Rue The Whirl
Label: Warp Records
Like Blade Runner's famous tears in the rain, Boards of Canada's debut album proffers the melancholy spectacle of the future dissolving into the past. Off-kilter hip-hop beats and otherworldly synthesizers scan as transmissions from a distant tomorrow, but they're laced with powerfully nostalgic overtones of last century's tarnished hi-tech. Indulging synaesthetic fantasies of an isolated rural paradise, the reclusive Scottish duo creates a self-enclosed world that's as seductive as it is self-enclosed. Starker than their later material, their debut album remains just as essential.