MONO – ‘Nowhere Now Here’ (2019)

05 March 2019
MONO – ‘Nowhere Now Here’ (2019)
  • Лейбъл: Pelagic Records
  • Издаден: 2019
  • Aвтор: Никола Шахпазов
  • Оценка:

This album marks MONO’s 20th year of exploration of all things delicate, loud and post rock. ‘Nowhere Now Here’ serves as a very fitting celebration of these two decades of dedication and work – a collection of tracks that are both very much what one would expect from the Japanese act but also an album that never shies away from experimentation.

MONO have always been good at exactly that – crafting music that is exactly what we came for but at the same time leaves us stunned and perplexed at the perfection of its pensive details and the unbearable heaviness of its vast, riff-filled passages that are as loud as the Big Bang. Take a good look at the cover art and you’ll discover just that – the strange coexistence of the airy and the beautiful (the ballerina and birds in the centre) and the headspinning chaos of existence (the spinning NY skyscraper and London towers, that twist and turn like a scene off ‘Inception’).
As was the case with 2016’s ‘Requiem Of Hell’, this album is also recorded by the great Steve Albini and his contribution is notable – both his recording and mastering skills, and his all analogue studio equipment make the sound of these tracks both lush and warm.
Album opener ‘After You Comes The Flood’ takes from the ground slowly, like an immense and loud passenger plane – a mainly by-the-book MONO track (still impressive with inner dynamics, riffs and intricate themes) but it is ‘Breath’ that comes as somewhat of a surprise – the track shines with bass player Tamaki Kunishi’s soft vocals, layers upon layers of keys and guitars, an almost soundtrack, Angelo Badalamenti feel to it.
Album's most impressive moments are to be found in its longest tracks – the self titled one, ‘Sorrow’ and ‘Meet Us Where The Night Ends’, three pieces of light and darkness, splashing waves of cosmic harmony and overwhelming melancholy, layered guitars, more keys, a pinch of electronic music and chamber music… Complex and thrilling! One might think such an ambitious and almost wholly instrumental album will prove a tough listen but on the contrary - ‘Nowhere Now Here’ is easy to enjoy, time after time. Especially if you’re an already indoctrinated MONO fan.