As they plan for a Boards of Canada tribute night next week in London, DJ Food, Tom Central, Posthuman and Mach V explain the appeal of the duo’s music and the dense, multi-layered world they’ve created around it. Join us down the ‘BOC rabbit hole’ for a series of personal reminiscences, thoughts on the new album and a small celebration of this unique pair’s career to date.


“The concept of the night started last week with me and Kev [DJ Food] chatting on email about how much fun it would be to go to a night that was full of music in the BOC ethos. I guess it’s a fairly unique thing. Boards themselves so rarely play live, and you wouldn’t really get an event playing this kind of music just on its own – it’s more home listening, or reserved for chillout rooms. That conversation quickly moved to: ‘Well, why don’t we just do one ourselves?'” – Josh Doherty (Posthuman)

“I remember listening to Music Has The Right To Children for the first time and getting annoyed by it. All the keyboards were slightly out of tune and so dis-tonally phased against each other that I thought it was a mistake, a bad joke. Then the bassline from ‘Roygbiv’ came on and the penny dropped. My life and my understanding of electronic music changed at that very moment.” – Mach V

“I found a venue that had a free date, Kev suggested asking Tom Central to get on board, and then Mach V contacted me and asked if he could help. From there we set up a shared Google document and exchanged many, many emails discussing which tracks we each wanted to play, what movies and film clips would work, plus other music in the same spirit as Boards – the likes of Ghost BoxCom Truise, Christ.Tycho, the One on Twoism fan compilations…” – Josh Doherty

“Their melodies seemed familiar even on the first listen, like something you vaguely remembered from your childhood but couldn’t place. Add to that the warmth and fuzz of weathered audio and the playful children’s voices and you have part 8mm cine film nostalgia trip, part utopian dream world. But the dreams are tempered with just the right amount of nightmares. They manage to balance light and dark perfectly – we’re never totally safe.” – Strictly Kev (DJ Food)

boc-music“To me it feels like Boards of Canada’s synth melodies are hard-wired into the childhood feelings and memories I can’t quite place. They sound like the incidental music to the programmes I watched as a child and it’s a wonderful nostalgia revisit. Possibly its also why I love library music so much. But there’s more to it than nostalgia – BOC’s tracks tell their own stories through title references, samples and sleeve art, leaving you to find out more and draw your own conclusions. The fact that you rarely see or hear from them just adds to the magic and mystery of it all.” – Tom Central

“The cover to Music Has The Right To Children was so right because those people could be any family who holidayed in the 70s. There are a million snaps like that decaying in photo albums the world over – you just have to add your features to the blank spaces provided. The odd thing is that their sound, unlike, say, the Ghost Box label, who seem firmly rooted in UK-centric nostalgia, works on an international level. People everywhere identify with their sonic puzzles.” – Strictly Kev

Author Josh Doherty, DJ Food, Tom Central, Mach V
12th June, 2013


  • Damn, I read this piece exactly one day after the gig took place. I’ve only just discovered BOC and would love to have gone to see this!


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