Hi Scores [2014 Reissue]
It’s been reissued a few times – it appears, then disappears, goes to back-order, is out of print. It’s the first the world knew about Boards of Canada, although only keen listeners were aware of it and the very sharp BOC fans already knew about tapes and limited releases before Hi Scores arrived as the real – true – announcement of this duo’s strange and wonderful world, their mercurial talents.
Probably people exaggerate just how hip they were though, wanting to seem like they were always fans – just because of the Boards sound feels like it’s always been around, and always been something you should be aware of; should (must) like.
I first hooked into the band a few years on from Hi Scores, it was their full-lengthers that stunned me. But I wasted no time in getting all of the early EPs and singles that I could gather.
Hi Scores is one I’ve had on CD before but this new vinyl reissue – all of the tracks remastered and sounding as sonically sharp as the group ever has – is almost the perfect encapsulation of what BOC offers; their career in microcosm. A perfect 12” taste of the magic.
Swirling synths and playful textures that sit somewhere between electro and hip-hop worlds, this downbeat groove (Nlogax) that’s as playful – as fun – as the most accessible moments of Aphex Twin but has its own charm altogether, its own mystery too.
Hi Scores has that murky moodiness (June 9th) and also the proof that a lot of hip-hop listening helped to inform the BOC direction (Seeya Later). It’s also got the slow-build stuff (Everything You Do Is A Balloon) – so as a snapshot it’s (now) the perfect career-sampler/intro.
And it’s achieving a version of timelessness – now nearly 20 years old. It feels older and newer all at once. A strange, special world of sound.