New Music Machine: Boards of Canada, Disclosure, Bibio

Forget the Hype; Boards of Canada Delivers the Goods

   Whenever your new album comes out after an interval of seven years, there's reason to be excited. While Boards of Canada may not have had the hype machine that Daft Punk did with their Columbia Records debut, Tomorrow's Harvest - Boards of Canada's new album - has certainly produced it's own amount of hysteria. Ever since the mysterious Boards of Canada 12" that appeared on Record Store Day this year (containing only a tantalizing 20 seconds of music), fans have been clamoring for new tracks. After all of the wait, it's finally here.

   Tomorrow's Harvest opens with a nostalgic introduction --- like the intro to a VHS tape --- then immediately opens up to an apocalyptic world, full of dread, slowly rising smoke, and impending doom. The album's second track and single "Reach For the Dead" is dark and heavy and plays out like the scene to a movie: thick with tension. Tomorrow's Harvest moves in this way, slowly building upon layers of drone and percussion. Gone are the quirky melodies and pastoral nostalgia of Boards of Canada past; they have been replaced deep bass and low frequencies. Still, these tracks are unmistakably Boards of Canada. The way they handle space and atmosphere just simply cannot be matched. Songs like "New Seeds" build noticeably until the world is full with sound and music before it fades away just as abruptly.

   As with the rest of Boards of Canada's ouerve, the LP and sleeves are elegantly designed with photographs by the band: Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin. They hold the same bleached out 1970s color photograph feel and invoke a dusty end-of-the-road distopia. As it should be, this lovely package is available on Warp Records and can be purchased through Bleep. I don't know about web orders, but if you hurry, many of the LPs come with a promotional poster for the album as well.

 

 

Disclosure May Have Just Made the Record of the Year

   You know an album is good when with every track you find yourself saying, "That should be the single... NO, THAT should be the single." And so on. Such is the case with Settle the wonderfully brilliant new record by Disclosure. Each track has the ability to set the dance floor on fire, each song will find its way into your head, stuck there for an afternoon. Take "When A Fire Starts To Burn," take "F For You," take "Stimulation," take "Confess to Me (ft. Jessie Ware)" they all have strong hooks, fantastic vocals, and make you want to shake your ass. Don't take my word for it, check them perform "Confess To Me" live on 'Later... with Jools Holland.'

 

   Outrageous, right? And that is just a taste. As I said before almost every track on Settle is suitable single material and the album is a dream to listen to front to back. They have the record for sale on the Disclosure official store and there is a limited edition package that includes a 12" x 12" screenprint on 250 gsm archival paper. This may be something you want; I have a feeling Settle may turn into one of the most sought after records of the year. Combining pop sensibilities with grime tendencies and a nod to house, Disclosure has made a record you'll want to listen to again and again.

 

Bibio's Effervescent Beauty

 

   Almost as quietly as Bibio's music can be, Warp dropped Silver Wikinson this May. The record is an ethereal affair; it's difficult to analyze: try and focus on it and it disappears like fog, but ignored it ambles in like summer aromas wafting in through the window. At times, when the songs coalesce, Silver Wilkinson evokes some of the same feelings as Mount Kimbie. At its best the record sounds jazzy, experimental, but it is elusive and wispy. Listen. And repeat.