From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Studio album by
Released13 February 2002 (2002-02-13)
StudioHexagon Sun (Pentland Hills, Scotland)
  • Marcus Eoin
  • Michael Sandison
Boards of Canada chronology
In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country
The Campfire Headphase

Geogaddi is the second studio album by Scottish electronic music duo Boards of Canada. It was released on 13 February 2002 in Japan, then five days later in Europe, by Warp. The album is darker in tone than their previous studio album Music Has the Right to Children (1998), and it has subsequently been praised as a standout album in the duo's discography.[4]

Geogaddi reached number 21 on the UK album charts and received critical acclaim upon release,[5] in addition to being acclaimed by several publications as one of the year's best albums.

Background and composition[edit]

Compared to their previous releases, Boards of Canada aimed to record a project "with more facets, more detail and a kind of concentrated recipe of chaotic little melodies", as well as something "more fuzzy and organic".[6] The duo recorded over 90 tracks for the project from 1999 to 2001, ultimately choosing 22 based on how well they fit the intended atmosphere of the album.[6] Michael Sandison, half of the duo, stated that much of the album features acoustic instrumentation, though it may not be immediately evident because of how processed and often faint it is, blending with electronic elements.[6]

The album was described by Sandison as "a record for some sort of trial-by-fire, a claustrophobic, twisting journey that takes you into some pretty dark experiences before you reach the open air again."[6] The September 11 attacks drastically influenced the tone of the album during its production in 2001, with the duo "glued to the TV for the whole day" and Sandison saying that they had subsequently been pushed "into making a darker record".[7]

Boards of Canada have claimed that the title is a combination of different words with a particular significance, but also that they wanted listeners to decide on their own interpretations of the title as well as the album in total.[8] The album has been noted for featuring esoteric references and subliminal messages, including references to Satanism, numerology and cult leader David Koresh of the Branch Davidians.[9] They additionally received the idea to make the total album length 66 minutes and 6 seconds from Warp Records president Steve Beckett, with his reasoning being to joke around with listeners and imply that the Devil had been involved with the album's production.[10]


Geogaddi was first released in Japan on 13 February 2002.[11] It was released by Warp on 18 February 2002 in Europe.[11][12] The album has been released on compact disc, vinyl, digital download and as a limited edition compact disc.[12]

The album is available in three formats: Standard jewel case CD packaging, limited edition hardbound book packaged with a CD and extra artwork enclosed, and a triple record package.[11] Side F of the vinyl package, with the track "Magic Window" (which consists of nearly two minutes of silence), is uncut and contains a visible etching of a nude nuclear family.[11][13]

The artwork of the album carries a distinct kaleidoscopic motif. The limited edition version comes with a 12-page booklet exhibiting artwork.[14]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The Boston Phoenix[15]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[16]
The Guardian[17]
Rolling Stone[21]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[22]

Geogaddi holds a score of 84 out of 100 from review aggregate site Metacritic based on 21 critics' reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5] Kitty Empire of NME praised it as "easily the electronic album of the year" and "a meeting of the natural with the digital, [...] eerier than ever before," as well as "deliciously saturated with the recurring motifs which have marked them out as an individual voice in electronic music."[18] Mark Richardson of Pitchfork wrote that "the Boards have implemented their trademark tools on Geogaddi, but in the service of a slightly gloomier vision," noting that they "have always had a disorienting cast to their music, [...] but where the warbles once seemed designed to evoke the sensation of strained memory, the distortions now have a disturbing undercurrent." He ultimately called it "a very accomplished album packed with great music."[19] Pascal Wyse of The Guardian characterised it as "the band's own reticent blend of electronic melancholy, always organic and beautifully crafted," but noted that the listener's enjoyment "just depends whether you want to go into that much detail."[17]

Geogaddi was ranked on year-end lists of the best albums of 2002 by numerous publications, such as Mojo,[25] NME,[26] Uncut[27] and The Wire.[28] In 2014, Vice described the album as mourning "the idea of a utopian innocence as a possibility," summing the album's distinction from its predecessor as follows:

Sounds of nature, warm synths, samples of educational broadcasts from childhood [are] techniques to re-mystify the world around us. But such a world of mystery doesn't merely comprise images of simpler times, and a more perfect world. Turning away from reason entails acknowledging evil, and it is here where the subtle shift from Music Has the Right to Children to Geogaddi is most significant.[29]

In 2017, Pitchfork placed Geogaddi at number five on its list of "The 50 Best IDM Albums of All Time".[30]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison

