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Tomorrow's Harvest

  1. Gemini
  2. Reach for the Dead
  3. White Cyclosa
  4. Jacquard Causeway
  5. Telepath
  6. Cold Earth
  7. Transmisiones Ferox
  8. Sick times
  9. Collapse
  10. Palace Posy
  11. Split your infinities
  12. Uritual
  13. Nothing is real
  14. Sundown
  15. New seeds
  16. Come to dust
  17. Semena Mertvykh

In 2013, two electronic music bands returned with a studio album after eigth years of silence. The first band constructed a huge international marketing campaign, in the traditional way, as we hadn't seen in a long time: singles in the radio at every moment, viral videos in the internet, press, radio and television advertisements... The second band opted for something more original: a single with just 12 seconds of music, numeric codes broadcasted in radio stations without any warning, a one-time-only pre-release in Youtube, a listening session at Mojave desert... The first band is, of course, Daft Punk; the second one, Boards of Canada.

Tomorrow's harvest is the fourth album by this Scottish duo (formed by brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin). And they share with Daft Punk the interest in the 70s, but where Random Access Memories was wrapped in funky and disco music homages, Tomorrow's harverst bury its roots in dark B-series horror movies soundtracks. BOC's intentions on this point are clear already from the cover picture: the city of San Francisco, as could have been photographed by Richard Fleischer for Soilent Green (1974). The enigmatic aspects will come later, but the opening couldn't be more meaningful: a short fanfare just like those openings from Tri-Star Pictures or the Ladd Company's movies.

And the movie starts with 'Gemini', a somber track of gritty analog textures, with subtle (or not so subtle) tribute to Vangelis' Blade Runner. 'Reach for the dead' is a gem of beats, sequences and pads which, even within its epic, brings to mind a deep longing. The mix is dry and the atmosphere is rich in statics, glitchs and distortions, with an exquisite taste for details. Sandison brother's interest lays on textures and depth: themes like 'Jacquard Causeway' trust all its potential to its rythmic cadence and hypnotic arpeggio. In 'Telepath' appears, for the first time, the spooky voice that sends cryptic numerical messages out, in the Scottish duo tradition. This short track opens the album's section that resembles more the traditional BOC's sound, with more prominent trip-hop and dub beats, but they do not nonetheless break the cinematic atmosphere of the whole.

There is a more apparent than real badly structure in Tomorrow's harvest. Themes end abruptly (nothing uncommon in soundtracks), or change their rythm without any previous warning, as if there really were changes of shot to which the music should adapt. This work demands an attentive listening so not to loose the thread, to understand the complexity hatched between atonal passages and (controlled) explosions of tonality.

For their come back, Daft Punk had to reinvent themselves to appeal to fans interest and find again their place in the Olympus of the commercial electronic music scene; on the other hand, Boards of Canada have reaffirmed their style, simply because, eight years after The Campfire Headphase, the electronic scene sounds like Boards of Canada in every corner.