Boards of Canada return with previously unreleased ‘XYZ’

Against all cultural expectations, a small town on the east coast of Scotland birthed some of the most boundary-pushing and captivating IDM to have ever been produced: Boards of Canada’s ‘Music Has the Right to Children’ and ‘Geogaddi’.

Nearly two decades on from these monumental releases, no artist has quite approached the same standards from within the genre, and so we often find ourselves simply looking back to the same material. A brief escape from this rut has been presented in the form of ‘XYZ’, a previously unreleased track from the band’s golden era.

It does just what one would expect. The high-end range of a bass melodically played alongside spacey organs calls back to Pink Floyd, before flickers of gentle percussion ride across the soundscape to the drones of synths, inviting sporadic bursts of further percussion, often distorted and industrial sounding. The cut is gorgeously texted and as spell-bindingly atmospheric as any track off Music Has the Right. Its stunning climax sees sharp synths ripping at the rest of the instrumental with saw-like teeth and a viciousness that can only be born out of the vitality inherent within the band’s music at the turn of the millennium.

Image: Bleep

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The Student Newspaper 2016