Although Boards of Canada
's blueprint for electronic listening music -- aching electro-synth with mid-tempo hip-hop beats and occasional light scratching -- isn't quite a revolution in and of itself, Music Has the Right to Children
is an amazing LP. Similar to the early work of Autechre
and Aphex Twin
, the duo is one of the few European artists who can match their American precursors with regard to a sense of spirit in otherwise electronic music. This is pure machine soul, reminiscent of some forgotten Japanese animation soundtrack or a rusting Commodore 64 just about to give up the ghost. Alternating broadly sketched works with minute-long vignettes (the latter of which comprise several of the best tracks on the album), Music Has the Right to Children
is one of the best electronic releases of 1998.