Brothers in knob-twiddling

Mike and Marcus of Boards of Canada recently gave a great interview to Pitchfork where they revealed that there is an unreleased acoustic version of Music Has The Right To Children and — after an off-the-record pause to debate the point — admitted that they are, in fact, brothers. The reason for not publicly admitting it? They wanted to avoid comparisons to Orbital, another fraternal British electronica band — one that happens to occupy the same stratum of respect that I have for BoC.

So that got me wondering. Is there something about a brotherly relationship that leads to exceptional musical collaboration? Certainly there are many bands composed of family members, but specifically two brothers?

I’m not convinced this isn’t coincidence, but perhaps — perhaps — this has to do with the bedroom-studio nature of electronic music. That is, like most electronic music neither bands’ music requires elaborate studio setups or live recording. It is compact, home-brewed, and easily something that you’d be able to yell “hey, brother, come listen to this!” from the other room. This, as opposed to the rock band evolutionary culture that normally includes rockin’ out in a friend’s garage or at a party down the block. It’s less conducive to experimentation in the home and, maybe, less conducive to collaboration between brothers.

Who knows?

3 Responses to “Brothers in knob-twiddling”

  1. Soldierant says :

    Interesting theory, but let’s not discount all those great influential rock-band brothers, either: Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks, or the Fogerty Boys from CCR. (I’m trying hard to think of more examples before I have to mention Oasis.) Hey – Eddie and Alex Van Halen! (And, I think at one point they legally adopted bassist Michael Anthony.)

  2. John Tolva says :

    True, true. But those brother were in bands with other people. I’m trying to think of other brother-only duos. Any in rock? (Seems harder with the need for drums, etc.)

  3. Soldierant says :

    Aha. I give up, then. I’m tempted to say The Everly Brothers, but I’m sure they had a touring band.