Posts Tagged ‘Mono’

Japanese instrumental rock band MONO have shared the new official live music video "Nowhere, Now Here" performed and recorded at London’s historic Barbican Hall on December 14, 2019 as part of the 20 year anniversary celebration with the Platinum Anniversary Orchestra, formally known as the National Youth String Orchestra.

Created by one of the band’s longtime partners Ogino Design, featuring a beautifully captured live recording of the night by Matt Cook and footage by Honeycomb Films, the video brings back the memory of the night vividly almost like a short film. Guitarist Taka states,

‘We’re excited to reveal our new live video taken from our 20 year anniversary special show at Barbican Hall in London on December 14, 2019. The featured song "Nowhere, Now Here" is a song about heading towards the light from the darkness. This is a song we especially wanted you to hear during the current pandemic. We sincerely hope that we can meet everyone again at our shows soon.’

The full recording of the night will be released as a live album, "Beyond the Past • Live in London with the Platinum Anniversary Orchestra", on March 19, 2021 via Pelagic Records, on 3xLP and 2xCD with a 40-page photo book.

Meticulously mastered by Bob Weston and presented here in its entire two-hour glory, Beyond the Past is one of the most essential MONO recordings. Packaged in a triple gatefold with accompanying 40-page photo book, this is the rare document of an event that is an event in and of itself.

Watch the video now:

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MONO

When an album contains just three tracks, you know before you even hear a note that it’s going to be possessed of epic qualities. Similarly, when a band’s pitch includes ‘RIYL bands like Swans, MONO, lots of layered drums and percussion, ambient soundscapes, and wall of sound guitar and big strings’, (and I think it’s pretty much public knowledge by now that I do), then the same applies, and so needless to say I was all over this in an instant.

The first track, ‘The Gift’, is a twenty-minute behemoth, a sweeping exploration that builds from tense strings of the kind that would likely be at home on a Netflix period drama into something altogether more awe-inspiring, as the drums rumble like distant thunder at a gathering pace and intensity. Over its immense span, it leads the listener on a journey through an array of soundscapes, and there’s not only considerable atmosphere being conjured here, but the music also has a very visual aspect. You feel as if you’re being transported through different scenes, and at times, are creeping cautiously and peering around corners, while at others, staring out from a high plateau overlooking immense vistas that stretch further than the eye can see.

This is very much latterday Swans providing the inspiration here, with the expansive instrumental passages and near-ambient stretches that came to define releases from The Seer to The Glowing Man via To Be Kind, each of which stretched over a full two hours apiece. However, solarminds’ compositional approach and overall sound is quite different, leaning very much toward more conventional post-rock tropes (but without the contrivances of, say, Sigur Rós) and while there are some immense percussion-driven crescendos, with the strong-centric instrumentation, they don’t hit the explosive peaks of, say, Explosions in the Sky or Her Name is Calla. None of these are bad things, and while the sheer scale of their music does definitely sit within the domain occupied by MONO.

‘The Visit’ begins with an amorphous mass of dank, dark ambience, and is thirteen minutes of elongated, undulating drones that twist, turn, scrape and screed against a tumultuous barrage of percussion.

Closer ‘The Lie’ marks a significant departure, as the sound of heavy rain and extraneous noise gives way to a near -acappela vocal, an acoustic guitar, muffled and distant, providing the sparsest of accompaniment. It’s here they’re most reminiscent of Her Name is Calla at their most minimal, stripped-back, and folky, and it’s a delicate, tender experience that grows in emotional intensity and pulls at the gut with its starkness, its rawness.

Dissolving in a rumble of thunder, it’s a fitting conclusion to an album that, beneath some smooth surfaces, presents some quite troubled currents in the depths.

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Japanese instrumental rock band MONO will return to Europe in 2021. Hoping to reunite everyone through music again as they prepare for their new album, lead guitarist Taka comments:

"We’re excited to be able to return and give you live music again after then, almost a year-long of an unfortunate global health crisis. Through the real loud live experience, we hope to re-connect, share hope and rejoice again with you all.

The tour will be supported by A.A. Williams.

