Around 3:12, right after the second big crash, a quiet male voice in the left channel says “Yeah!” It’s a quiet voice at the peak of the song, so it will doubtless take a few listens. It’s there, though. I promise.
I don’t think much analysis is needed. It’s an uplifting track, and I’m glad this disembodied voice is as into it as I am!
There are probably several more voices waiting to be found in this track. I’ll keep you posted.
Update: At :07, I hear a whispery voice saying “Goodbye”. “Good” in the right channel, “bye” out the left, and then a very quiet voice to the left, sounds like it’s descending, and I hear it say “everyone.”
The boys know better than to dump a good sound after just one use–recycled samples are not uncommon in BoC’s body of work, pre-Geogaddi specifically. Certain sounds, from vocal blips to extended loops, pop up in two or more different tracks, sometimes straightforwardly but often with a twist.
Turquoise and Orange Hexagon Sun share a complete drum loop; Whitewater and Sixtyten feature the same Sesame Street sample, though it’s reversed in the latter. And that one whispery flute tune shows up time and again in their work (ATP live track 3, Sixtyniner, website loop, A:B::B:C… etc?).
BoC were never shy about recycling tracks on multiple releases, either, and I think having recurrent elements jives with their early media-nostalgia aesthetic: reruns were just a fact of life in old TV days.
Check it out for yourself. The following are tracks featuring recurrent samples–chronological by each sample’s 1st appearance. Find em and then find all the ones I missed!
Random Track A06 / Seven Forty Seven
Random Track A08 / June 9th
Random Track A12 / Aquarius version 3 (thanks Cuddi)
Spectrum / Twoism
5-9-78 / Oirectine
BMX Track / Hi Scores
Magic Teens / Sixtyten (believe me)
On a Rolling Sea / Orange Romeda
Turquoise / Orange Hex Sun
Sir Prancelot Brainfire / Sixtyniner
Seeya Later / Smokes Quantity
Telephasic Workshop / Live @ ATP trk 4
P.S. Hi I’m Dylz, golden-eared research associate of Mikey’s. I’ll be dropping by now and then to share my own thoughts about the music. Keep an eye out l8rrr guyz
Hey, Mikey here, so deep into the sounds that I’ve got the chills.
I’m listening to Jacquard Causeway, and I hear a looping voice out of the left channel that builds, starting around 4:40 saying “Death will take them all,” at a steady crescendo, almost crystal clear at 5:10 or so. I tend to agree with the interpretation that the song is about the evolution of information processing, starting at the Jacquard Loom and its punchcards, developing to reflect digital information and its ubiquity in the modern world. In light of that interpretation though, what could the sample mean? My reading is that the brothers see the species imminent death as a grim, undeniable truth, or at least a serious possibility that’s exaggerated through the pessimistic lens of Tomorrow’s Harvest.
Now that information is more accessible, it’s apparent to anyone in tune with global news that an omega point for humanity is far from impossible. Access to global news has changed the way people see their country’s mainstream media sources. I find it pretty easy to be pessimistic about the world I live in when it’s easy to figure out the degree to which massive populations are misled by the mainstream media. I think Tomorrow’s Harvest is a real meditation on global politics and media (more on this later). To that end, I think the availability of information has made it clear to a lot of people that the world is not nearly as stable as one’s own national news media makes it out to be, and that’s what this ghostly voice is reflecting at the peak of the causeway.
It’s 1984, but you wouldn’t know it unless you’re in tune with the internet (no wonder the ol’ US is talking about making it jailable to pose as a journalist without credentials).