Brainchops :: Boards of Canada - Chameleon :: 2010 Single Released on iTunes Illegitimately by Forger

Boards of Canada - Chameleon :: 2010 Single Released on iTunes Illegitimately by Forger

Friday, October 29, 2010

chameleonNOV 3, 2010
"Chameleon", a track illegitimately released on iTunes using the Boards of Canada name, has been removed from the online music catalog after approximately 5 days of sales.  Amazon has yet to catch up but will most likely follow suit.

Nick Baxter, a.k.a. "Skeptical", the artist known to be the real composer of the single, has offered up an "explanation" in a recent post on the Black Dog Towers message board, casually stating that the ordeal stemmed from a metadata mixup by an inexperienced iTunes employee.  skept says,

"apparently, the new admin lass at itunes made a mistake when inputting the ol' meta data. the release should have been -

artist: Chameleon
song: Boards of Canada

needless to say, Warp weren't very happy about it, so it's been pulled from sale... you just cant get the staff nowadays eh?"
This of course doesn't explain how the mixup could have occured on Amazon.com as well. We also don't know how skept could have acquired information about an iTunes employee such as length of employment.

A few days prior on the WATMM forum, skept posted a video featuring the villain from the SAW series of horror films, who's character is known for orchestrating gruesome prank scenarios.  If Skeptical is attempting to plea "not guilty" to intentionally mis-labelling and releasing the track to try and fool people into buying it, this post certainly doesn't help his case.  YouTube user MrWhitelabel (who has hosted a video containing the Chameleon track mis-labeled as Boards of Canada for the past year), recently "favorited" both the SAW video as well as their own "Chameleon" video, but whether MrWhitelabel is an account run by Nick Baxter is still unconfirmed.

It is not known which digital audio distributor was used to submit the track for sale online, however there are typically terms that must be agreed to by an artist or label before they can proceed with the service.  TuneCore, a popular online music distribution service, forces new sign-ups to agree to this Terms & Conditions / Copyright Agreement before they can submit songs for sale, which clearly states:

"YOU AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT USE THE SITE OR SERVICES TO TRANSMIT, ROUTE, PROVIDE CONNECTIONS TO OR STORE ANY MATERIAL THAT INFRINGES COPYRIGHTED WORKS OR OTHERWISE VIOLATES OR PROMOTES THE VIOLATION OF THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OF ANY THIRD PARTY."
You must also confirm,
"...all of the Recordings, including, without limitation, any sampled third party material embodied therein, artwork, metadata, videos and any other materials furnished by you to Company or relating to the Recordings are owned or controlled by you and the use thereof as described or contemplated herein and/or on the Site shall not infringe on the copyrights, trademark rights or other rights of any person or entity; and that Company shall have the right to exploit same in any manner hereunder free from adverse claim and without any obligation to make any payment of any nature to any person or entity, other than the amounts payable to you hereunder. You shall defend and indemnify Company and any of its affiliates (including any directors, members, officers, employees and other representatives) and hold them harmless against any third party claims or expenses and losses resulting from breach, or a claim which if true would constitute a breach of the foregoing warranties, these Terms of Service, and/or the Copyright Policy, including reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation expenses.
Will Warp or Boards of Canada take legal action?  Scottish brothers Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin of Boards of Canada, known for being men of few words on the internet, have yet to publicly comment on the incident ... or anything else... though their official Twitter account posted its second tweet on Nov 1st reassuring followers,

"The "Chameleon" track that appeared this week on iTunes is not by BOC, it's a hoax."

Some fans speculate the whole ordeal could have been an attempt to get them to "come out of hiding" after a long stretch of radio silence following their last EP release "Trans Canada Highway" in May of 2006.  Impatience among die-hard fans grows more and more intense as the release date of their forthcoming album continues to push back further beyond anticipation and remains unknown.


OCT 30, 2010
The track "Chameleon" released on iTunes was previously released as a single on the now defunct label Artificial Bliss by Nick Baxter a.k.a. Skeptical.  In this thread started by user skept (Skeptical himself) on the Black Dog Towers message board, it was pointed out that the track is in the Boards of Canada style, to which skept replies,

"with the boc thing... yes there is a bit of shenanigans going on there, but i'll not go into it!"