Tickets on sale Friday 17th July from: www.monoofjapan.com

MONO w/ A.A Williams:

18/03 – NO Oslo, Jakob

19/03 – SE Stockholm, Sodra Teatern

20/03 – DK Copenhagen, Pumpehuset

21/03 – DE Hamburg, Uebel & Gefahrlich

22/03 – DE Berlin, Columbia Theater

23/03 – DE Cologne, Luxor

24/03 – CH Zurich, Mascotte

25/03 – CH Bulle, Ebolition

26/03 – FR Toulouse, Le Rex

27/03 – FR Biarritz, Atabal

29/03 – PT Porto, Hard Club

30/03 – PT Lisbon, LAV

31/03 – ES Seville, Custom

01/04 – ES Murcia, Garaj

02/04 – ES Madrid, Cats

03/04 – ES Barcelona, Apolo 2

05/04 – FR Besancon, L’Antonnoir

06/04 – FR Paris, Trabendo

07/04 – BE Antwerp, Zappa

08/04 – FR Lille, Aeronef

10/04 – UK London, Lafayette

11/04 – UK London, EartH

13/04 – UK Glasgow, Oran Mor

14/04 – UK Leeds, City Varieties

Recorded with producer Steve Albini, Mono released their 10th album ‘Nowhere Now Here’ in January 2019 via Pelagic Records before ending the year with ‘Beyond The Past’ 20th anniversary shows in London in December.

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Having just ended their European tour to a packed out audience in Manchester, MONO will return for one more show in the north of England for 2019 as co-headliners for the City Hall Ballroom Stage at this year’s Tramlines Fringe alongside AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR.

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Once again NMC Live will be taking over Sheffield City Hall Ballroom with the finest post-everything sounds and noise for Tramlines. Having hosted the likes of Alcest, Basement, Nordic Giants, Oathbreaker and more.

AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR and MONO will be joined by A. A. WILLIAMS, BODY HOUND, BOSS KELOID, SVALBARD and TRIGGER THUMB.

Doors are from 3 p.m and tickets priced at a mere £6 in advance from www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk

The stage is running as part of the fringe festivities in the city centre.

Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/273205670285469/

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Pelagic Records – 25th January 2019

Christopher Nosnibor

I’m something of a latecomer to the Mono party, although given their credentials, I can’t fathom for the life of me why I haven’t explored a single one of the nine albums they’ve released over the last twenty years. Too much music, too little time, is probably the only real reason. And, witnessing them live by way of an introduction, my initial impression was only middling: on the night, I found more in Jo Quail’s surging waves of cello and the gritty abrasion of A Storm of Light. But context matters, and I had gone for the other two acts, and so now, with a large gin and a candle for light, I’m ready to approach their latest, the Steve Albini-recorded Nowhere Now Here with fresh ears.

‘After You Comes the Flood’ lifts the curtain on a proggy post-rock crescendo that offers up every shade of grand. It’s a crescendo that doesn’t only sustain, but swell to even more monumental proportions, with layer upon layer of sound and richer, dirtier distortion filling the background.

Quite a deal was made when Mono featured vocals for the first time not so long ago, and the performance of songs with singing seemed to be a major topic of conversation when I caught them in Leeds last year. They’re used sparingly here, and on the vaporous, shoegaze drift of ‘Breathe’, they serve more as another instrument than a focal point.

The string-soaked epic that is the title track again follows what is by now a well-established post-rock formula of long, gradual builds and rapid drops that pull back from the precipice, but it’s so magnificently executed that it would be churlish to criticise. And herein lies the album’s success: much of the material does fall under the broad umbrella of ‘standard’ instrumental post-rock (although acknowledging that Mono were one of the bands who contributed to the creation of a genre whose tag they reject is important), the compositions and their performance are masterclasses in shifting dynamics and delayed gratification. As they lead the listener through ponderous passages of awe-inspiring grace only to reveal towering cathedrals of sound just around the corner, even the predictable forms hold unexpected twists, like the sonic supernova that explodes at 5’39” on ‘Sorrow’.

Steve Albini is perhaps more commonly associated with ‘noisy’ music, but his reluctance to be credited as a producer is a reflection of his abilities as a technician, and the fact he strives to capture the essence of any given band’s sound rather than impose his own vision on their work. With Mono’s method involving playing live in the studio, the pairing makes complete sense, and it’s fair to say that Nowhere Now Here very much captures not only the sound, but the feel of a live show, with the shifting tension, emotional resonance of chiming guitars brooding in the dark, and the exhilarating rush of catharsis that effuses through a truly blistering crescendo. It’s those indefinable, unmanipulable details which make Nowhere Now Here.

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Mono - Nowhere

Mono have released a new the video for ‘Breathe’ taken from their new album, Nowhere Now Here, which is set for release on 25th January (Pelagic Records). Filmed and directed by French film director Julien Levy, this is the first ever Mono track to feature vocals from bassist Tamaki. You can watch the video for ‘Breathe’ here:

Internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail, who released new album Exsolve last week has unveiled her new music video for track ‘Mandrel Cantus’. Jo comments,

Mandrel Cantus is the second track on ‘Exsolve’ and the performance footage was filmed by Simon Kallas whilst creating the four excerpt videos for the rest of the album. Mike Fletcher is in Dunsborough, WA, and I work with Mike on many projects, both my own videos and soundtracks for his work as a landscape videographer and filmmaker. Mike blended his unique imagery to Simon’s footage,  not only complementing the existing four visuals of ‘Exsolve’ but also conjoining the look and feel from previous album videos too. Much of what I do is inspired by landscape, and the internal or psychological mirror of this too, our own personal ‘map’ if you like, and this video encapsulates that completely.

