Boards Of Canada
The Campfire Headphase

Reviewed by: Nick Southall
Reviewed on: 2005-10-19

Posted 10/19/2005 - 08:19:43 AM by florenz6:
 This is an interesting review. It illutrates the kind of experiences one can have listening to this record. On one hand, I tend to find this music a bit polished, a bit soporific, quite close to this vast amount of synthetic trivialism. On the other hand, I feel there are really interesting zones and moods that would never fit the new-age-category.Really captivating tunes! And then, while listening, there is a kind of oscillation between active listening and daydreaming. This is music that might inspire a one-hundred-page-long esseay on "sound and memory". I still don´t know if I like this music on a conscious level. Maybe I like what it does to the unconscious systems. So I´m in between, sort of. Strange!
Posted 10/19/2005 - 09:26:10 AM by brente:
 Spot on! This review is to Pitchfork's review as Boards of Canada is to a particularly stinky turd.
Posted 10/19/2005 - 09:49:36 AM by dubidet:
 Aren't all of our review like that?
Posted 10/19/2005 - 01:35:29 PM by mtwill:
 fabulous review, particularly in light of where a lot of other writers have been coming out. to my ear this is the most subtle and sophisticated BOC record, and is completely fascinating in a way that few records are these days. but don't kid yourself dubidet - its a complete mystery why a gifted music writer like nick bothers with stylus - hands down the weakest of the major on-line music zines. even a broken clock is right twice a day, but i wouldn't go encouraging the pitchfork comparisons if i were you guys... there really isn't one.
Posted 10/19/2005 - 02:06:35 PM by dougrokakis:
 Even if it may be true that they can't write as well, they sure do have a more forgiving taste in music. They're also more eclectic and willing to go out on a limb than other internet sites. To call them the weakest zine seems a bit harsh. Have you read Junkmedia or Delusions of Adequacy recently?
Posted 10/19/2005 - 04:30:23 PM by IanMathers:
 Pretending there's some massive difference in quality between our reviews and Pitchfork's - in either direction - is pretty ignorant. Leaving aside the occasional outliers, and ignoring that fact that taste in writing is scrupulously idiosyncratic, if you gave twenty reviews to someone like mtwill stripped of context he(?) would doubtless wind up getting roughly the same number right as random chance would. There are differences, certainly (and I'm still annoyed at the way their revamp was a wholesale ripoff of Stylus), but they're not as gaping as the partisans would like to believe.
Posted 10/19/2005 - 05:47:08 PM by ieatseeds:
 I still don't get why it's even necessary to comment on how similar or dissimilar Stylus is to Pitchfork??? There are mad heads who are way too pretentious for their own good. Nobody made you read Stylus, nobody made you read Pitchfork, your opinion on the matter wasn't even solicited. A lot of heads at Stylus know what's up in a general sense, and which magazine you like better is more about the kind of people you align yourself with, rather than whether or not Blah Magazine is objectively BeTTER than Random Magazine. BAH. This is such a postmodern discussion. When did music criticism be more a critique of the signifier than the actual signified? Booooo.
Posted 10/19/2005 - 05:47:54 PM by ieatseeds:
 Oh yeah, and. Great review---I love this record. I think it is the most... COMPLETE of their stuff so far. I don't see how BOC can really go wrong.
Posted 10/19/2005 - 05:52:46 PM by brente:
 i actually read pitchfork as much as i do stylus. both have their good qualities and bad. it was just that pitchfork's review of this particular album was stinky and turdlike.
Posted 10/19/2005 - 06:38:51 PM by mtwill:
 actually, i would get all 20 right... : )
Posted 10/19/2005 - 10:00:20 PM by Hone_Heke:
 Here`s why stylus rules: Cos we can post our comments & say anything we like about their reviews and they don`t mind. & we can comment on our comments & we can even comment on our own comments by having two login names and creating our own self-convoluted debates. Look at the Broken Social Scene comments box. I wrote the whole lot of em.
Posted 10/19/2005 - 10:20:56 PM by joeyjeremiah:
 I heart Stylus. First off, in music a song contains lyrics and singing. Otherwise, you are listening to a "piece" of music. As in, Roygbiv is a wonderful piece, but it's not a song. Spoken word pieces and music that contains singing without using language - such as simple disconnected vowels and consonants - are not songs. Likewise, instrumental music cannot be classified as a song. I was a bit scared listening to this in a record store, only because of the "electronic group picks up guitars" deathknell, but after reading this review I'll buy it and love it.
Posted 10/20/2005 - 01:35:20 AM by TheBrad:
 For the first time in my life, I am a head. All thanks to ieatseeds, baby. Choice.
