Tomorrow's Harvest

Issue section: 
(382)

Boards of Canada

Electronic hermits Boards of Canada are renowned for making hypnotic and addictive down tempo electronica and shunning the limelight. In the run up to the release of Tomorrow's Harvest, Warp Records devised an elaborate breadcrumb trail of hidden codes and a handful of mysterious promo vinyl dotted in music stores around the world.

This campaign seems to have split people down the middle: some have seen it as simply an over the top marketing trick, others as a continuation of the mysterious and secretive world the artists have meticulously created with their music. After a long wait for fans, does the album deliver the goods? Yes indeed.

Tomorrow's Harvest sees the duo equal their classic Music has the Right to our Children LP. Of the whopping 17 tracks, barely a second of the album feels out of place or run-of-the-mill. The tracks build and build with layers of warm synths supported by subtle background detail of crackling, field recordings, eerie vocal samples and drone-like sustained sounds.

Each composition spills effortlessly in to the next and after three stunning tracks of ambient music, the first beat appears in track 4, Jacquard Causeway. Pitched bass drums kick in half a beat early each bar - anchored to a snare relentlessly fixed to an even 3rd beat. The push and pull in tension this creates is a brilliant example of Board of Canada's determination to build every track, EP and album to be a truly unique composition.

On top of this slightly wonky foundation are bright and percussive synths - glowing bright lights on a dark night - with softer sounding synths deep in the background.
The album deserves to be listened to as a whole, but many of the tracks, particularly Sick Times and Come to Dust, stand just as strong on their own.

Tomorrow's Harvest is out now on Warp Records