It has not yet been confirmed who actually submitted the bogus track to iTunes for release. 

YouTube user MrWhitelabel who posted the Chameleon track on the video hosting site in October of last year as if it were a BoC work, also posted another track by Skeptical from a separate release calling it Boards of Canada - Red Sky Night.  Amidst the confusion within that video's comments, nickb523 (Nick Baxter a.k.a. Skeptical) chimes in with, "try looking for Skeptical: Red Sky Night".  When another commenter asks, "why is this dude saying it's BOC?", MrWhitelabel replies, "nowadays it's harder than ever for good indie artists to reach the right people. ;)"

Releasing fake tracks to capitalize on the success of other artists is not unheard of within the electronic music making community, but the hoaxes don't often quite go this far.  It is still unclear how this track slipped through the iTunes screening process, how many downloads have been sold, or what the recourse will be.


OCT 30, 2010
Though no official statement has been received directly from Warp Records or Boards of Canada, a recent post on the twoism.org message board by user mdg (widely accepted as reliable source Mark David Garrett, photographer and member of Hexagon Sun who acts as an informal on-line representative of the band source), confirms many fans' speculation that this track is indeed a fake and that Warp is investigating the issue.

"Thanks guys, we know about this, Warp are investigating it already.
There's a chance the prank has backfired, because I'm guessing this would earn BOC a lot of royalties at this rate."


mdg has reiterated in previous statements made within the twoism.org community that Boards of Canada do in fact have a new album coming out soon, and that it has only been held up due to "one or two issues outwith the band's control" source.


Also noted is that the artwork for the single on iTunes was borrowed from Susumu Yokota - Kaleidoscope which is an electronic music album released on October 11, 2010.  No correlations to this album or artist have been made at this time.

The idea that it is possible to illegitimately release and sell music under anyone else's artist name on a shop as big as iTunes is frankly unsettling.


OCT 29, 2010



Boards of Canada - "Chameleon" :: This video was uploaded to YouTube In October of 2009 by MrWhitelabel, and as you can see by reading a majority of the user comments, it was widely dismissed as just another BoC copycat track.  However, the very same track appears to have been released October 28th, 2010 on iTunes by Boards of Canada's music label Music70.  Adding to the intrigue, the Boards of Canada's official YouTube channel left a comment on the above video's page approximately 2 hours ago with the following message:

"diet coke green screen failure"

It's a lovely track and pretty standard BoC fare save for the slightly uncharacteristic wonky beat that seems to be in trend right now.  The sample of children's voices sounds like it was derived from the same recording used in "Aquarius" from their 1998 album Music Has The Right To Children.  Overall it's almost "too BoC" for BoC, but can someone fake a release on iTunes?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

releasing fakes is in such poor taste. whomever is responsible should be sued and blacklisted.

Anonymous said...

If it was a rubbish tune then it would be a total joke but its actually pretty damn good. Easy commenter above.. You need some sunshine in your life old chap. Indeed, independent artists do have to take that one extra step to get noticed. Fair play I say.

Anonymous said...

Get noticed for your own style, not for copying someone else's

Anonymous said...

Both artists have always had similar styles. Skeptical has releases going back to 2002, he isn't a newcomer. What is also interesting is that both Skeptical and Boards of Canada live in the same region in Scotland. The plot thickens!

Anonymous said...

You mean to say this isn't a BOC copy?? LOL- juust listen to the children samples- the whole thing is transparently planned out to sound as much like BOC as possible. The sad thing is, it isn't as good. It's a good track, but if it actually was BOC I'd be disappointed, it's a bit too obvious and naive, nothing surprising about it at all. Not up to their normal standards.

Anonymous said...

How to request a refund from iTunes: http://www.ehow.com/how_5590751_refund-itunes.html

MrWhitelabel said...

Comment #2 Comment #4 - Nick Baxter minecrafting himself into a deeper hole by bigging himself up anonymously here. Tragic.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a weak strategy because...how can the guy beat BOC with doing this? Some would buy it coz the guy makes good music. But, BOC has got much more and this isn't really a cool way to get attention. By the way, BOC and Scots may be happy to hear this.

