On Record Store Day in April this year, a vinyl appeared in a New York record store which seemed to contain a short clip from the first Boards of Canada album in 8 years. Their label, Warp, later confirmed that indeed was an authentic record. The electronica world erupted and what followed was a brilliant marketing move on the Scottish duo’s part.
The record was titled “——/——/——/xxxxxx/——/——” and ended with a voice reading out six digits. Die hard fans started trying to figure out what this meant and later discovered five other six-digit codes that on websites or broadcast on radio and TV. The official Boards of Canada website redirected visitors to a page where they, if entering all the six codes, were shown a video announcing the new album and a pre-order form.
It didn’t end there. They dropped a cryptic tweet that led fans to watch the premiere of the video for the first single, Reach for the Dead (as seen above), in a busy intersection in Shibuya, Tokyo. A few days later they tweeted again, specifying a date, time and linking to a satellite photo (as seen below) that turned out to depict an abandoned waterpark in the Californian desert. The fans that traveled there were met by two large speakers connected to a trailer, playing the new album in its entirety.
Needless to say, this all went viral. The album Tomorrow’s Harvest was released a few weeks later.