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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


MONK, THELONIOUS Alone Is San Francisco (Doxy) lp 24.00

MONK, THELONIOUS Alone Is San Francisco (Doxy) lp 24.00

album cover MONK, THELONIOUS Monk (Columbia) cd 6.98
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
Originally released in 1965, Monk featured Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, Larry Gales on bass and Ben Riley on drums, along with Monk himself tickling the ivories of course. Beautiful ballads and blues here, both originals and standards. Includes "April In Paris", "Teo", and "Panonnica". Jaunty, classic stuff. This version also appends 3 extra bonus tracks to the album, and comes complete with new liner notes.
MPEG Stream: "April In Paris (Take 6)"
MPEG Stream: "Pannonica (Retake 2)"
MPEG Stream: "Teo (Album Version)"

album cover MONK, THELONIOUS Monk (Columbia) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
Originally released in 1965, Monk featured Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, Larry Gales on bass and Ben Riley on drums, along with Monk himself tickling the ivories of course. Beautiful ballads and blues here, both originals and standards. Includes "April In Paris", "Teo", and "Panonnica". Jaunty, classic stuff. This version also appends 3 extra bonus tracks to the album, and comes complete with new liner notes.
MPEG Stream: "April In Paris (Take 6)"
MPEG Stream: "Pannonica (Retake 2)"
MPEG Stream: "Teo (Album Version)"

album cover MONK, THELONIOUS QUARTET WITH JOHN COLTRANE At Carnegie Hall (Blue Note) cd 17.98
Long lost in the Library Of Congress, now out on cd! As archival jazz releases go, this is a big deal. And you can see why if you just go look at who the artists are.

MONKEES, THE Head (Rhino) lp 29.00

album cover MONKEES, THE Head (Rhino) dvd 17.98
Psychedelic, surreal, bizarre, expansive, campy, politically charged, charming, stylized, kitschy, technicolorful, captivating. Oh my god, what the heck could all of those adjectives apply to? The Monkees' Head of course! Yup, it is all of that and so much more! If you've passed on watching Head in the past because you saw The Monkees' name on it, you've been seriously missing out on a work that is *exactly* whatever you might think The Monkees and their music was, but it also reaches far beyond their scope as well as that of more shall we say 'serious' auteurs... and successfully so. Co-written and co-produced by Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson, this 1968 movie continues to kick ass almost forty years after its original release. Seriously, DO NOT MISS THIS!

album cover MONKEES, THE Headquarters - Collector's Edition (Rhino) 2cd 25.00
A couple of years ago you might've heard us gushing about how happy we were that the Monkees' movie Head had finally been released on dvd. If you somehow missed it, please visit our review AND see the movie posthaste! Well, we're happy to report that much like they did for the early Bee Gees' albums (which we were equally stoked about!), Rhino Records has reissued three early Monkees' full lengths in deluxe 2cd editions -- 1966's self-titled, 1967's Headquarters, and their fourth full length Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones Ltd. Many might still scoff at this band as being prefab pretty boy fluff, but hearing these albums today just may quell the doubters for good and (re)charm fans of '60s pop, both of the innocuous vanilla and more wildly tripped out flavors. Sure, they could dish out the toothsome teen idol syrup scientifically formulate to make the young girls swoon, but they could also nail a fantastic pop hook, a paisley psych trip-out, a solid country rock bootstomp, and more. Yep, they had their fingers in pretty much every musical style of the decade, and they (yes, along with some expert producers and other songwriters) pretty much expertly navigated each one of them. Album highlights: the delicious pop of "You Just May Be The One" and the comparatively bizarre "Randy Scoue Git"!
These deluxe versions include mono and stereo versions, bonus rare tracks and plentiful liner notes and photos. Above all else, these reissues are simply a damn delightful good time!
MPEG Stream: "You Just May Be The One"
MPEG Stream: "Randy Scoue Git"

