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.