1."Ready Lets Go"0:59
2."Music Is Math"5:22
3."Beware the Friendly Stranger"0:38
6."Sunshine Recorder"6:13
7."In the Annexe"1:22
8."Julie and Candy"5:30
9."The Smallest Weird Number"1:17
11."Energy Warning"0:35
12."The Beach at Redpoint"4:19
13."Opening the Mouth"1:12
14."Alpha and Omega"7:03
15."I Saw Drones"0:27
16."The Devil Is in the Details"3:53
17."A Is to B as B Is to C"1:41
18."Over the Horizon Radar"1:09
19."Dawn Chorus"3:56
20."Diving Station"1:27
21."You Could Feel the Sky"5:14
23."Magic Window"1:47
Total length:66:06
Japanese edition bonus track
24."From One Source All Things Depend"2:10
Total length:68:16


Boards of Canada

  • Marcus Eoin – production, artwork, photography
  • Michael Sandison – production, artwork, photography

Additional personnel

  • Peter Campbell – cover photograph


Chart performance for Geogaddi
Chart (2002) Peak
French Albums (SNEP)[31] 78
Irish Albums (IRMA)[32] 28
Scottish Albums (OCC)[33] 12
UK Albums (OCC)[34] 21
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[35] 3
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[36] 19
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[37] 10
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[38] 3


Certifications for Geogaddi
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Silver 60,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (11 February 2022). "Geogaddi Turns 20". Stereogum. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  2. ^ Harper, Adam (27 October 2009). "Hauntology: The Past Inside The Present". Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  3. ^ Pitchfork Staff (2 October 2009). "The 200 Best Albums of the 2000s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 April 2023. It is a black forest of a record, full of psychedelia and psychosis...
  4. ^ a b Bush, John. "Geogaddi – Boards of Canada". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Reviews for Geogaddi by Boards of Canada". Metacritic. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Poolman, Koen (March 2002). "Play Twice Before Listening". OOR. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  7. ^ Detourn, Gal (December 2005). "Above Board!". Playlouder. Archived from the original on 21 December 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  8. ^ Pytlik, Mark (February 2002). "The Colour & The Fire". HMV Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 July 2002. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  9. ^ Brown, Colin. "What the hell is up with Boards of Canada? Shorter analysis of Geogaddi". Retrieved on 23 March 2006.
  10. ^ Hoffmann, Heiko (2005). "Stirred Up the Ashes". Earplug. Archived from the original on 21 November 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2006.
  11. ^ a b c d "Discography". Archived from the original on 21 November 2006. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi". Warp. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Images for Boards of Canada – Geogaddi". Discogs. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Warp Records; Geogaddi". Warp. Archived from the original on 21 May 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2006.
  15. ^ Hsu, Hua (7–14 March 2002). "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp)". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  16. ^ Weingarten, Marc (22 March 2002). "Geogaddi". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  17. ^ a b Wyse, Pascal (22 February 2002). "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp)". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  18. ^ a b Empire, Kitty (16 February 2002). "Boards Of Canada : Geogaddi". NME. p. 39. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  19. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (21 February 2002). "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi". Q. No. 189. April 2002. p. 110.
  21. ^ Blashill, Pat (11 April 2002). "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi". Rolling Stone. No. 893. Archived from the original on 25 April 2002. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  22. ^ Cross, Charles R. (2004). "Boards of Canada". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 90. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  23. ^ Reynolds, Simon (May 2002). "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi / Takagi Masakatsu: Pia". Spin. Vol. 18, no. 5. pp. 120–22. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Boards of Canada: Geogaddi". Uncut. No. 59. April 2002. p. 94.
  25. ^ "Best Albums of 2002". Mojo. No. 110. January 2003. p. 75.
  26. ^ "Albums Of The Year". NME. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  27. ^ "100 Best Albums of the Year". Uncut. No. 68. January 2003. p. 95.
  28. ^ "2002 Rewind". The Wire. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  29. ^ Lahmann, Henning. "How Boards of Canada's Geogaddi Soundtracked Our Post-Millennial Tension". Vice. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  30. ^ "The 50 Best IDM Albums of All Time". Pitchfork. 24 January 2017. p. 5. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  31. ^ " – Boards of Canada – Geogaddi". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  32. ^ " – Discography Boards of Canada". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  35. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  36. ^ "Boards of Canada Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  37. ^ "Boards of Canada Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  38. ^ "Boards of Canada Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  39. ^ "British album certifications – Boards Of Canada – Geogaddi". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 January 2020.

External links[edit]