The pressure of being as influential as Boards of Canada must be intense, and is probably at least partly why the Scottish duo took almost a decade between their last release and Tomorrow's Harvest. Just as My Bloody Valentine's comeback album had to be grounded in their 90s legacy and at the same time move forward, BoC needed to live up to fans' memories of past ambient masterpieces while resisting the temptation of nostalgia.
To their credit, Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin haven't taken the easy route. They still sound like an alternate-universe 70s NFB soundtrack, but the mood is much more dystopian. There's nothing as overtly melodic as tracks like Roygbiv from 1998's Music Has The Right To Children, and the rhythmic references to hip-hop are less upfront. But they were never about instant gratification, and the moody synthesizer soundscapes of Tomorrow's Harvest reveal their rewardingly intricate layers and details with repeated listens.
Top track: Palace Posy