Posted 10/20/2005 - 02:01:54 AM by Marcopolo:
 Are we talking about Pitchfork or the new BOC (which is their weakest album to date)?
Posted 10/20/2005 - 03:22:54 AM by fandango:
 Where Stylus has the upper hand on Pitchfork for me, is that it isn't COMPLETELY FUCKING PATRONISING. i.e. it doesn't automatically assume every single reader's entry point is via a background in mid-western US college indie-lite & emo, thus having to 'explain' how I should gingerly approach VERY SCARY radical 'dance' records in simple-simple talk.
Posted 10/20/2005 - 04:16:11 AM by digitalsnake:
 It's quite obvious that BOC were trying to bring something brand new to their sound when they decided to lay guitars on this record. It's just a shame that it's nothing new in the slightest to the genre as whole, something of which i was expecting them to add this time around, to mix it up a bit. Not adventurous enough for me, their otherworldly synth melodies saving their skin on this one, in my opinion.
Posted 10/20/2005 - 08:15:00 AM by d75cub:
 Pitchfork are so snobby, po-faced and generally unlikable; at least Stylus seem to be enjoying themselves. Also, I like this album.
Posted 10/20/2005 - 09:20:32 AM by syscrusher:
 eh, enough already. i mean pf and stylus could just be the same webshite, integrating everyone's favourite features into the one and lose the shit we vote (and loath) to hate - would that kind of a democratic action make everyone happy? shit, forget i even asked that one. no, really. i already just did. good review though (i think most are in agreement of that even if in disagreement over the score 'awarded') and after getting almost overloaded listening to the previous 2 albums in recent weeks in anticipation of this one i can hardly wait for tomorrow's big trip to the record store. so much good shit released all of a sudden...
Posted 10/20/2005 - 05:57:47 PM by scooper:
 this album could have been recorded by anyone -- a point made by the vast amount of speculation that surrounded the leak of 'campfire headphase' onto usenet many weeks ago. was it BOC? was it a hoax? who could tell? no one, which kind of sez it all, don't you think?
Posted 10/20/2005 - 08:39:08 PM by ieatseeds:
 I agree with fandango, one of the aspects I appreciate most about Stylus is the "Hi! I liked/disliked this record for this reason and that reason, you sir, are not an idiot, and are entitled to think what you want to think! And! I'm not going to automatically assume that you're uncool if you're not Hipster McHipsterson, so, have a great day!!!! <3" Ah. And this whole critiquing of critiques that we're currently particpating in is really frigging awesome. And TheBrad, don't you think everyone is a head??????? ahhhh.... Christ.
Posted 10/20/2005 - 10:00:16 PM by JohnCameron:
 I'm more of a liver. Anyways, scooper - the thing with Boards of Canada is, it's easy to slap together something vague and floaty and "eerie" but it's an entirely different thing to produce the unique and uncanny moments that the real BoC pulls off with no warning and what feels like no effort. If you listen to each on their own, a ways apart, then you will maybe think they're similar; if you compare fake with real, though, you'll find it relatively easy to tell. Regarding internet zines, variety is the spice of life, guys, etcetera etcetera. If you don't like one opinion site then read another.
Posted 10/24/2005 - 12:19:07 AM by antimatter:
 as far as "any one could make this album" that's not entirely true. anyone can come up with some soft synth patches that are similar to BOC, but unlike say Monolake, there's no ready made filters that make that effortless BOC sound. A Boards album really is more than the sum of it's parts. As for Pitchfork, who cares? I read it sometimes, but like all reviews, I take them a with a very small grain of salt. especially reviews as pretentious as theirs.
Posted 10/25/2005 - 04:24:35 PM by aroddick:
 After getting a copy of this, I went back and listened to their older stuff, and I have to say I am more of a fan of Music Has the Right. But with BOC, I am never sure, simply because that album took some time to grow on me, just as there newer stuff is in process. I guess that is my feelings on BOC--it is a listening process.
Posted 10/27/2005 - 09:21:15 PM by badhaircut:
 Not their best, and yet, I've listened to this by choice almost 20 times since it came out. Like everything else they've done, I expect my understanding of and relationship with it to change with time, so I was never expecting to be able to judge this one right off the bat anyway. And I wouldn't want to. Their music, um... means a lot to me, and I don't know if I could quantify its value like I might be able to with so many other albums and artists. Years later I'm still hearing things in HiScores, Twoism, MHtRtC, and Geogaddi that I've never heard before, so I'll enjoy this album and expect it to reveal itself slowly to me as I grow older.
Posted 04/03/2006 - 08:00:19 PM by garlad1:
 I love Blue Oyster Cult! and fanzines!