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artists mentioned by Boards of Canada in their interviews


Peel Session

Peel Session
Label(s) Warp Records
Catalogue No(s) WAP114
Release date(s) 18 Jan 1999
Format(s) 12"
Running time(s) 16:51 (1999)
24:56 (2019)

Boards of Canada's Peel Session is a recording of their 21 July 1998 broadcast on BBC Radio 1 for John Peel's radio program. It features significantly different takes of both Aquarius and Olson. The version of Happy Cycling that we see on this release is not the same as what was actually broadcast, here we find the polished version that also appears as an extra track on Music Has The Right To Children and the broadcast version formerly known as Bad Day being dropped.[1]

Peel Session was released by Warp Records (WAP 114) on both CD and 12" vinyl formats. These tracks are also available as part of Warp Peel Sessions Vol. 1 in Japan.

"XYZ" was originally omitted from the official release due to sample licensing issues, however it was included on a re-release (WARPDD300-3) by Warp on 15 November 2019 as part of the record label's 30th anniversary.


  1. "Aquarius (Version 3)" – 6:24
  2. "Happy Cycling" – 7:56
  3. "Olson (Version 3)" – 2:31
  4. "XYZ"1 – 8:05

1: Only included on the 2019 re-release.


As explained by Deadfly on the Twoism forum:

"Peel Sessions normally consisted of four tracks which were recorded in advance in the BBC recording studio and broadcast at a later date when the band were not present. Sometimes bands played live on the programme, but they were not referred to as Peel Sessions. The BoC session was unusual because they were in the BBC recording studio recording their session at the same time as the Peel programme was on air. This meant that they could have a live link-up with BoC in the recording studio, and that's when the interview took place. They played XYZ live on the programme at that time (16-6-98), but that was the only track they played and the mp3 of XYZ with the interview really is the whole thing. The complete Peel Session was broadcast on 21-7-98 with all 4 tracks, but the band were not present and there was no interview" [2].


The broadcast on 16th June 1998 included an exchange both before and after "XYZ" between John Peel and Boards of Canada.

John: And I've just been round to check the fax machine actually, cus the thing was absolutely jammed with bits of paper, and it turns out all of them are blank bar about three. There you go, fairly disappointing, people love me, they love me they do, and three bits of paper out there. And I was hoping two of them, or one or two of them anyway, would be with interesting questions for Boards of Canada, who are about to play live from our Maida Vale studio. You know the usual kind of things, what time do you get up the morning, what's your favourite letter of the alphabet. But uhh... nothing of that type has come through at all regrettably. But I think they're ready to play for us, are you there Mike, Marcus?
?: Hello yeah we are.
?: Hi John!
John: Alright. Actually before you do start, I've got the impression in my head, I don't know if this is from some press release, if you are you have nothing control over at all, but it's... you live somewhere that's uncontactable by telephone, or somewhere very remote. Is this true?
?: Yeah that's just about correct actually.
John: I'm not going to ask you where it is, cos obviously I don't want people coming there and spoiling it all for you!
?: Yeah, no I think it's probably been exaggerated a little bit but I think as far from technology we can get is about as good as we can get as far as we're concerned, yeah.
John: It does, mate. And what is your favourite letter of the alphabet?
?: M.
John: Is it? Yes, I've always liked M myself. What are you gonna play for us now then?
?: This is a track called XYZ, erm... it's just a brand new thing we've just been working on. And it's the longest track and fastest track we've done in probably the last two years, I think, actually.
John: Right, well, we want to hear it.

John: Excellent, very nice too. That's Boards of Canada live from our Maida Vale studio. XYZ is the title of the piece. Rest of the session gone well for you has it?
?: It certainly has, yeah.
John: Right, well what are you gonna do now? Back to your secret lair to do more tunes?
?: We're off to the pub, actually!
John: Are you? All right okay, so you're not completely sort of ascetic then?
?: No not at all.
?: No not at all. Can I just say congratulations on your OBE by the way.
John: Oh right, that's very kind of you. I'm not quite sure what the significance of it is, I don't think it's going to change my life radically but...
?: Richard Branson didn't get a knighthood anyway.
John: John Barnes got something though, and I'm rather hoping that when summoned to the palace as one apparently is, that I'll be summoned close to John Barnes, cus we all love him in our house.
?: Of course!
John: All right, thanks very much, I look forward to hearing to the rest of it.
?: Cheers!
John: Okay bye bye.
?: Bye bye.


Broadcast 07 December 2013 on BBC Radio 6. (First broadcast 21 July 1998 on BBC Radio 1.)




  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/sessions/1990s/1998/Jun16boardsofcanada/
  2. http://www.twoism.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=18642#p18642
Discography Overview | viewedit
Rare/Early releases Catalog 3Acid MemoriesCloses Vol. 1Play by NumbersHooper BayBoc MaximaOld Tunes Vol. 1Old Tunes Vol. 2Random 35 Tracks TapeGeogaddi (test pressing)
General releases (albums) Music Has the Right to ChildrenGeogaddiThe Campfire HeadphaseTomorrow's Harvest
General releases (EPs/12"s) TwoismHi ScoresAquariusPeel SessionIn a Beautiful Place out in the CountryTrans Canada Highway
Mixtapes Marcus Eoin's Campfire MixtapeSocietas x Tape
Live Sets Warp10The LighthouseAll Tomorrow's PartiesOther live sets
Promotional Releases Telephasic WorkshopMHTRTC (promo cassette)Orange RomedaGeogaddi (promo lp)Geogaddi (promo cassette)------ / ------ / ------ / XXXXXX / ------ / ------Reach For The Dead (promo cd)Come To Dust (promo cd)
Produced by BoC for Others Here Come the Rubber Cops
Bootleg Releases Unreleased Tracks
Other KaleidoscopePromotional ItemsT-Shirts