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PO NOW: MONO - Nowhere Now Here (out 1/25/19)

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TRR321_MONO_HI-RES_640x.jpg?v=1537822039

 

The conflict and correlation between dark and light is a universal theme with a historically rich history. Musically, perhaps no band in the 21st Century has mined that relationship more consistently or effectively than Japan’s MONO Across 10 albums in 20 years, MONO have convincingly reflected the quietest and most chaotic parts of life through their music. Their ever-expanding instrumental palette – which began in earnest in 1999 with the traditional guitar-bass-drums rock band setup – has evolved to include as many as 30 orchestral instruments. Now, on Nowhere Now Here, the band add electronics to their repertoire – partially inspired by guitarist/composer Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto’s recent collaboration with John McEntire, the beguiling Behind the Shadow Drops. Nowhere Now Here also sees MONO’s first-ever lineup change, adding new drummer Dahm Majuri Cipolla (The Phantom Family Halo) to the core trio of Goto, Tamaki, and Yoda. Tamaki also makes her vocal debut here, singing into the shadows of vintage Nico on the poetically hazy “Breathe.” The unlikely career of MONO has taken them to virtually every corner of the planet, several times over. Those corners have all left indelible marks on their music, as it drills deeper towards the sound of feeling not quite human and all too human – often at the same time.

 

LIMITED EDITION COLORED VINYL: OPAQUE PURPLE & SUPER BLOOD MOON (EDITION OF 1,000)

 

VINYL FORMAT INCLUDES MP3 DOWNLOAD COUPON INSIDE PACKAGE

 

TRACK LISTING
1. God Bless
2. After You Comes the Flood
3. Breathe
4. Nowhere,. Now Here
5. Far and Further
6. Sorrow
7. Parting
8. Meet Us Where the Night Ends
9. Funeral Song
10. Vanishing, Vanishing Maybe

 

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2247511347/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

 

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3 hours ago, holyvacantsholyhell said:

Wish they'd buckle down and write something worthwhile instead of churning out substandard imitations of their own shtick. Listening now but not exactly hopeful. Pretty art and variant though.


Not really sure what you're expecting from an instrumental band of this nature. This is like their 10th album now, so it's kind of obvious to expect something along the same lines of their previous work. Do you expect them to all of a sudden start writing overwhelming orchestral movements with a 100-person choir?

Do you give bands like Mogwai or Tortoise the same kind of flack? This just seems like complaining for the sake of having an opinion.

 

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33 minutes ago, voltagedrop said:


Not really sure what you're expecting from an instrumental band of this nature. This is like their 10th album now, so it's kind of obvious to expect something along the same lines of their previous work. Do you expect them to all of a sudden start writing overwhelming orchestral movements with a 100-person choir?

Do you give bands like Mogwai or Tortoise the same kind of flack? This just seems like complaining for the sake of having an opinion.

 

lol sorry I got bored of a band doing the same shit over and over? I had the same problem with explosions in the sky until the wilderness came out, and it seems like they were aware of it themselves given that they took 5 years to record and release it after their last boring ass retread of the same sound they’d been doing for a decade.

 

I have a problem with homogeneous music that is just repeating and retreading old ground, and if Mono’s output since Hymn doesnt exemplify that sentiment to a T, idk what does.

 

Mogwai has been boring as shit for a decade too, same ass problem.

 

Sigur ros’s comeback album valtari was the same deal until they released Kveikur.

 

I’m not bitching for the fun of it, I’m discussing music on a message board about music. Sorry I dont contribute to your echo chamber in an approved manner.

Edited by holyvacantsholyhell

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17 minutes ago, holyvacantsholyhell said:

I’m not bitching for the fun of it, I’m discussing music on a message board about music. Sorry I dont contribute to your echo chamber in an approved manner.

