! = recommended
* = all-ages
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Boards of Canada are my favorite electronic artists. They stem from the remote seeds of Can, Kraftwerk and French electronics guru Jean Jacques Perry, though their sound is completely their own. The first time I heard Geogaddi I was floored. At that time I hadn't listened to electronica but had started hearing its influences in some of the more mainstream indie rock that I had been exposed to. Geogaddi caught me off guard... in a really good way.
Since then I've continued to listen to many facets of electronica and count it among my favorites types of music. Boards of Canada rate high for me, in part, because of their endlessly shifting and interlocking beats. The pounding electro feel and cerebral, hypnotic flow attaches itself to my brain - I can't stop hearing the beats in my head. Their approach is haunting, and while their techniques of minimal scratching, relaxed hip hop beats and synth accompaniments aren't groundbreaking, Music Has A Right To Children can arguably be considered the best electronic album of 1998.
"Rue The Whirl" is a very solid track. Its swirling synths and infectious beats pace this song very well — the same rhythym is repeated over and over but it seems new every time it cycles around. There are minor additions and subtractions throughout this song with a solid two bar bit repeated from beginning to end. The best part about this song is the feel it gives you — you bob your head, you become entranced. It's accessible IDM. It doesn't make your head hurt with shrill feedback or sharp guitars. It makes you want to cruise around in your '89 Civic and pimp it like it's a '64 Impala.
Now those are what I call sweet beats, man.