album cover MONKEES, THE Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. - Collector's Edition (Rhino) 2cd 23.00
A couple of years ago you might've heard us gushing about how happy we were that the Monkees' movie Head had finally been released on dvd. If you somehow missed it, please visit our review AND see the movie posthaste! Well, we're happy to report that much like they did for the early Bee Gees' albums (which we were equally stoked about!), Rhino Records has reissued three early Monkees' full lengths in deluxe 2cd editions -- 1966's self-titled, 1967's Headquarters, and their fourth full length Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones Ltd. Many might still scoff at this band as being prefab pretty boy fluff, but hearing these albums today just may quell the doubters for good and (re)charm fans of '60s pop, both of the innocuous vanilla and more wildly tripped out flavors. Sure, they could dish out the toothsome teen idol syrup scientifically formulate to make the young girls swoon, but they could also nail a fantastic pop hook, a paisley psych trip-out, a solid country rock bootstomp, and more. Yep, they had their fingers in pretty much every musical style of the decade, and they (yes, along with some expert producers and other songwriters) pretty much expertly navigated each one of them. Album highlights: "What Am I Doing Hangin' Round" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday"! Yeah, we know those are obvious choices, but can you blame us? Pop doesn't get much better than this!
These deluxe versions include mono and stereo versions, bonus rare tracks and plentiful liner notes and photos. Above all else, these reissues are simply a damn delightful good time!
MPEG Stream: "What Am I Doing Hangin' Round"
MPEG Stream: "Pleasant Valley Sunday"

MONKEES, THE s/t - Collector's Edition (Rhino) 2cd 25.00
A couple of years ago you might've heard us gushing about how happy we were that the Monkees' movie Head had finally been released on dvd. If you somehow missed it, please visit our review AND see the movie posthaste! Well, we're happy to report that much like they did for the early Bee Gees' albums (which we were equally stoked about!), Rhino Records has reissued three early Monkees' full lengths in deluxe 2cd editions -- 1966's self-titled, 1967's Headquarters, and their fourth full length Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones Ltd. Many might still scoff at this band as being prefab pretty boy fluff, but hearing these albums today just may quell the doubters for good and (re)charm fans of '60s pop, both of the innocuous vanilla and more wildly tripped out flavors. Sure, they could dish out the toothsome teen idol syrup scientifically formulate to make the young girls swoon, but they could also nail a fantastic pop hook, a paisley psych trip-out, a solid country rock bootstomp, and more. Yep, they had their fingers in pretty much every musical style of the decade, and they (yes, along with some expert producers and other songwriters) pretty much expertly navigated each one of them. Album highlights: "Sweet Young Thing" and "Last Train To Clarksville".
These deluxe versions include mono and stereo versions, bonus rare tracks and plentiful liner notes and photos. Above all else, these reissues are simply a damn delightful good time!
MPEG Stream: "Sweet Young Thing"
MPEG Stream: "Last Train To Clarksville"

album cover MONKEYWRENCH Gabriel's Horn (Birdman) cd 14.98

MONKEYWRENCH, THE Electric Children (Estrus) cd 14.98
Finally, another full length from The Monkeywrench, Mark and Steve from Mudhoney, Tom from Gas Huffer, the infamous Tim Kerr and some guy named Martin. And it's on Estrus, where they belonged all along.
Drunken and garagey and surprisingly not all that unlike Mudhoney. A definite fix for those of us who miss Mudhoney (who aren't breaking up like they were intending to). Awesome.