The amount of infantile users here who get triggered by a dissenting opinion can be overwhelming sometimes. Don't worry about it, just understand that they're emotionally-stunted compared to you, and have this sublimely irrational need for hype-bois/-girls performing herd-mentality worship to the exclusion of any other opinion because that's more important than freedom of conscience. Ignore them. You be you.

 

For example, I can appreciate minor changes of dynamics in a lot of those bands, and I personally think Mono have switched it up more than others, both points I'm sure you disagree with. No biggie though.

Edited by armadillo01

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I think it will be interesting to hear how the addition of electronics fit in to this record. If only we could get another World's End Girlfriend collabo!  While they do get tiresome and predictable at times, all of that melts away during their live shows. Pelagic variants look nice, but will probably just go with TRR.

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9 minutes ago, EquinoxDesignLab said:

I think it will be interesting to hear how the addition of electronics fit in to this record. If only we could get another World's End Girlfriend collabo!  While they do get tiresome and predictable at times, all of that melts away during their live shows. Pelagic variants look nice, but will probably just go with TRR.

Oh man, absolutely. They're fucking stellar live, and I'll never stop catching them so long as they tour. Interested to hear the vocals in Breathe as well. Maybe this will be the breath of fresh air I'm looking for from them.

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50 minutes ago, anchorlessbodies said:

The new song is pretty mediocre ,not because of the style but due to the lack of interesting ideas and atmosphere.

That was my exact thought the first listen because it's literally just one theme the entire song, but when you listen again, it becomes more potent, and you notice some little variations at key moments that give it a good kick.  I like it.

 

This sounds like classic Mono without all of the strings and I will happily eat that shit up until I die.  One Step More is my favorite album and this reminds me of that, so I am very happy. 

 

EDIT:   Also, those Pelagic variants are gorgeous but no thanks on that price...  $44.17ppd with uninsured shipping.  Also, you all should know that if you DO get insured shipping, in order to receive a claim for a damaged record you have to surrender the record to the USPS who then determines whether they can sell the record to recover the monetary loss.  You aren't guaranteed to keep the item.  This happened with my Faltre record.  If it's super limited, you likely won't get another from the label and it's totally 50/50 whether the USPS will decide if they can sell your damaged record at auction somewhere to recoup their payment out to you.  Even if you insure it with a foreign carrier, it is the USPS who pays the claim. 

Edited by Gumbo72203

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5 hours ago, voltagedrop said:


Not really sure what you're expecting from an instrumental band of this nature. This is like their 10th album now, so it's kind of obvious to expect something along the same lines of their previous work. Do you expect them to all of a sudden start writing overwhelming orchestral movements with a 100-person choir?

Do you give bands like Mogwai or Tortoise the same kind of flack? This just seems like complaining for the sake of having an opinion.

 

If Mogwai were doing what they were doing 15 years ago, they would actually still be good.

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Mogwai now is as good or better than Mogwai 15 years ago. Every Country's Sun is amazing.

 

I get what @holyvacantsholyhell was saying. The last couple Mono records felt rushed and on repeat mode. Bands like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Caspian have all changed their sound up on recent records, and it's been for the better. You can only listen to so many twinkly crescendo post-rock albums...

 

That said, my buddy was in the studio with Mono when they recorded this and said the record sounds very different and energizing compared to what they've recently done. I think the line-up change has been a key part of that.

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Regarding Mogwai – I think ECS is the best album they’ve released in some time.  For me, it’s leaps beyond Rave Tapes, and probably more engaging than anything they’ve done since Hardcore.  But we have to be realistic and admit that late 90s / early 2000s Mogwai are truly in a class of their own.  Just untouchable and almost unfair to make comparisons to.  What a golden era for such a special band.  Goddamn.

 

New Mono track is fairly tight.  Seemingly a bit repetitive out of the gates but I really got into the driving energy of it.

