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4.5 out of 5 stars
Trans Canada Highway Ep
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 19 March 2018
A really good, solid outing for the Boards this one, if you like the other albums I'm sure this one will float your boat, if you are new to these guys start with music has a right or campfire headphase.
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on 7 September 2016
Spot on
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on 20 February 2013
Have most recent albums by BOC - thought would be good to listen to old album of theirs - not disappointed
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on 31 May 2006
BoC become Kraftwerk.

Funkily designed sleeve in the style of an old mini vinyl LP gives us BoC's nod towards Autobahn, and actually it's pretty good!

As with the last album there's a track or two here which could have quite easilly have been left off but yes, well worth a listen.

It's just a shame that they didn't explore the re-mixed track a little further and let it develop as it's disappointingly short.
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on 16 September 2017
Personally, I believe this is some of the brothers best work. The tracks are full of bliss...space...sunshine and an overall sense of peace and at one with the earth. I feel that their remix of Last Walk around Mirror lake would have really complimented this selection of songs, and often find myself naturally selecting this song after listening to the ep.

In all honesty, I wish they continued exploring this vibe, and was hoping for a more ambient and lucid release, rather than the end of the world theme explored on their next release, Tomorrows Harvest.

The brother's have influenced me in so many ways. There are so many layers, so many textures, thoughts, emotions and feelings carried in their compositions. They've been the soundtrack to so many of my experiences as an adult, and I cant thank them enough.
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The Boards of Canada took a lot of flack for their fuzzy, less ethereal "The Campfire Headphase," which basically explores whole new avenues of music, but didn't sound anything like what they had done before.

But one of those songs comes across far better in "Trans Canada Highway," spearheading an EP of the kind of music that Boards of Canada is known for -- rippling electronica, crammed with atmosphere and chilly beauty. It's a nicely solid little EP, covering both sides of the band's musical palette.

It opens with "Dayvan Cowboy," a mass of fuzz with a rambly little guitar melody in the middle, and decorated with some delicate chiming sounds. About halfway through, a gust of wind blows away all the fuzz and chimes, leaving just a the hesitant guitar, clashing cymbals and a trembling violin. But slowly the fuzz and chimes creep back in....

... just in time for the rattly, atmospheric sweeps of "Left Side Drive," which is more typical of Boards of Canada's music. It's mellow, smooth and atmospheric, with some nice beats. From there they explore the dreamlike prettiness of "Heard From Telegraph Lines" and the staticky "Under the Coke Sign," and the angular synth stretches of "Skyliner."

And finally there's he Odd Nosdam remix of "Dayvan Cowboy." Hoo, this one takes a little getting used to -- for awhile you can just hear planes taking off, it softly segues into a chilly ambient sweep... before finally getting into the expansive, swirling main melody. It takes a LONG time to get anywhere, but it's brilliant when it really gets moving.

"Trans Canada Highway" has a little of every Boards of Canada "sound" in it, flickering through their prior "sounds" with new little songs. And it really makes "Dayvan Cowboy" sound appealing as it didn't before, by letting it be judged on its own merits. It's actually a pretty good song.

Except for an angelic-sounding chorale which only appears for a second, there aren't any vocals in this. Instead, the music is pure -- it's full of shimmering warm analog synth, sharply-defined beats, heavy fuzz, and in "Dayvan Cowboy," a twining of more conventional instrumentation like violin, guitar and clashing drums.

"Trans Canada Highway" is a beautiful little EP, bringing two very different styles for Boards of Canada together. Definitely a good listen.
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on 11 June 2006
Last year's Campfire Headphase LP was really really great. Something that in all honesty I was not expecting, and with this EP they have done it again. Filled with lush warm and slightly decayed textures, the 6 tracks on display here are really wonderful. Starting off with the simply brilliant Dayvan Cowboy lifted from the latest album, acompanied by its video, this is a five minute chill out masterpiece, nothing underlining, relaxing and summery and fresh. But then it's the new pieces that are the main attraction here, and they dont disappoint at all.

