Boards of Canada

TrackEP / Album
1986 Summer FireTwoism
Melissa JuiceTwoism
An Eagle In Your MindMusic Has The Right To Children
SixtytenMusic Has The Right To Children
Turquoise Hexagon SunMusic Has The Right To Children
RoygbivMusic Has The Right To Children
Pete Standing AloneMusic Has The Right To Children
A Is To B As B Is To CGeogaddi
The Beach At RedpointGeogaddi
Reach For The DeadTomorrow's Harvest


Boards of Canada playlist



Contributor: Rick J Leach

Music for 3 a.m. Music for a frosty morning. Music for a quiet Sunday morning in January. Ice on the windscreen. Music for waves of fog.

Music for a summer afternoon. Music to be played so quietly it is barely perceptible. Music for silence. Music as silence. Music to talk over. Or to be heard intently

Music for headphones. Music to be listened to alone. Music to be shared. Music for a long car journey. On the motorway. Miles and miles clicking away on the dashboard. The hum of tyres on tarmac. Long curving sweeps. Tail lights ahead of you. Headlights growing distant in the rear view mirror.

Music for being looped. Music for being set to continual shuffle and repeat. Music for tunes with obscure titles.

Music for deserts. Music for airports and being in a different country. Music for landscapes. Music for empty fields. Music for the deep English countryside. Music to take with you. Music for cities. For empty city streets. Business quarters on non-working days.

Music for obscurity. Music to be issued in quantities of 200 cassette copies. Music not to be acknowledged by the artists who make it. Music to be disowned. Music to be rejected.

Music to be heard on reality TV programmes. Music to be covered by aspiring musicians on talent shows. Music for TOTP on Christmas Day. Music for elevators. Music to be played in supermarkets.

Music to be written about. Music to be discussed at length. Music with a sense of humour. Music for smiles. Music for introspection. Music to be playing while the television is on – but on mute. Music to counteract 24 hour rolling news. Music as a random soundtrack. To fall in and out of sync. Rolling music. Music for flickering TV screens, badly tuned in channels. Music for black and white 14” portables. Music for video tapes and obsolete formats of all media. Music for eight track tapes.

Music for oceans and spray-lashed windows beside the beach. Music for walking on the sand on December days. Music for sand blowing from the tops of dunes. Music as driftwood. As pebbles worn smooth by numerous high tides. Music for rock pools. For tiny worlds made of sandcastles and impermanent ramparts.

Music for flying kites on blustery April mornings. Music for wild skies and scudding clouds. Music for pine forests. Music for long walks. For cycling. Music for sunsets.

Music for Thursdays.

Music to watch cricket by. Music to hear while waking up. Music to hear while drifting off to sleep during a long train journey. Music for laughter.

Music for February.

Music for specific colours. Music for cobalt blue. Chromaticity. Music for Carolina Blue. Indigo and tangerine.

Music to be listened to when reading. Music to have a cold to. Music drinking tea with. Or coffee. Probably not hot chocolate but Ovaltine would possibly be alright. Music for custard creams.

Music for films that have not yet been made.

Music for stories yet to be written.

Music for remembering.



Boards of Canada are a Scottish electronic duo comprised of two brothers, Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin. They formed in the mid-1980s and very rarely give interviews or promote their music. Boards of Canada have played only a smattering of live dates since they began. They have released most of their music through Warp Records, but also have an obscure and elusive back catalogue of records that may or may not exist.


Boards of Canada official site

The unofficial Boards of Canada site includes Discography

Boards of Canada biography (Apple Music)

The above track listing is in chronological order. Rick’s book Totally Shuffled: A Year of Listening to Music on a Broken iPod is available in e-book and paperback.

TopperPost #208


  1. Peter Viney
    Feb 26, 2014

    Rick, that’s a lovely piece of writing, and I know that Tomorrow’s Harvest was a surprise major seller, though it’s all new to me. I listened to Reach For the Dead and Amo Bishop Roden and to the other stuff on the Warp website – I don’t do Spotify. I was letting the examples on the Warp site play and I could focus on other stuff and type to it. It works as ambient noise. But what I don’t understand is that you could equally head this page Eno, or perhaps Terry Riley (though I think Terry Riley is in a different class) and it would all still apply. As would a lot of stuff on the spinner in the local crystal shop with titles like Great Plains Invocation by Cecil Running Bear from Croydon. So what makes this different? I’m not trying to be confrontational – I genuinely want to know. I have a lot of stuff by the Hemi-Synch company (like “Sleep Gently In The Rain”) that I’ve used in a similarly ambient way for many years. It’s great for shutting out background noise. This seems a good example of that sort of thing, though Hemi-Synch claim to have isolated certain bass tones that affect the body, breathing and relaxation. Where I would disagree is on driving – you should never play hypnotic stuff like this in a car. I even had to ban the entire Claude Challe Buddah Lounge / Ethnic Lounge series (which my wife likes) from the car. You need variation of rhythms while driving.

    • Rick J Leach
      Feb 26, 2014

      Peter, thanks for your compliments about the writing and your considered comments.
      What makes it different for me? It’s hard to say but there is something undefinable about BoC that makes them stand out/apart from the rest of the Warp/ambient banner. Maybe it’s all an illusion but there is something “Scottish” and “other” for me buried deep in the music. I perfectly get your point re Eno/Riley et al but there is a tinge of hip hop/dance/whatever underneath and underpinning it all; just faintly, but still there. For me anyway!
      As for driving, the best ever car journey I had was zooming up to Carlisle one August morning while “Music Has A Right..” was playing. The very hypnotic sense of BoC fitted perfectly with the empty, swooping motorway. But whatever works for each of us, I guess that’s fine! (Don’t want to have to put stickers on CDs that say “Don’t drive while listening to this music”!). Apologies for any typos in these comments – I have just got a new pair of glasses today and everything is looking a bit … odd!

  2. Peter Viney
    Feb 27, 2014

    I listened to more last night. I can see the appeal. I’m inspired to try a Terry Riley Toppermost!

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