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Boards of Canada

Mondosonoro interview

Original Spanish Site

ďThe one who is signing this article down there is aware of the fact that most part of the Mondosonoro readers, might have been somehow upset seeing BoC in front cover of this month magazine. Some of them, only by ignorance of their music. Others, because they know it too well. Some others, as amazed as they Might be, because they feel this mag have once again betrayed itís rock and roll spirit, choosing to explore a son of the modernity that they donít really understand , and , in consequence, despise. But truth is that in its long career , Mondosonoro, has never been an exclusive platform neither for rock nor for any other musical style, on the contrary.

Let just say that the presence of BoC in this month cover answers to the same criterion that has pushed us to choose Sigur Ros, Mogwai, Nine Inch Nails for our main pages: the search of tireless emotion, wild talent, and a perspective of the future of all the musical panorama. Thatís it.

BoC keep that peculiar virtue of moving listeners with a eloquent equation that seems apparently vain. Wintery electronica, hip-hop rhythms, nostalgic melodies, disturbing atmospheres and Warp tradition compose their musical landscape. From that point, the scottish duo creates the sound of worryness: that hurted music that big cities seem to avoid. Itís the soundtrack to disconcert, the distance and the grey halo that invade our cities, our lives. Bocí s music contains the truth no one wants to hear or to see, itís an involontary mirror and in its reflection lies the sadness, emotion and dreamyness of the works that, now and tomorrow, are meant to survive us.

In its apparent sonic abstraction, lies another miracle of the post- modern sensibility. It isnít shocking, then, when we see how Radiohead among other bands buried in a creative crisis have optimized their stylistic re-orientation after listening to MHTRTCH, the first LP of this enigmatic and disturbing duo.

Its impact has answered to all the qualities great art must be demanded for: search, adventure, essence and emotion. Geogaddi, second album from this scottish, promessed to be one of the major works in 2002. Not only because in their proposal the formentionned qualities co-exist, but also because weíre talking about a dazzling exercise that rises above its context and looks for eternity.

Mrcus Eoin and Michael Sandison have invested 4 years in the making of this longly and anxiously waited album. A four year silence only ďdisturbedĒ by IABPOITC, an important and solid EP that helped to reduce the anxiety before the final album was released. Now, framed by the promotional excitement

Of every product that comes out, the two creators keep their fidelity to their nearly autist hermetism. Their refusals to telephonic interviews, obliged us to communicate with them via e-mail. Thatís not a problem: they seem much more comfortable with a keyboard than a phone.

SANDISON: we are guilty of that. We taped a lot of music in last years, but we took a break just until we believed we were satisfied with the definitive combination of the songs. Itís important to achieve an balance between all the different sorts of tracks, specially because we hope people will listen to our album entirely in one time. We donít really see our songs like individual pieces of music but as a whole, that configures a big story. Therefore, the tracks on GEOGADDI are a group on themselves, a flavor, and we have taped enough music to put together a whole different album.

EOIN: But it hasnít been that difficult. In fact, our major problem as a band is that we tend to tape too much music, even if we concentrate only on a small portion of what weíve done , later. The only difficulty is to find the right conbination between the songs that fit together. For each song included in GEOGADDI there are twelve weíve ignored for some reason.

Divided in two (in one hand a song with intro, developpement and release, in the old vein; and on the other hand, brief ambient interludes that give some strenght to the whole, and ocationnally seem to work independently), this record doesnít seem to give any freshness to the BOC sound on a first look. But the fact is that BoC do not intend to metamorphose its sound, like the circumstances and the times would require (what do you wanted, nu school breaks?). Precisely, the major point in this record is to be found on its internal way of function. Its search does not intend to break the laws of the moment , but the laws of its own sound. Geogaddi itís a valuable step forwad in the building of the BoC speech. It improves, strenghts and complements it. And this near and modest exploration can only be on the benefit of the music. The main victims of this quiet revolution are rhythms. And it is well worth to stop on this element, cause the beats on this record are among the most overwhelming works of this last months.

EOIN: this time we decided to get some revolution and create some less conventional rhythms. Weíve always had that hip-hop sensibility haunting us, but on GEOGADDI, we tried to let things grow stylistically, and this affected rhythms too. In this album, thereís a beat that really satisfies us, the one on ďyou could feel the skyĒ, that sounds like someone stretching a rope over the surface of a wooden shipĒ

All this is backed- up by a change in the work mecanisms. Itís in the weird perception that you have when you listen to their music that you stumble with elements and old looks. In its contruction process, the band faces the artesanal touch and the organic pulse of the avoiding patterns of computers and machinery.

SANDISON: well, yeah, we have been going back to our old, and a more simple way of work. After MHTRTC, we began to use more computer technology with the wrong intention of accelerating our composing process. But computers always end by bothering the possibilities that tecnichal production offers, that has the unpleasant effect of drying up progressively all your inspiration. So we react against that and now weíre back in a more simple way of doing things, just like we worked in the beginning: only using a sampler, a sequencer and creating directly the melodies. This make it more intantaneous and fun for us.

With that word of order, they both absorb sounds and ideas in order to incorporate them into the rhythmic building. Th melodies are more organic, and they configure an emotive, strange, confused and almost lisergic catalog.

EOIN: we try to create melodies that cut to the chase, some of them based on homogene sounds or the repetition of riffs and motifs that appear suddenly and then are developped. You listen to the record and you keep some lovely moments in mind that are transitory, anyway; but later, and after further listenings, you can get surprised when you find something that you forgot since the first listen.

Work of redescovery and sensuous puzzle? Why worry when what we have here, right now, is a wild indictment in favor of the purest and desintoxicated of emotions . God only knows that for BoC the thing that matters is the capacity of comotion that the music can exercise on the listener.

SANDISON: i agree: Our music has more todo with emotion than intelligence. But we donít create the songs in order to make them emotionals in a deliberate way. The basic melodies of our songs are often written quickly and by instinct, so they are never conscious or deliberated. I always find a sound that i like, i improvise and experiment around it, and then a melody appears and i stick with it. After this process, we begin to use some compositional techniques more consciously.

Eoin and Sandison appear, album after album, like two nostalgic chronicists, like two creators faded by a unending sadness that lies underneath everyone of their pentagrams. Without knowing it, they maybe photograph the warmth of the fall, the starving quality of melancholy. And that is, probably one of the aspects that distinguish them of many others electronic referents that havenít made the choice of exploring the imperatives issues of the psyche. They make music infinitly more human and close than many rock, emocore, pop, folk and techno bands.

SANDISON: i suppose that the question is that we donít write consciously songs that make people sad. We simply write what we feel, and often music comes out that way. Many of the melodies have been written by me, and i have to say i usually tend towards sadness.

EOIN: i think that the fact of sounding nostalgic and all that itís not somthing we go after, it just happens by the kind of person we are and the way we think. We have a private and amorphous idea in our minds of how the last BoC album must sound like. Itís like a goal that is clear in our minds and we always try to aproximate, but we never quite get there. That keep us alive Ďcause we know thatís itís in our hands to talks through our ideas; we just know that if we keep working we will eventually reach that goal.Ē

Autor: David Broc