Sunday, July 22, 2007

Slag Boom Van Loon - Poppy Seed (Boards Of Canada Remix)

Slag Boom Van Loon - "Poppy Seed (Boards Of Canada Remix)"

Slab Boom Van Loon were Mike Paradinas, best known as µ-Ziq and founder of Planet Mu, and Jochem Paap AKA Speedy J, who I only know from the Artificial Intelligence compilation. Their self-titled album was released on Planet Mu in 1998, and though I've listened to it three times through, I really can't remember much of anything from it at all. If you like late 90s intelligent techno, you'll probably enjoy the album. That's about as hearty of a recommendation as I can muster up for it.

Maybe they felt the same way. There was no proper follow-up album, but in 2001 they released So Soon, a collection of other artists' remixes of the songs from the album. The list of remixers -- including Pole, Coil, Four Tet, Matmos, and more -- make So Soon the "Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue" of IDM.

Most of this has been forgotten in time, however, except for the contributions from Boards of Canada to the project. Few groups have generated such anticipation around their releases as the Scottish duo have over the past ten years -- or more, if you claim to have actually listened to them before Music Has The Right To Children -- making their remixes just as coveted and obsessed over as any of their other work. If you've heard their work on Mira Calix's "Sandsings," Clouddead's "Dead Dogs Two," or Beck's "Broken Drum," it's not hard to understand why.

Their remix of "Poppy Seed," however, unintentionally overshadows not just the entire album, but the entire oeuvre of Slag Boom Van Loon. Not that SBVL was ever meant to be anything but a side project from two musicians already busy with plenty of other projects, but it would have been easy to expect that they'd still be remembered well today, at least due to their individual name recognition from other recordings. Instead, the remix of "Poppy Seed" remains their legacy.

I've been one of those (sometimes annoying) obsessives of Boards of Canada since about 2001 or so, and have tracked down as much of their music as I've been able to find, aside from the pre-Twoism releases. The authenticity and quality of what I've been able to find of those on Soulseek have proven troublingly suspect at best. I thought that I'd heard almost every legitimate release from them, until I found this remix earlier this spring. Since then, it's become my most-played song so far this year. I know it's not actually their song, but still... it's every bit their song as "Roygbiv," "Turquoise Hexagon Sun," or "Dayvan Cowboy" are, and just as essential.

When I started this blog, I knew that eventually I'd be writing something about Boards of Canada. The problem is, there's so much hyperbole spilled over this group, so many people rehashing the same deep, personal experiences they've had with the music, that it seems meaningless to try to add any further thoughts to the volumes of digital exposition left behind by others. It's very important for me to be clear about this, above anything else I'd ever have to say to anyone about music. If I'm only piecing together my thoughts about them in between repetitive phone calls at work or just before nodding off to sleep at night, it might be best that I just abstain from getting in too deep with it at all. I like to think that I love and understand this music (whatever that means) as much as anyone, or at least as much as whoever will eventually write the 33 1/3 book on Music Has The Right To Children. The only difference between us is that they wouldn't need five years to write it like I probably would.

No comments: