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Silicon: Personal Computer - review

Oct 1, 2015 Music

Like his brother Ruban in the celebrated Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kody Nielson has slowly pursued a specific vision with multiple perspectives, and despite widely different styles their twin paths have arrived at a point of similarly sophisticated synchronous soul surfing.

Where UMO now houses a twisted melange of 70s-influenced funk and jazz under a lo-fi aesthetic, Kody has moved from the clever but disappointing pastiche heard on Bic Runga’s 2011 album Belle, and their duo project Opossom, to the altogether more impressive solo project, Silicon.

What at first threatens us with a recapitulation of Kraftwerk’s sly observations of the human/machine interface briskly asserts itself as that rarity: an overtly synthetically generated recording with heart and humour smeared all over its sleeve.

Nielson, like his bro, can’t resist fooling around with early 70s stylistic tics, especially when there’s some jazz or funk phrasing or instrumental sound to play with. But the thing is, there’s little gratuitous sense of clever-clever. Instead, he’s tuned in on a sensory level, and the result is a virtual perfumed garden of an album.


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