Boards of Canada
by Ric Befara with Pong Ling

I needed something extra for this review.  A case of cheap Mexican beer wasn't going to do it.  I needed more inspiration.  I wanted to make this the best damn review ever written.  I wanted to make the Siskel and Eberts of the world look small and mechanical.  I wanted to make Boards of Canada musical icons.  Stars, man, superstars.  And I wanted to be up there on stage with them, smiling and waving to the masses.

So I headed down to the market on the corner of 1st and Bell, where I knew the friendly Korean clerk would be glad to see me.

Pong Ling was his name.  He wore pale yellow sweaters and Nikes.  I didn't really know if he listened to music or not.   But I was about to find out.

"Pong, have you heard of Boards of Canada -- a music group, play music you know." I made a motion like I was playing a guitar and singing.

He didn't understand. 

"Pong, listen, man: Boards of Canada. Electronic, an occasional hip-hop beat, artful voice sampling, laughing children. Two guys from Scotland.  You know, 'If it's not Scottish it's crap!'"

He smiled. Ol' Pong found me entertaining even if he didn't understand a word I was saying.

Luckily I had my discman with me. Boards of Canada's new album, "Music has the Right to Children" loaded and ready. I put it on song 16, "Open the Light" -- about the most beautiful and melodic song I've heard in a long time -- and gave one of the ear phones to Pong.

And we listened.  We listened to the simple beats of the synthesizer and the echoing laser sounds, and the almost imperceptible countdown. All woven together but strangely segmented, like a flawless quilt.

Pong liked it, I think. He was kind of moving with the beat, nodding his head up and down. 

"I crose now" he said.   It was five after eleven anyway, so he really should've closed 5 minutes ago.

"Boards of Canada, good, huh?"

He smiled and nodded.


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Ric Befara Reviews:
The Zombies
Traditional Indian Trackz

Other Reviews of note:

Belle and Sebastian
Smith and Mighty
Fantastic Plastic Machine
Club 8
Peanut Butter Wolf
Curtis Mayfield
The Beta Band
Takako Minekawa
Boards of Canada
Stereo Total
The Roots and Goodie MOb