Monday, April 29, 2013

Fun with electronica, skin-whiteners and death cults

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Boards of Canada
Assuming you haven’t been completely put off by viral marketing campaigns like Dove’s genuinely offensive “Real Beauty” ads — hey, there’s nothing like taking body-image advice from a company that sells skin-bleaching products in India — then you might want to check out the decidedly quirky campaign currently being run by Boards of Canada.

Actually, if there are any hardcore electronic music fans on your Facebook timeline, you probably have already seen their obsessive posts this week about “BOC,” which normal people would assume stands for Blue Oyster Cult.

But this particular BOC is a semi-obscure electronica duo that hails from Scotland and has been teasing the public since Record Store Day with snippets of digital code conveyed via the BBC, NPR and, this past weekend, a Cartoon Network ad. It’s all led to a kind of music-geek treasure hunt, where the prize, assuming there would be one, remained unknown.

Until now.

Earlier today, Warped Records sent out a press announcement that Boards of Canada’s new album, Tomorrow’s Harvest, is due out June 11. They also included a link that takes you to a retro MS-DOS page, complete with bright green text, ominous black background, insistently blinking cursor, and a prompt for a log-in password that the label chose not to provide.

Of course, after posting this to my own Facebook page, it took little time for my most electronica-obsessed friend to post her fully-assembled password in the comment section. And it is:

699742 628315 717228 936557 813386 519225

If you want to check it out, be advised that you have to type in the numerical sequence by hand, which is a very strange thing to do in our cut-and-paste world. Once you've done that, you’ll be "rewarded" with a screen full of wavey static, the kind of thing rural folks would get on their TV sets before the arrival of cable. This goes on for minutes — long enough to bore even Andy Warhol — before unexpectedly dissolving into some pretty cool synthesized music followed by an image of the album cover art.

And ... that’s it. At least for now.

Whether the album will live up to all the crypto-hype is anyone’s guess. But in the meantime, click below for Boards of Canada’s “In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country,” from an early EP of songs thematically linked to the Branch Davidian cult and its doomed Waco retreat.

Then scroll down a bit further to watch an ad for “Fair and Lovely” skin-whitening product.

We'll leave it to you to decide which one’s weirder.

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