Boards of Canada

Twoism (Warp)

Twoism is the debut from Scottish recluses Marcus Eoin and Mike Sandison, also known as Boards of Canada. In 1995, 100 vinyl copies surfaced on the duo's Music70 imprint. The nine-track mini-album accrued legendary status, due to its scarcity and BOC's subsequent cult popularity after it released the seminal Music Has the Right to the Children in 1998. Reports of copies selling for $1,200 on eBay only fueled the mystique. Eoin and Sandison finally gave in to popular demand to reissue the work, and while it ain't worth four figures, Twoism certainly is a gem.

It's obvious from the first two cuts, "Sixtyniner" and "Oirectine," that BOC's trademark sound had sprung fully formed three years before its breakthrough full-length emerged. In the former, fat, funky beats propel a poignant tune that could make Saddam reach for his hanky, while the latter should've saved trip-hop from becoming Muzak in pseudo-trendy martini bars.

Created mostly with analog electronic gear, BOC's deeply moving music evokes a golden age when synths looked like spaceship consoles. But the group's great achievement is to be simultaneous nostalgia generators and forgers of a new style (some call it "folktronica" or "idyllictronica"). Twoism allows a glimpse into the immaculate conception of this sublime sound.