Watch the video for ‘Mandrel Cantus’ here:

Having recently completed a European tour with Mono and A Storm of Light, Jo Quail will be heading out again with Myrkur in December.

European tour w/ Myrkur

03 Dec: SE Stockholm, Vasateatern04/12 – NO Oslo, John Dee

05 Dec: SE Gothenburg, Pustervik

07 Dec: DK Aarhus, Voxhall

08 Dec: DK Copenhagen, Pumpehuset

10 Dec: PL Poznan, U Bazyla

11 Dec: PL Krakow, Kwadrat

13 Dec: HU Budapest, Durer Kert

14 Dec: AT Vienna, Arena

16 Dec: NL Tilburg, 013 KZ

18 Dec UK London, The Dome

19 Dec: UK Bristol, The Fleece

20 Dec: UK Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

21 Dec UK Glasgow, The Great Eastern

22 Dec: – UK Manchester, Gorilla

jq pr © Simon Kallas-2

Christopher Nosnibor

I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Jo Quail: the two occasions I’ve seen her this year as an opening act, she’s been on not only early doors, but within minutes of doors opening. So I’m standing outside, in the rain, hearing the strains of her opening piece and feeling frustrated: the doors, set for 7:30, don’t open until 7:40, but Jo, scheduled for 7:40, starts on time. Still, the fact there’s a substantial queue before doors, and that people have packed to the front immediately on arrival is validation, if validation is needed.

She’s no ordinary cellist, utilizing a vast bank of pedals to conjure pulsing rhythms and a grinding undercurrent which flows fluidly as she builds layer upon layer to form cathedrals of sound – appropriate for a venue which a former church, now restored as a venue, and which boasts some of the most magnificent architecture. Her music is immense and powerful, the experience intense, moving, as the compositions transition between graceful and forceful, and Jo channels the range through her posture, at one with the instrument. The third and final piece, taken from her forthcoming LP opens with thunderous explosions and eerie, haunting shrillness, cultivating a dark, industrial atmosphere. And she certainly knows how to build a sustained crescendo: by the end of her set, I feel like I’ve emerged, battered but triumphant, from a tempest, and the respectable audience show real appreciation for an impressive set.

Jo Quail

Jo Quail

Rewind: while queueing in the rain, some irritatingly superior bozos behind me prate on about this and that. One remarks how the support has a forgettable, generic “adjective, something, something, noun’ name. He checks the event on Facebook on his phone, before trilling ‘A Storm of Light…. Yeah, adjective, something noun…” I turn and point out that ‘storm’ is also a noun, and that the new album’s really good. The smug cret thanks me dismissively and returns to babbling about cake at work and the like. I turn back to wait in silence, alone, and I’m fine with it, not least of all because A Storm of Light more than compensate the cold, damp discomfort of the queue.

With relentless, ever-shifting streams from CCTV intercut with cascading pills and the like projected behind the stage, ASOL play in near darkness and they play hard. Cranking out gritty industrial-tinged, grunge-hued post-punk with a dark, metallic sheen seems most incongruous in the setting, particularly given the nihilistic sociopolitical leanings of the lyrics. But we’re on deconsecrated, renovated ground here, and as much as I’m struck by the contextual juxtaposition, I’m struck by the clarity of the sound, particularly the drums, which cut through and pack a serious punch.

lA Storm of Light

A Storm of Light

Veering between claustrophobically taut frameworks and more organic, Neurosis-like expanses, the band create a sonic space that’s very much their own. And throughout the set, the basis lunges, hard, building in intensity as the set progresses: near the end, his instrument is pretty much scraping the floor, and he steps in front of the monitors to deliver some of the most savagely attacking bass playing you’re likely to witness. Not so much a strong performance as an act of total devastation.

Mono are considerably less abrasive, and I some ways, feel like a little bit of a step down. They sit down to play, for a start. It makes for a mellow atmosphere, but renders them invisible to anyone not in the first few rows, for a start.

Mono

Mono

Unable to get decent sight of the band, I make my way to the back, where the sound is magnificent. I can’t see anything other than smoke and strobes, but it’s ok: Mono aren’t a band to watch, even with the addition of vocals to their arsenal: they’re a band to get lot in. and that, I do. I find myself slowly drifting in the enormity of the experience: the sound, the atmosphere, the space, all contrive to create an immersive experience.

