Over the past 16 years, MONO have created a few of the most defining albums in the post-rock, MONO are Japanese (it’s as simple as that), and last year, MONO have proven that they can recreate themselves without losing their identity. MONO are the gods of post-rock, so the announcing of Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto’s debut solo album came as a bit of a shocker. Most bands see their members launch solo careers when the band itself shows lack of progress, but in the case of MONO, Taka makes a very unconventional move as “Rays of Darkness” was definite proof of Mono’s youthful versatility. “Delicate Madness” however, shows us that this is no mistake, but rather a brilliant move by a brilliant man.
The album that will grace record stores in roughly two months carries the eccentric title “Classical Punk and Echoes Under the Beauty” and was written and recorded by Taka in 2003. The album title refers to “the dignity and grandeur of classical music [and] the rawness and the high-energy impact of punk rock” that the music is supposed to possess. Taka introduces the album’s first song “Delicate Madness” as a prequel to the six other songs that make up this album and delivers an intricate promise of the suggested greatness and intensity. Neo-classical textures and distorted drums carry the listener through shadows of funeral music and film scores, that manage to evoke the Monoesque, but do not preempt Taka from showing the listener his personal face and feelings.
Along with Taka’s solo album, MONO will also release a limited edition photo-book that contains around 100 pages of black and white photography by Chinese photographer Muto, as well as two CDs of live recordings from the band’s last European tour. Taka mentions:
“We wanted to make this release even more special, so we decided to reveal some sounds from the tour along with the images. The live recordings were done during our last European tour in November and December 2014. Our live sound engineer recorded all of the 26 shows in 15 countries. The quality of the audio material represents MONO appropriately. We are a live band that uses no gimmicks, and that’s exactly what these recordings reveal; live as the sound was captured — no edits, no overdubs.”
“Classical Punk and Echoes Under the Beauty” will be released in Japan by Magniph records on the 22nd of April. The rest of the world will hear the record on the 24th through Pelagic Records, except for Europe which will receive the album on the 27th of April.