Ho Hum Records (label)
23 January 2012 (released)
16 January 2012
Metamono are an electronic three-piece who abide by a strict (and restrictive) manifesto, such as never using digital sound generation for example.
Their debut EP (available on 10” vinyl as well as digital download)) not only contains four tracks, but a sheet with the manifesto for all and everyone to read. Too long to repeat here, but you can check it out on www.metamono.co.uk and it’s up to you whether you agree with it or not.
The band or collective, more to the point, consists of Paul Conboy (Bomb The Bass) who has built most of the music equipment, as well as composer and producer Jono Podmore (formerly collaborating with The Shamen). He is furthermore in a musical partnership with Irmin Schmidt of German experimental rock group Can. Also aboard is fine artist Mark Hill, who says, "One of our ruling principles is, if you don't have to buy something new, just don't!" Hence the fact that Metamono’s instinctive and improvised compositions use a selection of pre-used, borrowed or hand-built vintage musical equipment.
Tracks ‘XeF4’ and ‘H5NS’ sound like something composed in outer space, there is a little bit of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream or even early Hawkwind at their most experimental ringing through, but the tracks are a lot less melodious. It’s electronic, but not something you could ever dance to and occasionally it sounds rough ‘round the edges/industrial. Imagine sitting in front of a giant screen that displays cosmic and psychedelic patterns, with the music penetrating your brain from beyond.
‘Metahaze’ is another rhythmic attack on the frontal lobe, actually, this one you can kind of move to – albeit best while in a trance-like state. Very cool, in that weird kind of way.
In contrast, ‘Emptygamezone’ is a display of strange noises and sounds that seem to go on forever and in a rather repetitive manner at that, like a needle stuck on a record. In fact, that’s what I thought had happened while listening to it, my needle being stuck on the record! As the band points out, "Being able to download just about any sound imaginable is liberating in one way, but I've found it makes me less creative. Making purely electronic music while rejecting digital technology imposes limitations, but then actually forces you to be more imaginative and resourceful.” Well, imaginative is not a word I would use to describe the musical arrangement of ‘Emptygamezone’…
The tracks are in mono (naturally) and are enhanced by the ethereal sounds of a theremin, a siren and a valve radio. No spoken words or lyrics accompany the compositions, then again – there are enough words to digest in the manifesto.
This is not music you can listen to at any given time, no. You really got to be in the right mood and frame of mind for it, though what frame – well, that’s individual.
Personally, I am not the biggest fan of electronic music, however, I recommend this on the basis that you won’t get to hear anything as unique and bizarre as Metamono very often. It's a concept more than anything else.