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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Boards Of Canada
The Campfire Headphase

Boards of Canada's unstable tones, turquoise keyboards and digitally mildewed synthesizers have always sought a reunion with the florid perception of childhood. Behind bloated breakbeats, exotic percussion and plumes of scudding synth washes, distant melodies and multicolored harmonies encouraged a closer engagement, asked one to lean over the edge, to let oneself fall into their wrinkled, twisted textures and become engulfed in the inane babble of the children who beckoned from below.

On The Campfire Headphase, the Scottish pair's first full-length in three years, the directives remain much the same, but their pieces are now peopled by more organic instruments. Compositions such as "Satellite Anthem Icarus," "Sherbet Head" and "Hey Saturday Sun" are flecked by the rippling chords of a guitar, but one that is by no means conventionally displayed. Much as they approach their other sound sources, Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin sample the guitar, let it soak in reverb, wring it through multiple delay pedals, and finally hang it out on a line where it is slashed and pulled every which way by keyboard swirls and tropical bleeps. On "Chromakey Dreamcoat," this experiment works especially well, as splintered guitar harmonics and bleary synthesizer splutter gingerly wheedle listeners into raising their heads to the gyrating fury of rapidly uncontrollable twirling horizons. The spell is broken, however, by pieces like "Tears From the Compound" and "Oscar See Through Red Eye," which get lost in the marshes of their own hypnotic rhythms, sugar-sweet synths and lo-fi, breathy drones.

The notion of descent takes on new meanings as the bulbous beats that acted as pillars for the sprightly moods of earlier pieces begin to crumble, and works such as "Constants Are Changing" are essentially acts of implosion where fluttering flutes, knotty constellations of electronics and icy Scandinavian tinkling bells break down into a dreary, chalky powder. On the whole, then, The Campfire Headphase presents an altogether more subdued, gentle, worryingly melancholy tale of dreams that are perhaps becoming nightmares — visions that wake you up at night, and keep you forging ahead come day.

by Max Schaefer

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