This album is on my list of "Greatest Albums Ever". When I think "trip hop" I think this album, though I suspect many would question this judgement.

It features excellent beats that ride the fine line between hip hop and drum n bass. These beats have that groovey back beat syncopation that shouts "old school funk". But also they ooze an oomph and crunchiness that one usually finds in drum n bass and other forms of electronica, yet they never descend to the crass phonic abuse and pointlessly irritating breakbeating that drum n bass so often does. Additionally the tracks on this album feature increadible harmonic depth that somehow seems to sway between stark ice-cold beauty and warm smothering comeliness. Crusty synthesiser noises, samples from film soundtracks, and more are blended with the care, precision, and taste that one would expect from the master chefs that are Boards of Canada.

Having listend to this album a vast number of times, my recipe for a mind-melting sonic experience using this album is as follows:
Ingredients:
* One sofa, reclining chair, futon, or similar device enabling the occupation of a recumbant position in comfort for approximately 65 minutes.
* One copy of "Music Has The Right To Children" by Boards of Canada. Preferably on clean unscratched vinyl. And get a new needle for your record player.
* One good stereo power amplifer capable of at least 40 watts RMS output, and equipped with at least one pair of good quality speakers. An amplifer that was made before CDs were invented is better. Look for the presence of record player (i.e. "phono") inputs on the back of it. Trust me on this one. Also two pairs of good speakers is better then one pair.
* One quiet room with soft ambient lighting in which one feels comfortable and can be present for approximately 65 minutes without fear of disturbance.
* One quantity of marijuana or hashish, sufficient to produce a strong yet not oppressive level of stoned.
Method:
1) Arrange in the room all the other ingredients.
2) Smoke the marijuana. Wait 5-10 minutes for it to really kick in.
3) Play the album.
4) Enjoy.
Serves one person. Can be made to serve more; simply increase seating arrangements and marijuana supply as neccessary.
I find this recipe to produce a most delictable meal for the mind. I find it a blissful one hour that leaves me invigourated yet relaxed, and my mood invariably raised.

I would recommend this album to anyone who gets into DJ Shadow (he's about the only well known artist I've been listening to recently that comes to mind as producing something along the same lines). On the lesser known front, I would compare this album (and recommend to anyone who likes it) the works of artists from Ninja Tunes and affiliated labels, in particular The Herbaliser, Neotropic, and Amon Tobin.

Music Has the Right to Children was released by Boards of Canada in 1998 on both Warp (as catalogue number WARP55) and Skam Records (as SKALD1). The tracklist is as follows:

  1. Wildlife Analysis (1:17)
  2. An Eagle in your Mind (2:08)
  3. The Color of the fire (1:45)
  4. Telephasic Workshop (6:35)
  5. Triangles & Rhombuses (1:50)
  6. Sixtyten (5:48)
  7. Turquoise Hexagon Sun (2:51)
  8. Kaini Industries (0:59)
  9. Bocuma (1:36)
  10. Roygbiv (2:31)
  11. Rue the Whirl (6:39)
  12. Aquarius (5:58)
  13. Olson (1:31)
  14. Pete Standing Alone (0:46)
  15. Smokes Quantity (3:07)
  16. Open the Light (4:25)
  17. One Very Important Thought (1:18)
  18. Happy Cycling (7:55)

Clocking in at just below 63 minutes, the album is a prime example of the soundscapes that BoC manage to churn out. Michael and Marcus, with their preference for old documentaries and the melancholy of childhood memories, have created one of their best albums with Music Has the Right to Children. The sound, as their other work, is a pleasant mix of floating synth melodies and Autechreish beats.

The cover art features 7 children/young adults, standing by a lookout point in the mountains. The picture looks old and faded, with little creases and cracks. The faces of the people (with the exception of the left-most person) are all devoid of any features, making the picture scary in an odd way. The art is actually designed by BoC themselves.

I especially reccomend the tracks An Eagle in your Mind, Roygbiv (Try substituting each letter with a color - red orange yellow ...), Aquarius and One Very Important Thought, though all the tracks are remarkable in their own way.

Bocuma is actually a new and slightly re-edited version of the track Boc Maxima of the album of the same name.

In the end of Happy Cycling (which only appears on the American version), there's some backwards speech. This is actually from an interview with Jeff Lynn of Electric Light Ochestra, where he denies using backward masking.

Sources: Actual CD, my CD-player (for the times), Eeggs.com.

Album: Music Has the Right to Children
Artist: Boards of Canada
Label: Warp, Skam and Matador
Year: 1998
Rating: 4/5
Summary: Warm, fuzzy nostalgia.

The first widely available album by Scottish duo Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children sees them refine their unique sound, practically establishing it as a genre in its own right.

In general, this album feels laid back, albeit with dark undertones. Despite its chilled vibe, the actual sounds used are far removed from the well trodden path of ambient techno, without an eighties synthesiser preset or Roland drum machine in sight. Instead, Boards of Canada created their own distinct style consisting of smooth beats and dreamy, lazy melodies played on old synthesisers, mixed in with the occasional indistinct talking and children's laughter. This combination of sounds evokes a feeling of nostalgia that is for the most part warm and fuzzy, although at times it can be slightly creepy.

From Aquarius, with its infectious bassline and samples of children's television shows, to the shimmering beatless masterpieces like Olson and Open the Light, this well-polished album regresses the listener back to a more innocent time, making it ideal music to lie back and unwind to.

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