A previously unreleased slice of golden-era IDM.
Boards Of Canada - XYZ
Where we you in 1998? Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin of Boards Of Canada were aged 27 and 26 when they released Music Has The Right To Children, one of the greatest electronic music albums of all time. Released in April by Warp and Skam, a Manchester IDM label, much of this evocative collection of psychedelic IDM tracks was produced in the Scottish countryside outside Edinburgh, reflected in the many nature references (bird calls, squawks, track titles) scattered throughout the album. Peel Session is an upcoming vinyl reissue of three tunes ("Happy Cycling," "Aquarius" and "Olson") broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in 1998, plus one released officially for the first time. Coming from an illusive project with a relatively sparse discography, the updated version of Peel Session is big news.
The new track is "XYZ," where bird tweets are buried between droning synth tones and bass notes. Yet another nature sample from an era in which Boards Of Canada's tracks were full of them, the birdcalls are eventually enveloped by scattershot percussion and a cascade of bleeps. The energy rises and falls with the percussion, which gives way to a short breakdown—rare for Boards Of Canada at this time—midway through. "XYZ," which has been available to stream online for years, doesn't quite match the depth of their masterpiece. But getting close is more than enough.