The March installment of the Joyful Noise 2013 Flexi Disc Series features an exclusive track from Monotonix! From the city of Tel Aviv, Israel, Monotonix are the most insane motherfuckers in their geographic region. Which is saying a lot. Known for their chaotic, beer-saturating live shows (which typically end with the band being forcibly removed from the venue) Monotonix released their first two albums on the fantastic Drag City label. With their contribution to the Joyful Noise 2013 Flexi Disc series, Monotonix have thrown us a curveball. Their contribution ?Now? is a 6-minute balls to the wall experiment. A far cry from their almost grunge-leaning studio albums, ?Now? is a mostly-instrumental, free-jazz-ish piece ? showing that they are as opposed to musical convention as they are to dive bar security. "Now" is limited to just 1000 copies on 7? Flexi-Disc. This exclusive track will not be released digitally or in any other format. Devotees will notice that the March 2012 installment of our Flexi Disc series was a track by Jad Fair, also called ?Now?. Though this is a complete and utter coincidence, we are thinking of taking a cue from the universe and making it a recurring theme?
Mono: For My Parents
For My Parents is the new album by MONO, the Japanese quartet who ? over the course of half a dozen albums in twice as many years ? has followed their own muse, and in the process have become "one of the most distinctive bands of the 21st century." They are an instrumental rock band whose melodies have grown increasingly lyrical, with increasingly transcendent execution. There is no doubting a MONO song when you hear it, and no denying their uncanny ability to feel perfectly at home in both pristine symphony halls and dirty rock clubs. In the way that only MONO can, For My Parents obliterates that divide, showcasing a sensitivity and maturity that simultaneously acknowledges where they came from, and where they're going. The songwriting is sharper, the dynamics are subtler, and the production is stunning. For the recording, the band once again enlisted The Wordless Music Orchestra for support, and the collaboration has never sounded stronger. The unique combination of soul-stirring melodies, cinematic East-meets-West arrangements, and firm command of elusive emotional intangibles is what makes MONO so...well, so MONO.
MONO: Holy Ground: Live
To celebrate their 10th anniversary as a band ? and the release of their acclaimed new album Hymn To The Immortal Wind ? MONO and Temporary Residence Limted organized a once-in-a-lifetime concert in New York City. In association with the esteemed Wordless Music Series, MONO super-sized their already legendary live show with a 24-piece orchestra. Painstakingly recorded and mixed by famed producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, ISIS, Minus The Bear), Holy Ground brilliantly captures every moment of whispered calm and breathless beauty with patient clarity. Included with the album is a stunning live DVD documenting the entire 90-minute performance, featuring live orchestral versions of many of MONO's most beloved songs. For a decade fans have clamored for a MONO album that matches the catharsis of their infamous live shows, and Holy Ground overwhelmingly delivers.
Mono: Hymn To The Immortal Wind
Just in time for their 10-year anniversary, MONO return with their fifth studio album, the absolutely massive Hymn To The Immortal Wind. The music is naturally majestic, with MONO's trademark wall of noise crashing beautifully against the largest chamber orchestra the band has ever enlisted. The instrumentation is vast, incorporating strings, flutes, organ, piano, glockenspiel and tympani into their standard face-melting set-up. While Hymn continues to mine the cinematic drama inherent in all of MONO's music, the dynamic shifts now come more from dark-to-light instead of quiet-to-loud. The maturity to balance these elements so masterfully has become MONO's strongest virtue.
Mono: One Step More And You Die / New York Soundtracks
Finally back in print on vinyl! Now featuring a bonus album of remixes! After years of enduring hundreds of requests for a repress of MONO's breakthrough second album, One Step More And You Die, we have finally come to our senses. Perhaps it was the increasingly insane eBay prices, or maybe it was the brand new MONO album coming in March. No matter the reason, it's back, and it's bigger and blacker than ever! Rather than simply repress the original single-record version, we decided to include the out-of-print New York Soundtracks album as well, featuring remixes of One Step More songs by Calla, Loren Connors, Jackie-O Motherfucker and more. The expanded two-record set has been beautifully remastered and repackaged with expanded artwork.
Mono: The Sky Remains The Same As Ever
The Sky Remains The Same As Ever is a nearly two-hour document of the recording sessions for You Are There, and the several worldwide tours that followed its release. In addition to the dozen live songs that are documented in all their sweaty fury, the film captures the decidedly less glamorous aspects of being an underground rock band from a foreign country, expressing sentiments through body language out of necessity, and driving...lots and lots of driving. Most effectively, the film displays the friendships that have made MONO's journeys enjoyable, and the fanatical dedication that has made it all possible
Collecting all of MONO's rare and out-of-print non-album tracks, Gone perfectly (and chronologically) displays their astounding growth, from the modest opening notes of "Finlandia" to the scorched finale of "Little Boy (1945-Future)." These tracks are culled from a series of highly sought-after releases, including the Japanese-only debut Hey, You. EP, their split LP with Pelican, the Cameron Crowe-commissioned Memorie dal Futuro vinyl 10", and The Phoenix Tree, their out-of-print EP for the storied Travels In Constants series. All tracks have been beautifully remastered from their original master tapes, with both CD and 3xLP formats boasting absurdly beautiful deluxe packaging.
Mono & world's end girlfriend: Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain
Just before recording their epic disasterpiece You Are There, MONO began collaborating with fellow Tokyo native and modern electronic composer world's end girlfriend. The result is a five-part sojourn of neoclassical grace and luminescence that defies lazy categorization. As dark as the bottom of the ocean, and nearly as otherworldly, Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain finds MONO inhabiting a magical world previously only hinted at in their most orchestral compositions.
Mono: One Step More and You Die (reissue)
Since its original release in 2002, One Step More and You Die has become the monolithic cornerstone of MONO's discography. Every subsequent release has been inevitably (and perhaps unfairly) compared to this album, as if it were the band's high watermark, never to be dethroned. MONO brilliantly answered even the most stubborn of naysayers with this year's transcendent You Are There. To celebrate that release, we dug into their back catalog and pulled out this masterpiece of dark dirge, repackaged with additional artwork. One Step More stared the "sophomore slump" threat square in the face and pummeled it from note one. Four years later we can confidently say that it sounds just as brutal and beautiful as it did the day it was laid to tape.
Mono: You Are There
Throughout their six-year career, MONO has ascended consistently in both popularity and critical acclaim, with record sales and live show attendance corresponding. But still elusive to the Japanese quartet has been the successful translation of their powerful and violently beautiful live performances to their recordings. Despite their albums' masterful subtleties and majestic walls of noise, the consensus has remained that their transcendent live show is simply incomparable.If there is any chance of breaking that spell, it lies in You Are There, without a doubt the prime contender to unite the live and recorded worlds of MONO. Once again captured to tape by Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, IL, the album extends the cinematic drama of 2003's Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined (also recorded by Albini), while surpassing the sinister heaviness of 2002's lauded One Step More and You Die.If Walking Cloud was a nuclear winter, then You Are There is the post-war rebirth; steeped in an ominous creation-via-destruction atmosphere not heard since Neurosis' landmark Enemy of the Sun defined the sound more than a decade ago.You Are There disproves the myth that an increased focus on intricate song structures and string arrangements comes at the expense of youthful energy and inspired aggression. With You Are There, MONO's representation of tragedy comes with an inherent joy, delivered with the hope that in all dark there is equal parts light. They're not heavy like Black Sabbath ? they're heavy like Beethoven.