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Everything after the Hawk is Howling is pretty bad to me but opinions and stuff. I think the fact that they peaked really early with CODY/Rock Action made everything else seem pretty weak to me. Haven’t listened to much of Every Country’s Sun (I’ll take your guys’ word for it and listen to it later) but Hardcore Will Never Die and Rave Tapes were abysmal from where I stand but still haven’t listened to Atomic or that other soundtrack they did either. I’ve been pretty out of the loop with music since I stopped buying records and posting on here frequently.

 

edit: I should probably mention MONO since this thread is about them after all. I like the new song. I sold everything I owned from them years ago for some reason and was just talking to my friend the night before this song was released about how I need to buy those albums again.

Edited by Bronchitis

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1 minute ago, Bronchitis said:

Everything after the Hawk is Howling is pretty bad to me but opinions and stuff. I think the fact that they peaked really early with CODY/Rock Action made everything else seem pretty weak to me. Haven’t listened to much of Every Country’s Sun (I’ll take your guys’ word for it and listen to it later) but Hardcore Will Never Die and Rave Tapes were abysmal from where I stand but still haven’t listened to Atomic or that other soundtrack they did either. I’ve been pretty out of the loop with music since I stopped buying records and posting on here frequently.

If you don’t enjoy Hardcore in any capacity, I probably wouldn’t bother with ECS.  (Just don’t want you to feel like your time is wasted.)  It has some standout moments – Old Poisons is the spiritual successor to Batcat, no doubt – but all-in-all it feels very “new Mogwai”, still, which I’m assuming is not your cup of tea at all.

 

I need to spend a lot more time with Hawk.  Strangely enough, a lot of Mogwai fans cite that as one of their weakest releases.

 

I know this is a Mono thread and all, but damn do I enjoy a good Mogwai chat.

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Posted (edited)

This album is GREAT. Holy crap. Never thought I'd be stoked on a Mono album in 2019 but here we are. Went into this with subzero expectations -- Requiem had no staying power for me and when I heard that they added "electronics" for this new album I thought we'd be seeing a change from bad to worse. Glad I was wrong. This thing blows everything since Hymn out of the water.  Huge Pipal Tree vibes on the title track. "Meet Us Where the Night Ends" and "Sorrow" are colossal, like the mashup between Hymn and One Step we didn't know we needed. I'm still not sold on "Breathe" - the vocals work but the backing instrumentation needed something more. "Parting" is the generic filler we've been worried about, but since it's sandwiched between two of the album's best tracks I'm not too concerned. The orchestral swells that saturated Requiem appear here, but they're only used sporadically, and never as a crutch. The much-lauded "electronics" are barely there, and for me that's a good thing. I feel like I'm finally hearing Mono again, and not the reverb-soaked mess that permeates their last few offerings. Is it the most groundbreaking album in the world? Probably not. But it's a hell of a lot more than what we've been getting for the past decade, and I think that deserves some praise.

 

 

Edited by omik11303

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7 minutes ago, omik11303 said:

This album is GREAT. Holy crap. Never thought I'd be stoked on a Mono album in 2019 but here we are. Went into this with subzero expectations -- Requiem had no staying power for me and when I heard that they added "electronics" for this new album I thought we'd be seeing a change from bad to worse. Glad I was wrong. This thing blows everything since Hymn out of the water.  Huge Pipal Tree vibes on the title track. "Meet Us Where the Night Ends" and "Sorrow" are colossal, like the mashup between Hymn and One Step we didn't know we needed. I'm still not sold on "Breathe" - the vocals work but the backing instrumentation needed something more. "Parting" is the generic filler we've been worried about, but since it's sandwiched between two of the album's best tracks I'm not too concerned. The orchestral swells that saturated Requiem appear here, but they're only used sporadically, and never as a crutch. The much-lauded "electronics" are barely there, and for me that's a good thing. Is it the most groundbreaking album in the world? Probably not. But it's a hell of a lot more than what we've been getting for the past decade, and I think that deserves some praise.

This is the first Mono album I haven't blindly pre-ordered, despite kind of digging the single from months ago.  Really surprised to read this – I should probably order up.

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