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Biography

  • Years Active

    2010 – present (10 years)

  • Founded In

    Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, United States

  • Members

    • Jacob Portrait
    • Julien Ehrlich
    • Lunar R•A•E
    • Riley Geare
    • Ruban Nielson

Unknown Mortal Orchestra first dropped into the world in late 2010 as a bandcamp account carrying a single called ‘Ffunny Ffrends’.

‘Ffunny Ffrends’ was everything you imagined it might be – alien beatnik pop music that echoed 60s psychedelia and krautrock minimalism with just a hint of gentle weirdness that suggested its roots might equally lie in the verdant indie of the equally distant New Zealand scene.

Ruban Nielson is a New Zealand native who had transplanted to Portland, Oregon, USA with his band The Mint Chicks. UMO was a project conceived as Ruban’s escape hatch to a new musical dimension where his vision of junkshop record collector pop could be realized in a sound that recalled Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone and RZA jamming on some kids TV theme too dark to ever be broadcast.

The eponymous UMO debut album was released in 2011 on Fat Possum Records, followed by II (2013), Multi-Love (2015), Sex & Food (2018) and IC-01 Hanoi (2018).

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