Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a group known for their lo-fi mixing and simplicity. The SILICON rework of “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” takes that warmth and turns it into a sparser soundscape, with a more electronic feel and muffled vocals. The original instrumentals are traded out in favor of synth, and it doesn’t feel natural – this track would have no place on Multi-Love, even if the fact that it was a remix were specified. Indeed, it seems very conscious of the fact that it is a remix, and works hard to convince the listener that it’s bringing something new and fresh to the table. At certain points, cricket-like chirping and steady clapping are the only sounds we hear. The original version is steady, upbeat, and effortlessly catchy, all the markings of a bona fide Unknown Mortal Orchestra song. SILICON strips away its key elements and what remains is merely a skeleton, unfulfilled of its potential. This isn’t to say that it’s a bad or unlistenable remix – it simply comes across as inauthentic, which is a grating realization when considering that Ruban Nielson (the mastermind behind UMO) is one of the most genuine musicians in indie rock today.
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