Boards of Canada early recordings (partially found albums; 1980s-1990s)

Boards of Canada at the Warp Lighthouse Party, 1999.

Boards of Canada, an electronic band from Scotland, are well known for their unique style of music as well as their backlog of rare and highly sought after 'early albums' that were made with limited presses and distributed mainly among friends and family.

A few of these releases were eventually made public online such as Boc Maxima and Old Tunes (Volumes 1 and 2) but the rest of their previous work has yet to be heard by the public.

Limited-Release Albums

  • Catalog 3 (1987) - Catalog 3 is earliest known release by the band according to their old website,[1] though the title could imply that might have been two prior releases.  It's listed as having 8 tracks, mainly lengthy tracks of "rather uneventful ambient electronica".[2]  Though it was repressed in CD format, it still hasn't been heard outside of the band's friends and family.
  • Acid Memories (1989) - Acid Memories is the band's second known release and is regarded as "less imposing"[3] than their previous album.  There is some controversy regarding cassette's artwork which features the band's name. According to the band, they hadn't officially called themselves Boards of Canada until 1994. Other than a short 27 second snippet of the track "Duffy", the album hasn't been heard by the public.
  • Closes Vol. 1 (1992) - Closes Vol. 1 is the third album by the band but was released under the name b.o.c..[4]  It also hasn't been heard outside of family or friends and no known samples exist.
  • Play by Numbers (1994) - Play by Numbers is the fourth known release by the band and has been described as having a more strumming shoegaze sound similar to My Bloody Valentine.  A 1 minute excerpt of the track "Wouldn't You Like To Be Free?" is the only legitimate sample from the album.
  • Hooper Bay (1994) - Hooper Bay is the fifth known release and is also the first to use their trademark samples of children's voices.[5] Like many of the previous albums, many purported fakes have been passed around the internet through peer to peer sites and often have mislabled tracks by the band múm or are tracks from either volume of Old Tunes. The only legitimate sample is a 39 second snippet from "Circle" (which was posted on the now-defunct EHX website[6] in the early 90s).

Sample from "Duffy" (Acid Memories, 1989).
Sample from "Wouldn't You Like To Be Free?" (Play by Numbers, 1994).
Sample from "Circle" (Hooper Bay, 1994).

Random 35 Tracks Tape

In 2004, an album named "random 35 tracks tape - rarities and best of (not old tunes v1 or v2)" leaked on P2P filesharing network Soulseek, causing much drama at the time on fan forums like WATMM and twoism. None of the songs on the tape have been confirmed real or fake, and Hexagon Sun member MDG has said that it isn't known who compiled the tracks, calling it "a mystery, just a mixture". Boards of Canada have not made any statements regarding the tape. It has often been reffered to as "Closes Volume 2" and "A few Old Tunes Vol. 3".


  1. The Wayback Machine archive of the Catalog 3 page on Boards of Canada's old website. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  2. An online Boards of Canada biography. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  3. An online Boards of Canada biography. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  4. page on b.o.c.'s Closes Vol. 1. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  5. article on Hooper Bay. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  6. article on now-defunct EHX website. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.


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