A lot of the time, the student has no particular goal beyond “do this assignment.” So then the critique needs to get creative. I like to ask: If this track is a film or game score, what’s happening in the scene? Students have a lot of implicit knowledge in this area from their own media consumption, so I get wonderfully specific and unexpected answers to this, i.e., “It’s a bar fight in a domed underwater city.” Then we can figure out, how could the track more strongly convey the feeling of a bar fight in a domed underwater city?
Their now-classic debut, Music Has the Right to Children, contrasted starkly with the clinical, busy, and hyped sounds of 1990s techno. In retrospect, whole genres such as chillwave and lo-fi rap would sound vastly different without having been able to walk the trails laid down by Music Has the Right to Children and Boards of Canada’s other releases.