NOV 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 -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.
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?"
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?