Echo Location: Mono

Hymn to the Immortal Wind Japanese post-rockers Mono, attain symphonic dimensions.

You can hear an audio version of this blog with Mono’s music.

Most composers would take offense if the orchestra playing their music was wearing ear plugs.  That was the case with the Wordless Music Orchestra when they performed with the Japanese band Mono in New York City in May.  But Mono founder, Takaakira Goto wasn’t insulted.

Takaakira Goto: Yeah, yeah, yeah. especially my guitar sound, guitar volume is totally crazy.

Mono is nothing if not loud as Takaakira Goto and Yoda bend down on their low stools, feeding their guitars through a distorted wall of sound.  When Taka formed Mono, his conception of an instrumental rock band was born as much from necessity as desire.

Takaakira Goto: I had a band, which always had a singer but the singer always hated my guitar sound because I’m always so big. [laughs]

Mono isn’t a noise band.  Over the last decade, they’ve been performing a minimalist symphonic brand of instrumental guitar rock, with a sound that has electric storms, but also delicate modal reveries.  Their latest album, Hymn to the Immortal Wind, was made with Steve Albini who produced Nirvana, The Pixies and Flogging Molly.  It’s a soundtrack for a fable-like story that’s scored for a full orchestra.  Taka had been listening to classical music, especially the sacred minimalists like Arvo Pärt and Henryck Gorecki.

Takaakira Goto: For me, good sounds always shake in the air.

Strings don’t sound like strings.  They sound like…

TG: Human choir

And he experiences the same choral effect with his guitars.

Takaakira Goto: Two electric guitars combined, it’s a more beautiful voice of the human.

The name Mono isn’t a nostalgic plea to bring back the Mono audio format.  Taka says he chose it for two reasons.  One was pronunciation.

Takaakira Goto: At first, the pronunciation of Mono was very easy.

But the real reason was for the commitment to a single purpose.

TG: Mono means kind of a single.

Mono is focused on their aspirations towards a symphonic rock.
Their Hymn to the Immortal Wind is released on Temporary Residence.  I’ve got a more extensive interview with Mono next Monday including comments from Steve Albini.  This has been an Echo Location.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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One Response to “Echo Location: Mono”

  1. this is regret Says:

    nice article

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