Since the release of her previous album Five Incantations in 2016, internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail has been touring extensively across Europe performing alongside the likes of Boris, Amenra, Caspian, Myrkur and Winterfylleth. Festival performances this year include ArcTanGent, WGT, Dunk! and Tramlines Festival, and two separate concerts at the invitation of Robert Smith for his curation of the Southbank’s Meltdown Festival.

Jo’s new album Exsolve, recorded with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios (Electric Wizard, Primordial, Witchsorrow, Conan), will be released on 2nd November. Watch the trailer with an excerpt of the track ‘Mandrel Cantus’ here:

European tour w/ Mono & A Storm of Light

01 Oct: Bristol, UK, The Fleece

02 Oct: Norwich, UK, Arts Centre

03 Oct: Glasgow, UK, Classic Grand

04 Oct: Newcastle, UK, The Cluny

05 Oct: Leeds, UK, Left Bank

06 Oct: Ghent, BE, De Central

07 Oct: Utrecht, NL, Tivoli De Helling

08 Oct: Bremen, DE, Tower

09 Oct: Dresden, DE, Beatpol

10 Oct: Wiesbaden, DE, Schlachtof

11 Oct: Aarau, CH, Kiff

12 Oct: Lyon, FR, CCO

13 Oct: Barcelona, ES, Aloud Music Festival

14 Oct: Toulouse, FR, Le Rex

15 Oct: Bordeaux, FR, Krakatoa

16 Oct: Orleans, FR, Astrolabe

17 Oct: Heerlen, NL, Nieuwe Nor

18 Oct: Oberhausen, DE, Drucklufthaus

19 Oct: Leeuwarden, NL, Into The Void

20 Oct: Athens, GR, Fuzz Club

22 Oct: St. Petersburg, RU, Zal

23 Oct: Moscow, RU, Zil

European tour w/ Myrkur

03 Dec: SE Stockholm, Vasateatern04/12 – NO Oslo, John Dee

05 Dec: SE Gothenburg, Pustervik

07 Dec: DK Aarhus, Voxhall

08 Dec: DK Copenhagen, Pumpehuset

10 Dec: PL Poznan, U Bazyla

11 Dec: PL Krakow, Kwadrat

13 Dec: HU Budapest, Durer Kert

14 Dec: AT Vienna, Arena

16 Dec: NL Tilburg, 013 KZ

18 Dec UK London, The Dome

19 Dec: UK Bristol, The Fleece

20 Dec: UK Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

21 Dec UK Glasgow, The Great Eastern

22 Dec: – UK Manchester, Gorilla

Jo Quail

MONO are building towards the January release of their new album as well as next year’s 20th anniversary tour with a run of Europe dates in October, with support from Jo Quail.  The band has recently finished working on the new record with Steve Albini and new drummer Dahm. The first single, ‘After You Comes The Flood’, will be released this September.

MONO also has plans to release a short film in collaboration with director Julien Levy coinciding with the release of the first single. In the meantime they have shared a trailer for the tour here:

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Tour dates as follows:

Oct 1, 2018 / The Fleece / Bristol, UK

Oct 2, 2018 / Arts Centre / Norwich, UK

Oct 3, 2018 / Classic Grand / Glasgow, UK

Oct 4, 2018 / The Cluny / Newcastle, UK

Oct 5, 2018 / Left Bank / Leeds, UK

Oct 6, 2018 / De Central / Ghent, BE

Oct 7, 2018 / Tivoli De Helling / Utrecht, NL

Oct 8, 2018 / Tower / Bremen, DE

Oct 9, 2018 / Beatpol / Dresden, DE

Oct 10, 2018 / Schlachthof / Wiesbaden, DE

Oct 11, 2018 / Kiff / Aarau, CH

Oct 12, 2018 / Hard Rock Cafe / Lyon, FR

Oct 13, 2018 / AMFest / Barcelona, ES

Oct 14, 2018 / Le Rex / Toulouse, FR

Oct 15, 2018 / Krakatoa / Bordeaux, FR

Oct 16, 2018 / Astrolabe / Orleans, FR

Oct 17, 2018 / Nieuwe Nor / Heerlen, NL

Oct 18, 2018/ / Drucklufthaus / Oberhausen, DE

Oct 19, 2018 / Into The Void / Leeuwarden, NL

Oct 20, 2018 / Fuzz Club / Athens, GR*

Oct 22, 2018 / Zal / St. Petersburg, RU*

Oct 23, 2018 / Zil / Moscow, RU*

Support by A Storm Of Light & Jo Quail

(* without Jo Quail)

MONO Live in 2016 (Photo by Muto)