I’m a twice failed ‘NaNoWriMo’ entrant, which as an opening sentence is comparable to ‘I bought ‘Sex Lives of the Potato Men”. My two failures at pouring 50,000 words onto Microsoft Word without ever looking back were, in brief:
*’Falling Together’, an attempted satirical side-swipe towards provincial local government and the murky goings on behind the doors of Town Halls across the country;
*”Whitcop”, an attempted alternative-history satirical side-swipe towards the extremes of both right- and left-wing politics, with specific focus on a far-right nationalist group running holiday camps in England (“Downfall meets Hi-di-Hi”, as a friend put it)
I mention all this as context for the inclusion of Boards of Canada as one of notable tracks of the year. I can barely do justice to the English language at the best of times, particularly when conscious of repetition in successive post, particularly when whipped by numerous content editors taking scissors to my copy, and particularly when my OCD/Autism/memories of High School English Language lessons/whatever slap me over the fingers whenever they dance across the keyboard to type “strong”, or “tight”, or that old chestnut “anthemic”. When trying to explain Boards of Canada, let alone describe them, I can sense the double-doors leading towards Pseuds Corner opening up. This is where my safety net gives way entirely. Abstract beats and dark ambience with skittish regard towards melody, you say? Hand me my Metaphor Hat!
It’s been quite the year for unexpected album releases, with Boards of Canada perhaps surprising everybody that little bit more by repeating their traits to come under the radar like Milk Tray men. ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ attracted more top scores than Chinese gymnasts, as dark and uninviting as ever but always hiding the unexpected within each track. ‘Reach for the Dead’ was in effect the ‘lead single’, insofar as BoC deal in such conventions, although it is not the track I’ve gone for here. That song bristled, literally in places, as its initial hard-beat/soft-chanting combination grew towards a sparkier version of their usual dichotic hopscotch. I’ve chosen something slightly different.
‘Palace Posy’ flops and flits around two sounds at odds with each other, developing into the familiar vocal trickery at the close. It’s an envelope of noise, much closer and colder than expected. The conclusion, when it comes at the end of what may be someone repeating “down to the urban”, poked my stern face into a smile. A fade-out drifting to static ending, BoC? You spoil us. (I may have gone on a bit about endings yesterday, I’ll resist).
My next novel idea will probably focus on sorting out how to resist run-on sentences, incidentally.