Does Boards of Canada's record-store clue point to new album?

Fans suspect that five other clues – yet to be found in vinyl shops worldwide – will come together to reveal message

Have Boards of Canada used Record Store Day to send fans clues about a new album? Eight years after the Scottish duo's last LP, a mysterious, limited-edition 12in has been discovered in New York.

The record was uncovered by a Reddit user called lilcakey, who found the strange release at the legendary Manhattan record shop Other Music during Saturday's international Record Store Day. Enclosed in a simple card sleeve, the vinyl carries just 20 seconds of music: ambient electronica, with a distorted voice reciting the numbers "nine, three, six, five, five, seven". It's a beautiful, eerie sound, reminiscent of the Conet Project. Pitchfork reports that Boards of Canada's label, Warp, has vouched for the record's authenticity.

Another clue appears on the record's sleeve. Under the words "Boards of Canada", there is a cryptic subtitle:

------ / ------ / ------ / XXXXXX / ------ / ------

Lilcakey has suggested that his record's numeric code, 936557, corresponds to the subtitle's string of Xs.

"Clearly I have one of six similar Boards of Canada records released today and distributed 'randomly' around the world," he wrote on Reddit. "I think that if all of the numbers are gathered and arranged in a proper order, we might be able to figure something out, so we just need the other five people who found the record (or maybe they haven't been found yet) to reveal their numbers and where they fit in the sequence, and then of course, have to decipher what the numbers together mean."

At the time of writing, none of Boards of Canada's other Record Store Day releases appear to have been discovered. But fans are busily scouring local shops, especially in Edinburgh, where Boards of Canada are based. The conspiracy-minded have tracked down an old video, posted to Boards of Canada's official YouTube playlist. According to the blog 2020k, this clip was recently edited to show the characters "--/--/--/--/--/--/--" at 4m20s (4/20 was the date of Record Store Day, in American date format). Adding even more fuel to the fire, an alleged friend-of-a-friend of the band recently claimed Boards of Canada's new album is due in June.

Should this be true, there will be much celebration for fans of warm, hypnogogic IDM. Although they are one of the most influential electronic acts of the past 20 years, Boards of Canada have released just three LPs, most recently 2005's The Campfire Headphase, and they haven't performed live since 2001. The group consists of two brothers: Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Boards of Canada fan puts 'clue' record up for auction – asking $5,000
New York student says he's reluctant to sell rare vinyl single but needs help to 'start out on my own'

Sean Michaels

01, May, 2013 @11:45 AM

Article image
'Trump Will Kill America' message etched on the Smiths' Record Store Day release
Morrissey fans discover political message scratched on to copies of a limited edition 7-inch featuring two previously unreleased tracks

Guardian music

24, Apr, 2017 @10:09 AM

Article image
Jack White named Record Store Day ambassador
Singer reveals new role and urges teenagers to experience music on vinyl, saying that the internet is 'no replacement for face-to-face interaction with a human being'

Sean Michaels

20, Feb, 2013 @10:45 AM

Article image
Boards of Canada announce first new album in eight years

After a brief, cryptic marketing campaign, the Scottish duo will release a fourth album – their first since 2005 – in the summer

Sean Michaels

30, Apr, 2013 @10:44 AM

Article image
Dave Grohl announced as Record Store Day 2015 ambassador
Foo Fighters frontman will represent the annual one-day event in celebration of independent record shop culture and vinyl sales

Tshepo Mokoena

12, Feb, 2015 @8:28 AM

Article image
Record Store Day 2015: share your photos and experiences
Saturday 18 April is record store day, and we’d like to see your photos and experiences from this year’s independent record stores event

Tom Stevens and Guardian readers

17, Apr, 2015 @8:56 AM

Article image
Record Store Day 2015: what will you be buying?
Tell us what you’re looking forward to getting at this year’s indie record shop event

Tshepo Mokoena

15, Apr, 2015 @7:00 AM

Article image
Record Store Day 2014: share your photos of your favourites
Show us your favourite local record shop – and tell us why you shop there

Guardian music

18, Apr, 2014 @12:09 PM

Article image
Record Store Day: 20 exclusive releases to look out for
Classic vinyl reissues, limited collectors’ editions and unreleased recordings from Fela Kuti, Prince and David Bowie join rare pressings by the Prodigy and the Notorious BIG this Saturday

Gregory Robinson

10, Apr, 2019 @2:00 PM

Article image
'I'll never regret buying Toto!': your best Record Store Day stories
There were treats to be found at this year’s Record Store Day – and you were on hand to share the best pics and stories from the weekend

Guardian readers

24, Apr, 2017 @3:27 PM