Unknown Mortal Orchestra

April 11, 2019 - 8:30pm

By Ruben Estrada

            On Thursday, April 11, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 FM KWVA proudly welcome Unknown Mortal Orchestra back to the WOW Hall.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra had quite the 2018.

Early in the year the Portland, Oregon based band released their critically acclaimed album Sex and Food, their first studio project in three years.  While certainly a continuation of their signature combination of psychedelia, pop and funk, they give this project more room to breathe.  The instrumentals create a dreamy tone throughout as frontman Ruban Nielson’s hazy vocals blend in perfectly.

Still, Nielson does not let his listeners relax entirely, exploring dark tones on tracks like “Chronos Feasts on His Children” and “If You’re Going to Break Yourself”, balancing the album with somber but equally as beautiful sounds.

Recorded in Mexico City, Hanoi, Seoul, Reykjavík, Nielson’s hometown Auckland and his current home in Portland, the album is said to have been inspired by each location.

In October of last year Unknown Mortal Orchestra released IC-01 Hanoi, their first instrumental album, recording entirely in its title city during the Sex and Food session.

Unlike anything they have done in the past, the album leaps from genre to genre.  Some tracks like the opening song, “Hanoi 1”, use a distorted guitar to provide a heavy rock tone.  Then, others, such as “Hanoi 3”, use a Vietnamese flute throughout that results in an ambient atmosphere -- in sharp contrast to the more intense parts of the project.  The piece also takes dives into a more dark and jazzy sound, completely unrecognizable from their previous work.  Still, IC-01 does not disappoint and shows just how much range the group has.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra was on the road for the majority of the last year, first promoting Sex and Food, then doing a fall tour for IC-01.  With no new projects announced, it will be interesting to see how they blend the sounds in their upcoming tour.

Eugene is lucky enough to host their opening show as the band hits a few western cities before doing a summer festival circuit.

As the smallest venue on the tour, the WOW Hall undoubtedly provides the most intimate place to experience the show.  Come hear some of the best music out of the Pacific Northwest as they kick off their 2019 live experience right here in Eugene.

Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 8:30.  Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.


Door Time: 
April 11, 2019 - 8:00pm
$20 Advance, $25 Day of Show