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.
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