MONKEYWRENCH, THE Sugarman/The Pusher (Estrus) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
No... it really can't be! But Yep, it gosh darn is. The Monkeywrench are back after a mule's age. Please don't ask me what a mule's age is. Just figure it's a pretty long time. you may better know The Monkeywrench as: Mudhoney's Mark Arm and Steve Turner, Gas Huffer guitarist Tom Price, Martin Bland, and the infamous Tim Kerr. Many moons ago, these fine fellows released an awesome bourbon and reverb-drenched fiery full-length on SubPop. Join them today in the ol' saloon as they perform "Sugarman" by Jesus Rodriguez and Hoyt Axton's "The Pusher" as only they know how. The latter features that familiar raspy howl courtesy of Mr. Arm. Sigh, very cool.

album cover MONKS Black Monk Time (Light In The Attic) cd 15.98
Oh Happy Day! Another pre-list aQ classic returns to see the light, and we finally get to write a review of it! Back in the day (nearly thirteen years ago!) when we first moved into our current digs from our old storefront on 24th street, the first reissue of Black Monk Time from 1966 was on constant rotation, right next to Os Mutantes, Sounds of Doomsday Cults, North American Frogs, Neutral Milk Motel and of course, The Conet Project. Sadly, it eventually went out of print before we ever got to express how we felt about it on the list. And now enough time has passed between represses, that one of our own (younger) employees didn't get the Monks reference on last month's Wire Magazine cover featuring SUNNO)))!
Formed in the mid '60s by five ex-GIs stationed in Germany, the band mastered a minimalist sixties freakbeat sound driven more by amphetamines than by songwriting ability. But their masterstroke was to adopt another kind of confrontational militant image to match its biting commentary on war, dehumanized social mores and fucked up romance. Dressed in all black matching uniforms with white knotted rope ties to match their painted white instruments, the final touch was to shave their heads in the middle like a classic monks tonsure. Thus The Monks were born! Penning primitive stompers like "Shut Up" and "I Hate You" ("I hate you with a passion, baby... but call me!") with searing organ swells, fuzzed bass and electric banjo over martial and polka rhythms adding to the overall weirdness. Keep in mind this was 1966 and outside of the US, where the terms, psych, punk, and garage had yet to be coined! Their lone album and two singles disappeared as quickly as they came, but have gained a heavy cult following over the years, culminating in a string of reissues and an autobiography by bassist Eddie Shaw. This fine reissue combines the full album, a couple of live and unreleased cuts not featured on previous reissues, plus a full booklet with essays, history and praises from just about everybody from Dead Moon to the White Stripes. Fucking Essential!!!!!!
MPEG Stream: "Shut Up"
MPEG Stream: "I Hate You"
MPEG Stream: "Complication"
MPEG Stream: "Pretty Suzanne"

MONKS Black Monk Time (International) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Formed in the mid '60s by five ex-GIs stationed in Germany, the band mastered a minimalist sixties freakbeat sound driven more by amphetamines than by songwriting ability. But their masterstroke was to adopt another kind of confrontational militant image to match its biting commentary on war, dehumanized social mores and fucked up romance. Dressed in all black matching uniforms with white knotted rope ties to match their painted white instruments, the final touch was to shave their heads in the middle like a classic monks tonsure. Thus The Monks were born! Penning primitive stompers like "Shut Up" and "I Hate You" ("I hate you with a passion, baby... but call me!") with searing organ swells, fuzzed bass and electric banjo over martial and polka rhythms adding to the overall weirdness. Keep in mind this was 1966 and outside of the US, where the terms, psych, punk, and garage had yet to be coined! Their lone album and two singles disappeared as quickly as they came, but have gained a heavy cult following over the years, culminating in a string of reissues and an autobiography by bassist Eddie Shaw. This fine reissue combines the full album, a couple of live and unreleased cuts not featured on previous reissues, plus a full booklet with essays, history and praises from just about everybody from Dead Moon to the White Stripes. Fucking Essential!!!!!!
MPEG Stream: "Shut Up"
MPEG Stream: "I Hate You"
MPEG Stream: "Complication"
MPEG Stream: "Pretty Suzanne"

