While recording their latest studio album 'Sex & Food', which arrived earlier this year, frontman Ruban Nielson, his longtime collaborator Jacob Portrait and his brother Kody Nielson, found themselves in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi at Phu Sa Studios. During the recording process for the full-length, the band recorded live sessions with local musician Minh Nguyen on Sáo Trúc, Đàn Môi, and Vietnamese Percussion and Nielson's father, Chris, on Flugelhorn, Saxophone and keyboards. These sessions became 'IC-01 Hanoi', a sonic distillation of the band's influences in Jazz, Krautrock and the avant-garde.
As an outlet for their own indulgences, this new instrumental release sees them less keen on making a fully-formed UMO record and instead deliver something that best expresses their own intentions when it comes to experimental sounds and styles. Featuring seven original works and with a running time of less than half an hour, 'IC-01 Hanoi' is their attempt to shed some light into their most basic influences with the aid of some truly captivating musicians. The result is a mixed affair, dwelling largely on the more atmospheric side to their core sound and extending their own ambitions through essentially a series of improved jam sessions.
Yet despite its clear, off-the-cuff and impulsive nature, 'IC-01 Hanoi' still stands up as a fairly enjoyable collection of works. With a more lo-fi approach to production than what we are used to, the band have given us an insight into their own inspirations as a group and the kind of dark and playful intentions they have in order to create it.