My Bleep and Warp Saga: Where the Fuck Were My Eps?

This story begins back with my love of Boards of Canada. The most recent instalment in this story however starts with a birthday present from Connie (for my 29th birthday), who graciously offered to buy me the remaining unowned albums by my all-time favourite artist Boards of Canada. I had already purchased Tomorrow's Harvest back when it came out and the repress of Music Has the Right to Children and Geogaddi were bought on vinyl as a Christmas gift as part of the repressings. Later, the Hi Scores EP was added to my collection. So, after deliberation I ordered the EP bundle that included Twoism, A Beautiful Place Out in the Country (my all-time favourite EP) and Trans Canada Highway as a single bundle on the 6th September 2014, a few days before my birthday. Dispatch date was a few days from then. That was later updated to the 19th of September, so we were already 12 days later or so from the original date, but hey that's not too bad, right?

Well... this post originally started being written on the 16th of Feburary 2015 which was 163 days after my original order, and I still hadn't recieved the EPs. I held off posting this because I wanted there to be a good and happy ending. And this past weekend, on the 20th of June 2015, 287 days after my original order... the three EPs finally materialised on my doorstep, and were finally in hand. This post has been adapted from the original post.

Over the course of those 287 days I have been in touch with Bleep a lot, with the first correspondence being on the 22nd September.

16 Days Since My Order

"Hi Mark I am hugely sorry about this, the Trans Canada Highway EP is not currently in stock, but in the manufacturing stage, so the bundle unfortunately is still on pre-order. I am waiting for an answer for when it will be in stock, I should have this in the next few hours so Ill let you know right away."

Of course there was no follow up email a few hours later, so on the 29th I decided to email again.

23 Days

"Hey Mark. Unfortunately not, I have spoken to the manufacturer and am waiting to hear back an ETA on the vinyl. I am hugely sorry for the delay, as soon as I have news Ill let you know right away."

I waited another week before my next email, still optimistic about my EP bundle coming "soon".

30 Days

"I am hugely sorry but we still do not have an ETA on the Trans Canada Highway EP repress. As soon as we do Ill let you know, sincere apologies for the delay in you receiving your order."

So there is was - "we still do not have an ETA" was better than "soon" or "a few hours", so I decided there and then to leave it a bit.

65 Days

"I am really sorry but we still do not have an ETA on the Trans Canada Highway EP, I have spoken to Warp but they are unable to give a date for when it will be in stock."

At least there is an admission that it's not Bleep's fault per se, but instead Warp's fault - they are the label that are doing the repress, so that makes sense. I decide to wait again before messaging them for another update. In the meantime I did take delivery of the Hi Scores EP, which was great. Thick and heavy vinyl and free from defects. Pretty wonderful actually.

88 Days

"Unfortunately we still do not have an ETA on the bundle, I am really really sorry for the continued delay. As soon as I have news from Warp Ill let you know right away."

Same old story. I forgot all about it until 160 days had passed. It had been so long since my original order, I wondered if I owed them interest on the payment. Or maybe they owed me money back seeing as inflation has been negative.

160 Days

"The item you have chosen is still on pre-order, so it is yet to be dispatched - we notify all customers when their orders have been dispatched to avoid confusion. Unfortunately this pressing has been continually pushed back by the manufacturing team, we've enquired about it to the label but they are not sure of a date yet either."

So at the time of the original writing of this post it was 163 days and counting. I decided to email them again in April.

209 Days

"We have just spoken to the label who have said that they hope that these will go into manufacture mid-April so should arrive by the end of the month, fingers crossed"

At this point, I was just amused at the constant run of messages that I had in my email account. It was this post that would have pissed me off the most, I guess, if this wasn't me waiting on my own gift - if I had bought this for anyone else other than me, to find out 209 days later that they hadn't even made it to manufacture I'd probably have blown my fucking lid. As it was, I just shrugged and waited again. That was until...

286 Days

"Part of your Order has been dispatched"

I actually almost fell over when I saw the email. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't handle it. Could it really be here? The day I was waiting for for over nine months? If Connie and I had fallen pregnant a month after Joni had been born we would have already welcomed our new child into the family by this time. Could it be true?

The answer, friends, was yes it was.

From left to right, clockwise: Music Has the Right to ChildrenGeogaddiTwoismTomorrow's HarvestTrans Canada Highway, Hi Scores and A Beautiful Place Out in the Country.

But that wasn't all. Connie decided the morning that they arrived to get me the final part of the catalogue, the group's third album The Campfire Headphase, and the album I knew that I could get easily at any time, as a surprise Father's Day gift. Of course, this time she wasn't buying it from fucking Bleep. She ordered it at 10am from Amazon and it arrived at 4pm on Sunday, the very next day.

My collection is completed. Fucking finally.

A One Time Thing

Date Eggers' book The Circle is a fascinating but flawed novel that details a Google or Facebook service that has replaced all types of communication which slowly but surely creeps surveillance into ever part of people's lives. Of course, that kinda already happens, what with my phone and it's GPS tracking, but The Circle goes one step further and adds constant video feeds of people's lives, day to day, as well as a camera that is so small it can't be seen, or found, but wirelessly transmits it's feed across the internet for anyone to watch.

It is an addictive read, despite its flaws which I won't go into here, and one I enjoyed quite a lot. It did touch on one thing that was interesting and key to the world that had been developed in the novel, and that is of selfishness.

In the book the character Mae, a new employee at The Circle, finds her self committing a minor crime that is captured by one of the wireless cameras. Instead of being properly pinished for the crime, she is asked why she had not personally recorded the event. She had taken a canoe out onto the water and watched a stunning sunset whilst seals swam next to her, and her boss asks her why she hadn't recorded the event.

In the books logic it makes a point that the not recorded event was selfishly unshared by Mae and that, because she hadn't saved it, it was lost forever. This part of the books is where I gave into the world, as it resonated with thoughts I'd had myself; the more we scramble to record things, the less we feel that they didn't occur without the recording.

I make this point following the Scottish Album of the Year Award ceremony that I went to o  Thursday there. Ten albums, including some belters, we're up for the award including my very own Boards of Canada. I assumed from the outset that they wouldn't appear, and I wasn't alone in thinking that, and I was also correct. Instead they did a video thank you to the audience and nominators that was interesting, for it was certainly all new video footage, all new never before heard music, and they rarely do anything without thought behind it.

However, upon the video starting it was clear that this was unique. The video stream that was showing the whole ceremony cut out leaving those at home out of the new music. I tweeted about it and quickly it was retweeted across the Internet, and soon it turned up on the Boards of Canada forums, where superfans started to take it all apart, first dismissing it as a hoax, then as a throwaway track before being frustrated at it not being recorded.

One thing that has been read into the lack of it being broadcast is that it must mean something. I was there and it was explicity stated that the video was a gift to "all those who are here tonight" which makes me think that it wasn't a comment on anything other than just a bit of in the moment magic. Why does everything need to be recorded? The brothers who make Boards of Canada music have fabricated an enigma around themselves and they must enjoy it in some parts but it feels like they can't do anything without analysis, and this seemed like a way of commenting of that.

It was fun to see it hear it and take part in it, but I honestly don't know if it was a new EP, a tease of something else, or just literally a onetime unique thing that was engineered to be that way. Either way, I didn't recorded it, and the thought didn't even cross my mind, instead I chose to be in the moments. Others online did record it.

At least that means it definitely happened. I mean, I did just see a unique Boards of Canada track played in front of an audience at the Barrowlands which is something I thought I'd never ever ever say. So there is that.

The Circle on Amazon