album cover MONKS Black Monk Time (Light In The Attic) 2lp 26.00
Yay, repressed! Light In The Attic first reissued this on vinyl 3 years ago, but that's been out of print for the past year or two. Now it's back, still a classic, essential. What we said before for those that missed it:
Now reissued on Deluxe Double Vinyl, thereby making any record collection without it, incomplete!
Oh Happy Day! Another pre-list aQ classic returns to see the light, and we finally get to write a review of it! Back in the day, circa 1996 when we first moved into our current digs from our old storefront on 24th street, the first reissue of 1966's Black Monk Time was on constant rotation, right next to Os Mutantes, Sounds of Doomsday Cults, North American Frogs, Neutral Milk Motel and of course, The Conet Project. Sadly, it eventually went out of print before we ever got to express how we felt about it on the list. And now enough time has passed between represses, that one of our own (younger) employees didn't get the Monks reference on last month's Wire Magazine cover featuring SUNNO)))!
Formed in the mid '60s by five ex-GIs stationed in Germany, the band mastered a minimalist sixties freakbeat sound driven more by amphetamines than by songwriting ability. But their masterstroke was to adopt another kind of confrontational militant image to match its biting commentary on war, dehumanized social mores and fucked up romance. Dressed in all black matching uniforms with white knotted rope ties to match their painted white instruments, the final touch was to shave their heads in the middle like a classic monks tonsure. Thus The Monks were born! Penning primitive stompers like "Shut Up" and "I Hate You" ("I hate you with a passion, baby... but call me!") with searing organ swells, fuzzed bass and electric banjo over martial and polka rhythms adding to the overall weirdness. Keep in mind this was 1966 and outside of the US, where the terms, psych, punk, and garage had yet to be coined! Their lone album and two singles disappeared as quickly as they came, but have gained a heavy cult following over the years, culminating in a string of reissues and an autobiography by bassist Eddie Shaw. This fine reissue combines the full album, a couple of live and unreleased cuts not featured on previous reissues, plus liner notes with essays, history and praises from just about everybody from Dead Moon to the White Stripes.
Fucking Essential!!!!!!
MPEG Stream: "Shut Up"
MPEG Stream: "I Hate You"
MPEG Stream: "Complication"
MPEG Stream: "Pretty Suzanne"

MONKS Five Upstart Americans (Omplatten) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Omplatten, after reissuing those fabulous Os Mutantes records, has dug up the demo tapes from the Monks before their infamous "Black Monk Time" album. Formed in the mid 60s by five ex-GIs stationed in Germany who sported monk-styled coiffures, The Monks mastered a minimalist 60's freakbeat driven more by amphetamines than by songwriting ability. Even in demo form, these proto-punk songs still pack a nasty punch with caustic organ chords and a wall of reverb drenching the primitive rhythms--indeed, to these ears they don't sound that much different from the actual "Black Monk Time" sessions. But, with the domestic cd reissue of *that* sadly out of print (and with some differences in song-selection anyway) this disc will be essential for Monks novices, and tempting to fans.

MONKS Let's Start A Beat (Varese Sarabande) cd 16.98
The legendary ex-GI beat group that invented nihilistic punk rock back in '66, return thirty years later for a phenomenal reunion show (at the garage-rock fest Cavestomp '99 in New York City), documented here. Even though their trademark monk-style haircuts are more or less naturally occuring now, these guys don't seem all that old from the sounds on this disc! Nothing lame about this at all! Monk Time '99 sounds just like Monk Time '66, wild and crazy, and all Monks fans will be happy with this, it's a blast. There's also some cd-rom video footage of the show for those with computers.

