unknown mortal orchestra – self-titled

how can you love me when you don’t like me, baby?

aside from a great name, there’s a bizarre 1970s airport feel to this music. a kind of funk; washed out singing that’s a bit annoying pitch-wise; clouded yet occasionally euphoric. to this end, i am not sure i’ve seen a cover image so perfectly capture the feeling of an album so far. it’s just a freaky silver building in decay. what else?

i decided to give this music a go thanks to a fantastic quote attributed to ruban nielson:

the world doesn’t need more music. i don’t really care about nowness and newness, so i’m not that proud of being alive in 2012. i feel like it’s ok to just pretend that dubstep doesn’t exist. even animal collective sounds a little bit crass to me. i just don’t like the sound of digital technology. there are frequencies on a lady gaga song that don’t exist in my music. 

however, there’s an internal paradox to that. though he’s been producing music longer than this band has existed, unknown mortal orchestra came about only in 2010. how does that fit with the world not needing more music -a sentiment with which i largely agree? equally, while i think he’s talking about electronically generated music that implies there’s no such form in his own, most of his fans are probably consuming it digitally as a minimum. these can be mutually exclusive – but the borders are blurred. and the note on which this album ends makes it seem somewhat disingenuous.

it’s another album that felt like a journey, of sorts, that didn’t really take me anywhere. though i felt a little bit like i was living in the suburbs in e.t. i don’t know what that means for unknown mortal orchestra, or for me.

at least the funk redeems it. and it colonises in one’s mind like mushrooms. not to mention there’s now an in to someone i like…


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