Album Review Unknown Mortal Orchestra - IC-01 Hanoi

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - IC-01 Hanoi

On the peripheries of what we know to be UMO.


Though recorded during the making of recent LP ‘Sex & Food’, ‘IC-01 Hanoi’ – a collection of seven instrumental pieces, penned in Vietnam alongside local musician Minh Nguyen – goes beyond the usual remit of a standard ‘offcuts and extras’ record. Using a selection of traditional Vietnamese instruments to help concoct a series of disparate, enveloping jams, instead it finds lynchpin Ruban Nielson painting with a different set of tools to those that usually inform his underwater, bubbling psych. The results exist on the peripheries of what we know to be UMO – ‘Hanoi 4’ is a driving, groove-led funk workout, while ‘Hanoi 5’ pits all kind of warped gurgles against a nocturnal jazz saxophone. They’re stranger, more direct beasts without the foil of Ruban’s soft vocal and often all the more ominous for it. 

Health and Happiness: LIFE

Health and Happiness: LIFE

For years, Hull’s LIFE have sat on the peripheries, but recently their socially-charged punk has started to resonate further out. We meet the band in their hometown in the year that it all went right.