Andy P said...

Everybody relax - it's clearly not boc, it sounds like something from an old Cafe Del Mar comp. A) It's so poor only the very gullible would pay Apple for it anyway and B)The royalties are only about 10 eurocents a track per download, so nobody's making too much dough, be it skeptical/boc whoever - except Apple.

And all of this would be resolved of boc themselves were to actually release some new original work, or reissue the likes of Hooper Bay etc. When you choose to create some kind of alchemic vacuum around yourselves as artists, don't be surprised when some fucker jumps into the space if at some point you're a success.

Patrick said...

The track sucks. Really lame samples.

oscillik said...

"Releasing fake tracks to capitalize on the success of other artists is not unheard of within the electronic music making community, but the hoaxes don't often quite go this far."

surely you're aware of the 'sto lend' autechre fake?

Anonymous said...

Even from the opening so-called melody you can tell this is not BoC.

Anonymous said...

it's flat and stupid. BoC has far more to say in each piece...

Anonymous said...

Aside from the kids, this really doesn't sound like BOC. It could be anybody. The sound quality and production is much different than BOC as well, it's too clean and overproduced, lacking the atsmosphere of good BoC tracks. If it is them then they have run out of ideas and are treading water with this track. Still a fine listen though.

ALP said...

I don't like it. It's twee and has no depth.

Synthetrix said...

I agree that this really does not sound like BOC much other than the use of the children samples. It's not bad, but it's definitely not cool using BOCs name for tracks that they did not make.

Anonymous said...

http://www.avforums.com/forums/xbox-360-hardware/695330-caution-gt-electronics-dundee-repair-3.html

Cailean said...

Ive use the sample in one of my tracks before.

Here it is:
http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=4237

goblins said...

It is disgusting that Nick Baxter/Skeptical is doing this and I hope people avoid his music.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Nick Baxter = user 'Sirch' on WATMM forum, currently minecrafting an even bigger hole there too: http://forum.watmm.com/topic/60997-chameleon/page__st__30
Feigning ignorance of the Tunecore system he himself used to upload his turgid dirge.

New levels of fail are unfolding.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theblackdogma.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=463&start=46

apparently it was a mistake....

Anonymous said...

Nick Baxter of Skeptical Recordings, the fake boc track uploader, aka 'Skept' on the Black Dog forums, continues the hole dig:

http://www.theblackdogma.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=463&start=46#p8739

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, doesn't look so good for Nick Baxters other efforts to make money!!!

http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?t=602178

-------------
SKP Repair, formally known as GT electronics are well known console repair hacks. I would advise, no-one ever to trust this company.
Check these avforum links for more nfo:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/xbox-360-hardware/730410-warning-gt-electronics-beware.html

http://www.avforums.com/forums/xbox-360-hardware/695330-caution-gt-electronics-dundee-repair.html
----------

Sirch said...

(@ poster of 4th comment up from bottom) WTF! 2+2=66 does it? i can tell you that 'Sirch' is DEFINITELY NOT Nick Baxter, you paranoid prat! i know because I AM Sirch. and i have NEVER used Tunecore before in my life, nor did i know exactly what it was! - God's honest truth. You're a flippin Lamo. FAIL!

Torley said...

Two words for you: Essex Fobbie.

Also, Skeptical - Chameleon (Boards of Canada fake track) arp sounds like Mass Effect 2's "Facial Reconstruction".

Anonymous said...

anyone who knows BOC can tell from the first note that this is bunk. in all of boards' releases, there is a flavor to the sound- the tape, the dynamics, the carefully prepared drum loops, the field recordings, the dialed-in, full synths, etc. it is an unnecessary thorn in the label's foot to have to deal with this.

Anonymous said...

This song just sucks. Even if I were just surfing around for new music, if I came across this I'd be bored in 10 seconds. And if I listened past that because I was drunk or something, I'd be appauled when those terrible samples came in. This track is just gross. DBlueGlitch + Shitty children samples + terrible rip off of BoC = Mega shit.

Cole Marie said...

Oh look its Torley
wasnt expecting that

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