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coverpic flag New Zealand - Full Moon 240 - 03/23/16

Unknown Mortal Orchestra / SILICON
Phone Split 7"
Jagjaguwar

Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) threw one of my top ten favourite albums last year with their dead cool Multi-Love. Smooth? Yes. Slick? Yes. But very, very cool and catchy and dancy indeed. Hey, 10 years ago I would have disliked Multi-Love. 20 years ago, I would have found it awkward, maybe even appalling. In 2015 (well, still is) it's super kool.

On this Phone split 7", brothers Ruban and Kody Nielson have 'teamed up' for a 'phone theme' rework-collaboration. The brothers have been playing/recording together for years, decades in their home-country New Zealand, such as in the experimental pop-rock group The Mint Chicks (2001-2010). Then they parted, and Ruban took on his UMO while Kody started his SILICON project. Last year they both gained critical acclaim; UMO's third album Multi-Love (feat. multi-instrumentalist brother Kody on keyboards and drums, as well as adding co-writing and co-producing skills) and Silicon's debut album Personal Computer. Anyway, the theme of phones led the brothers to rework two tracks; Kody did UMO's "Can't Keep Checking My Phone", while Ruban did his version of Silicon's "Cellphone".

So, who's got the better re-worked version, then? I'd say this match is a draw. Kody has toned down the disco drive of "Can't Keep Checking My Phone", while Ruban has reworked "Cellphone" into a slightly moodier, deep, dark night version of the song. Well, I like both or all four of them. The brothers probably know each other so well that they can read the other's mind. Congrats - to both of you. We have a winner: Nielson! Maybe they should team up with Beck next time, bringing in his "Cellphone's Dead" (or his "Heavy Breathing On The Phone (Is How You'll Know It's Me)"...). Until then, you'd better pick up the phone. The brothers-in-arms are calling. They are both on the hot-line.

PS! The limited edition Phone 7" will be available on April 1st.

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