MONO is a mostly-instrumental band from Japan, whose first release was in 2001. Nowhere Now Here is their tenth album.
If you asked me to place MONO and their music in a genre (something I find difficult for any music but here goes), I would l call them Power Ambient. There are passages in this music that are quiet soft and then there are passages that are loud strong. If I had to compare their sound to another band (a little easier for me than genre placement), I would say they remind me most of the group Explosions In The Sky.
There’s that guitar sound, but other sonic elements are at play here too, perhaps created by electronic instruments, that add textures and layers to the aural atmosphere created by the band.
Here are some of the highlights of the album, for me:
Breathe adds a vocal layer to its slow and dark rhythm. A moody aura.
Title track Nowhere, Now Here has a cinematic feel that is punctuated with drums and a middle crescendo that leads to a climactic finish.
Parting gives forth a modern classical tonality featuring strings and piano.
Meet Us Where The Night Ends moves in with an atmospheric start to a build up with a powerful ending.
All the tracks add up to coherent album that can be easily listened to as a whole piece. I felt no need to skip a track and the sequencing seems perfect.
Unencumbered by lyrics, one can relax and let the music take you on a journey of your own making – you all know I’ve said that about instrumental works. MONO’s Nowhere Now Here fits the bill for engaging the listener and allowing them to do just that.
Music is a universal language that can speak to all.
1. God Bless
2. After You Comes the Flood
4. Nowhere, Now Here
5. Far and Further
8. Meet Us Where the Night Ends
9. Funeral Song
10. Vanishing, Vanishing Maybe
Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto – Guitar
Tamaki – Bass, Piano
Yoda – Guitar
Dahm – Drums
Band Website: www.monoofjapan.com
Here’s a short film inspired by and including the music of one the tracks on this album, After You Comes The Flood.