sun 14/08/2022

CD: MONO - Nowhere Now Here | reviews, news & interviews

CD: MONO - Nowhere Now Here

CD: MONO - Nowhere Now Here

Post-rock veterans ring the changes on their 10th album - but only marginal ones

Nowhere Now Here: atmospheric soundscapes

Japanese band MONO have been around for 20 years, inhabiting a musical landscape that straddles post-rock and contemporary classical sounds. Not ones to let things go stale, however, their 10th album not only sees the debut appearance of drummer Dahm Majuri Cipolla, but also brings some new elements to their signature sound.

In particular, Nowhere Now Here adds washes of electronics throughout MONO’s deliberate and studied tones, while bass and keyboard player Tamaki Kunishi also brings her Nico-like vocals to the band for the first time on the maudlin ballad, “Breathe”. That’s not to say that there have been any monumental shifts in their atmospheric soundscapes on this otherwise instrumental disc. And let’s face it, unless you are something of a super-fan, it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself humming any of these tunes. This is most definitely an album to sink into as a whole, rather than one to pick out individual compositions.

Nowhere Now Here may not be commercial music but it is more immediately engaging than MONO’s most recent set, Requiem for Hell. Within the lush soundscapes there are shades of Sunn))) and Ulver’s classic collaboration Terrestrials on both set opener “God Bless” and “Funeral Song”, while “Parting”, with its ambient pace, has something of Olafur Arnauld’s classical chill-out vibe. In fact, apart from the violent cacophony of “After You Comes the Flood”, the album emphatically demands that listeners sit down and pay attention to what’s being played.

Nevertheless, Nowhere Now Here is more than atmospheric background dream pop. It draws on an expansive musical palette that takes MONO’s sound far beyond rock’n’roll’s limitations by bridging minimalism, oceanic soundscapes and just about every music genre that has no truck with four-on-the-floor grooves, to create a meandering pattern of the beautiful and spaced-out.

Nowhere Now Here emphatically demands that listeners sit down and pay attention to what’s being played


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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