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Boards of Canada
Trans Canada Highway
Warp Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
May 29, 2006

Instant MP3 download with all Vinyl / CD purchases.


2006’s ‘Trans Canada Highway’ is a crucial EP serving to reconnect the link in the wake of the guitar-led euphoria of 2005’s ‘The Campfire Headphase’ and the more pronounced strains of dread on 2002’s ‘Geogaddi’. As the title and artwork suggests we’re led there by wide expanses of green tarmac leading us into the unknown, the tracks all brimming with yearning towards this open road optimism.

This lens flare freeway freedom is driven by opening track and future classic Boards’ cut ‘Davyan Cowboy’, where flanged shoegaze guitars cascade over endless head nod beats. Gleaming orchestral strings drop in at the midpoint like crepuscular rays as we collide with a rush of cymbal reverberations setting the track on fire, tempered by refracted pearls of a perfect three note refrain that could just roll on forever towards an event horizon sunset. Simply put, ‘Davyan Cowboy’ rides tall as a standout triumph in their catalogue of all wins. So much so that it bookends the EP with a further 9 minute freewheeling remix odyssey by Odd Nosdam and highlighted here can be seen as extrapolation point of their aforementioned six string imbued full length 'The Campfire Headphase'.

Further down the road ‘Skyliner’ pushes together Boards’ familiar elements into a mixture which is taut and propulsive, rather than introspective. The track’s synths swell in and out imparting a momentum that has more in common with house music than hip-hop, while layers of rippling pitched percussion form the rhythm section. ‘Heard From the Telephone Line’ is a classic pensive ambient cut from the duo, but feels shot through with a wide-eyed hope which on other records is either absent or subverted, while ‘Under The Coke Sign’ equally emphasises a sense of an expansive motorway landscape in all its wonder.

It is the concise focus of the EP which further makes it a unique release within Boards of Canada’s faultless output, creating a sense of endless travel not through mere depiction but by offering the listener sharp glimpses of distinct moments, untempered by the more sinister subject matter which dominates much of their work.

Digital Tracklist

Boards of Canada

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Warp Records

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Electronic and Electronica

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