Left Side Drive and Skyliner are both louder more beat driven pices, almost like a slowed down and less jazzy Squarepusher, and both of which are excellent, with the latter feeling a lot more agressive than anything before, yet it still keeps its feet on the ground and its BOC character. Two short and sweet tracks also grace this release, Under The Coke Sign and Heard From Telegraph Lines both push deeper into ambient depths, but both are colourful and vibrant with life, like the clouds passing above or simply being relaxed. These sort of tracks quite often end up being pointless, BOC have worked out that they can make them immersive and right. The final track on this is possibly the most interesting, a remix of Dayvan Cowboy by Odd Nosdam brings something new to the release, even more laid back than anything else on here, and still keeping the spirit of the original, its slow burn heavily delayed atmosphere feels more organic than the original, although my only complaint with it is that it keeps stopping and starting, but maybe thats the point. Maybe..

And I don't really know what more I can write about this, simply put, its great... if you want to get into something Warp based, this is certainly a good place to start, not to long not too much not too intense not too relaxed. Eargasmic as a friend of mine would put it.
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on 26 May 2006
TCH sounds to me like The Campfire Headphase (also abbreviated as TCH so maybe I should stop calling this new EP TCH to avoid confusion) left overs. BoC have said in interviews about how they wrote a shed load of tracks for 'The Campfire Headphase' album before eventually settling on the final track list. The fact that this EP came out less than a year since that release suggests to me that BoC haven't been that busy in the studio - Remixes aside, when was the last time BoC had more than 1 release in the same year?! I suppose if we look on this EP as nothing more than the TCH EP i.e. The Campfire Headphase EP, it will make more sense as a release.

Compared to previous EP's I think BoC fans may be a little disappointed with what's on offer here. Dayvan Cowboy is the feature track but we've already had that on the album. There's also a remix of that track here & both tracks together take up a fair chunk of the total playing time. That leaves room for a couple of new full length tracks + 2 more short interlude style tracks. A lot of people are not so impressed by BoC's 1-2 minute offerings but I really love these & think they help create a nice flow on the albums. They don't seem to work quite so well here but saying that 'Heard from the telegraph lines' is simple, sublime & utterly gorgeous & you wish that it did go on a little longer. The other short track 'Under the coke sign' is nice as well. Very hazy, simple & very BoC. Most people will be most interested in the 2 new full length tracks. First up is 'Left side drive'. This I feel would have worked perfectly on the Campfire Headphase album. It's typical BoC with no surprises but it works & sounds nice so who cares? Next is 'Skyliner' which again is classic BoC & a really nice track on its own merit.

So nothing too spectacular then but I'm of the ilk that says if it's not broke don't fix it. Here BoC are just basically doing their thing without trying to be to clever or out there just for the sake of it or to simply satisfy critics that might now expect them to come up with something groundbreaking with every release. BoC's first full length LP was of course groundbreaking & they clearly carved a niche of their own. They are still in that niche & still churning out wonderful sounding music & long may they continue to do so. Gets five stars from me on musical content but I'm knocking my score down to 4 becasue I feel the EP could have benefitted from 1 or 2 more full length tracks.
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on 4 January 2008
Trans Canada Highway is musical perfection.

It sometimes brings tears to the eyes of this thirty seven year old cynic, even though I have heard it countless times. Perhaps that is because I listened to it every time I sat down to read 'Oryx and Crake' on the train ride to work; this EP has become inextricably linked to that story on an emotional level for me and I am full of wonder at the power music can have.

Dayvan Cowboy is one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard. Trans Canada Highway has become my most listened to Boards of Canada 'album' and one of my favourite of all time. It never seems to lose its appeal, no matter how many times I hear it. Simply magical.
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on 5 February 2007
This is a good EP. Anyone who criticses the lack of new material is being unfair. The Dayvan Cowboy remix is pretty decent, and Left Side Drive is a nice tune, in the same vein as several "Campfire Headphase" tunes, especially "84 Pontiac Dream". Skyliner is one of the best Boards tunes I have heard. It is worth buying the E.P for this one tune, which would fit well with the deeper, more disturbing sounds on "Geodaddi" and In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country".
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