9.10.11

BOARDS OF CANADA : John Peel Session - 16th June 1998 (Broadcast version)

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Boards Of Canada recorded their first, & only, John Peel session at BBC Maida Vale studio 4, with producer Mike Robinson, on 16th June 1998. Peel sessions classically consisted of 4 songs, recorded & produced at the BBC & broadcast on Peel's show a fortnight or so later, long after the artist(s) had gone home. In a typical (for BOC) inversion of established protocol, Boards Of Canada were coincidentally recording their session in adjacent studio while Peel was on air, enabling them to be patched into the show live, & to chat briefly with the great man at the beginning of "XYZ" (pronounced "XYZee"). That track, however, was the only one transmitted on the 16th June. Listeners had to wait until 21st July to hear the completed session in it's entirety, at which juncture "XYZ" was rebroadcast, but without the opening interview.

To confuse matters further, when BoC's set was licensed by Warp & released as part of the label's Peel Sessions series in 1999 (alongside appearances by Autechre, The Black Dog, Plaid &, later, Mira Calix), the previously aired track "Bad Day" - in actuality a formative version of BoC favourite "Happy Cycling" - was replaced by a noticeably more polished take (the same one that appears as an add-on to the Music Has A Right To Children reissue, in fact). Meanwhile, though it appeared on initial pressings of the CD, "XYZ" was quickly dropped due to unresolved sampling issues, making original copies a highly prized BoC rarity. As a result, Warp's BoC Peel Sessions e.p. barely relates to the broadcast Peel session at all. What a palaver.

Here then, is that original 21st July broadcast in it's entirety, complete with Peel's intros but not, sadly, the chat with BoC that prefaced the 16th June version of "XYZ". All tracks are sourced from the a tape recording of the show itself & not the subsequent Warp issue, hence the occasional snap, crackle & pop of "authentic" FM static.

6 comments:

  1. well, neglecting the complexity of the release, this still sounds like a solid use of talent. Boards of Canada seem to work best when influencing other artists indirectly, like ripples.

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  2. Totally. And bear in mind that these recordings are "live", which means they COULD perform in public if they wanted to, which begs the question "Why don't they do so more often?". I'm getting impatient!

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  3. Martin9.12.11

    Thanks so much for sharing this, I have been wanting 'XYZ' ever since I lost my copy on tape recorded off the radio those many years ago, and always considered this track as one of my favourite of theirs. Shame to not hear the interview, although I remember them saying 'XYZ' was the fastest track they have ever worked on and quite different from what they normally do. You really have made my day. I have looked online a handful of times over the years, glad to have found it here at last, and with the details surrounding the show.
    Thank you.

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  4. Thanks for your kind words Martin - if you click on the highlighted words "chat briefly" you'll be taken to the (brief!) i/view, c/o Youtube...

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  5. Anonymous6.3.12

    ...so there are copies of the Peel Session CD with XYZ on? Didn't know that before. Will now be on the lookout for a copy.

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  6. Not many, but they do apparently exist.

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