Home > Music, Reviews > Warp20 Box Set – Part 2

Warp20 Box Set – Part 2

Part 1 of my look at the Warp20 box set can be read here.

Since part 1 went online, I note that Hard Format has given his copy the once over and produced some very nice images that make my efforts look supremely amatuerish. Whilst not as luxuriant in the photo department, Gutterbreakz has also produced a post documenting the arrival of his copy. And yesterday, The Quietus went live with the strangest of reviews.

With the (Recreated) collection largely digested, it’s time to take on the (Unheard) series. Spread across 3 10″s, each housed in a heavy card sleeve with embossed text, they really are quite the objects.

Boards Of Canada begin the proceedings with Seven Forty Seven. As any self respecting Boards Of Canada boffin knows, Seven Forty Seven isn’t actually “unheard,” as such, having originally made an appearance on a short lived incarnation of BoC’s website (archived here) some years ago. Non-exclusivity aside, it’s fantastic to not only be able to hear the piece uncompressed, but also to own it on vinyl.

Favourites of this writer, Autechre, contribute a single track to the package, taking up the majority of side B. The familiar sound of a TR606 and Juno106 immediately betray this as being from the Incunabula period. A quick peek at the small print confirms this with publishing rights for the track dated at 1991. Listening to Oval Moon, one can hear why it wasn’t included on the first album as it’s cut from a different cloth entirely concerning itself more with groove than the so-called ‘artificial intelligence’ that personified Warp’s output of that time.  What’s interesting though, is how much kinder the passage of time has been to Oval Moon than to other Autechre tracks from the same period. Whether this is down to the mastering process that the track would’ve been subjected to for this compilation, or that the IBC Mix subtitle infers that the piece has been the recipient of some more recent tinkering is difficult to tell.

Unfortunately, with the first 10″ done and dusted, there are no more blockbuster surprises to be had on the remaining two. And the definition of (Unheard) continues to be stretched. Two contributions each from Nightmares On Wax and Plaid are joined by a token track from Elektroids, an uncharacteristic turn from Flying Lotus, and solid tracks from both Broadcast and Seefeel.

Whilst I’ve always been a big fan of Nightmares On Wax’s Biofeedback, I’m not sure that the Dub version included here is either better or different enough to warrant inclusion. The second track from Nightmares On Wax, Mega Donutz Dub, from the same era, was an abomination in the first place and is not helped in any way by the Dub treatment! Both tracks from Plaid exhibit the usual Plaid trait, a bit dull to begin with, build to a luscious cresendo, and forgettable once the track has finished.

Finally, things pick up on the last side of the last disc. The sound of Broadcast is one that I can listen to over and over and Sixty Forty is no exception. Pretty much the same goes for Seefeel, whose Succour album I often find myself returning to. I’m looking forward to hearing the new Seefeel material that’s rumoured to be in the pipeline.

With all 3 10″s devoured, I have to admit that I’m left with 1 big question on my mind – where’d the contribution from Aphex Twin get to? Is it really possible that a chap who boasts in nearly every interview about how big his mountain of unreleased material is was unable to locate a single DAT from the stock pile? Similarly, Squarepusher is also notable by his absence. Perhaps less Plaid and Nightmares On Wax might have made these additional inclusions possible?

Categories: Music, Reviews
  1. steve norgate
    October 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm


    Being a massive Boards Of Canada boffin I am duty bound to point out that not only was Seven Forty Seven original on the old BOC website but that the introduction to this new long format version consists of a loop familiar to all BOC Boff’s. It appears on track six of the leaked BOC tapes ‘Old Tunes Volume 1’. Comfortingly for those of us who are mildly insane about such matters it allows us to firmly prove that OTV1 (as it’s known) is genuine BOC and not some kind of fake. Yes, people fake BOC compilations; just to annoy and confuse BOC fans and the subsequent unravelling and forensic level or debunking is practically an undergraduate course level topic.

    Now, I know you haven’t go to the third instalment yet and the locked grooves are to come but whilst I’m here there’s a further bit of Boardsian intrigue/boredom. BOC’s contribution to the locked groves, Spiro, initially seemed to be an actual unheard snippet – in contrast to the all too familiar Seven Forty Seven.
    Hawk eared fanatics then realised that this phrase was, in fact, a bar of a previously untitled track from the Warp Lighthouse gig which some kind soul recorded at said event and I referred to in a previous comment.

    • October 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      Ah, Mr Norgate. How very eagle eared of you! I just fired up “Old Tapes” on the ‘pod and how pleasing to hear that the intros are one and the same.

      As for the lock grooved record. I’m a little concerned about subjecting my ridiculously delicate stylus to rigours of being manually shifted from one groove to the next. My intention is to do it once whilst recording the output so that I have each groove digitally available for later analysis (or wait until some other oik has done the hard work and download them!)

      I do like the idea of a BSc in Boards Of Canada.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: