Anticipation for new Boards of Canada albums always runs high, and justifiably so. Anyone who has luxuriated in the slow-motion, funkadelic splendor of 1998's Music Has the Right to Children or rapturously shuddered to the Wicker-Man-on-potent-weed vibe of 2002's Geogaddi understands BOC's hypnotic appeal.
Compared to the Scottish duo's previous work, The Campfire Headphase initially sounds underwhelming. Give the new disc time to sink in, though, and its disorienting atmosphere and poignantly beautiful melodies will ensnare you. With the addition of vibes and acoustic guitar to BOC's trademark analog-synth oscillations (set to the key of decay), Headphase comes off as preternaturally blunted (the mind reels, contemplating how much pot will be smoked to this disc). What oozes from the speakers resembles BOC's typically trippy IDM, but it has morphed into chopped-and-screwed new-age folk-funk. Houston, I think we have a solution.