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.

Contributor

Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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