The Campfire Headphase was the third album from dreamy Scottish wobblers Boards of Canada and if it didn't quite live up to the brilliance of their earlier records, it was still a sumptuous listening experience. Exploring more acoustic textures than before, many tracks begin with lush acoustic guitar figures before the Boards stick it through their wobble board and add their layers of nostalgic synth glory. Do not underestimate this record. For both summer dreaming and winter hiding.
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2 LP Gatefold Vinyl 140g pressing cut from original metalwork. Includes circular blue sticker. Kinda sexual.
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The long awaited Boards of Canada album is here and as we work in a record shop we have already had hours and hours of discussion about its triumphs and pitfalls. So I'm virtually all talked out about it already. The initial impression was of something blander and more mainstream than their previous releases. But I thought this about "Geodaddi" at first but that just grew and grew on me so I was prepared to give new this one a lot more time before drawing to a conclusion.
After a few weeks I'm still not sure. It ticks all the right boxes but you tend to find yourself nodding off or (worse still) not realising it's still on. It is delicious background music but I expect more from a Boards of Canada record. They have been experts in introducing amazing hidden melodies and clever touches into their records which keep you coming back time and time again. The pre-programmed beats on this one are a problem in themselves, being very lightweight and just sort of ticking along with the music without adding any dynamics to the tunes. Boards of Canada are not moving on - they are honing their near perfect sound until it becomes a pale washed out pastiche of itself.
I'm loathe to criticise a group who have made such brilliant records in the past but although this is a decent enough record that will file itself quite snugly into the Chill Out section of your local HMV, it has very little more to offer and that on past form renders it something of a disappointment.
8/10 Gareth. 22nd October 2013
I don't get the negative reviews of this LP. I originally had it on CD, not that it means jack.
The vinyl is a lovely thing. This LP is like those tiny refractive cells on the wings of some insect, shimmering and irridescant, the drum machine and sample work on this is kinda 'fluttery' and much more gentle than previous work, the tunes take a while to build up and recede leaving the ghost of a musical image in your ears.
I'm not going to pick out individual tracks as that would defeat the object of the album ad would be a load of old bollocks really!
The LP works as a whole, psychedelic, dreamlike and subliminal in it's melodic scope. It's probably thier most under appreciated and understood album.
Shame really that folk can't see the wood for the trees sometimes....
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- The Campfire Headphase by Boards of Canada
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