album cover MONNO Error (Conspiracy) cd 17.98
Monno are definitely a noise rock band. In fact, we're not even sure if they are a band, so maybe they're just noise rock. But actually, this doesn't really rock in the traditional sense, so maybe it's just noise. But the thing is, it's NOT. Monno ARE a band. And they DO rock. And they are about as noisy as a rock band can get. They produce a dense sonic squall that sounds like someone took Merzbow, Total, Skullflower and SUNNO))), chopped em all up, sprayed them out of thousand watt speakers, at a drummer who head down, resolutely pounds his way through a dense cloud of caustic, skin peeling, ear shredding noise. Rock. There are occasional riffs, and they totally slay, like a way more blown out Scratch Acid, and there are massive slithering low end bass grooves, but then the vocals, holy fuck, it's like some feral howls being run through a million distortion pedals with dying batteries and broadcast through a wall of tweeters with broken speaker cones. All wrapped in barbed wire-like swirls of shrieking tangled feedback. So harsh and heavy and so fucking great. Fans of Violent Students, Butthole Surfers, Clockcleaner and just loud fucking rocknoise in general will dig this in a big way!
Packaged in an oversized black on metallic silver booklet, with original artwork from Dennis Tyfus (who runs the Ultra Eczema label!).
MPEG Stream: "Necronomik"
MPEG Stream: "Tiny Fossils"

album cover MONNO Error (Conspiracy) lp 29.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Our pals at Conspiracy Records, a label/distro based in Belgium, who in the past have brought us records by Boris, Jesu, Shora and more, are this year celebrating their 10 year anniversary. A decade of amazing music. From a bedroom based punk label, to one of Europe's most important and influential labels and distros, all we can say is HURRAY! And HUZZAH! It's always so exciting, when a bunch of folks get together to spread the word about great music, great WEIRD music, and survive, even thrive. Such is the case with Conspiracy. And as if that weren't already enough, just knowing that some great people were selling some amazing music, those sweeties at Conspiracy have decided to share the love with us. And you.
To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they've decided to do a super limited subscription series, 12 records over 12 months, each limited to somewhere between 200-500 copies, ONLY available to series subscribers. EXCEPT, they've decided to let AQ have 20 copies of each, we're the only store with copies of these subscriber only lps, and for a breif moment, we can offer them to you, our loyal AQ customers. Needless to say we are thrilled, as the series lineup reads like a who's who of AQ faves, as well as including a handful of lesser knowns. All pressed on super thick vinyl, and packaged in killer hand screened original art sleeves. But be warned, we only got 20 of each, and we will run out fast and we will not be able to get more. When we do run out, there is a chance you can still get more (or even subscribe to the series) from Conspiracy direct, but what that means is act fast and prepare to leave empty handed.
Monno are definitely a noise rock band. In fact, we're not even sure if they are a band, so maybe they're just noise rock. But actually, this doesn't really rock in the traditional sense, so maybe it's just noise. But the thing is, it's NOT. Monno ARE a band. And they DO rock. And they are about as noisy as a rock band can get. They produce a dense sonic squall that sounds like someone took Merzbow, Total, Skullflower and SUNNO))), chopped em all up, sprayed them out of thousand watt speakers, at a drummer who head down, resolutely pounds his way through a dense cloud of caustic, skin peeling, ear shredding noise. Rock. There are occasional riffs, and they totally slay, like a way more blown out Scratch Acid, and there are massive slithering low end bass grooves, but then the vocals, holy fuck, it's like some feral howls being run through a million distortion pedals with dying batteries and broadcast through a wall of tweeters with broken speaker cones. All wrapped in barbed wire-like swirls of shrieking tangled feedback. So harsh and heavy and so fucking great. Fans of Violent Students, Butthole Surfers, Clockcleaner and just loud fucking rocknoise in general will dig this in a big way!
Original artwork by artist Dennis Tyfus (who runs the Ultra Eczema label!), printed on hand silkscreened sleeves. The LP's are pressed on super thick 180 gram vinyl and housed in thick plastic sleeves.
MPEG Stream: "Necronomik"
MPEG Stream: "Tiny Fossils"

MONNO Ghosts (Conspiracy) cd 15.98

MONNO Ghosts (Conspiracy) lp 15.98

album cover MONO Gone: A Collection Of EPs 2000-2007 (Temporary Residence Ltd.) cd 11.98
With all the talk of metallic post rock, or post metal, or whatever, bands like Isis and Pelican and the Grails and Conifer and Tides and a bunch of others always get referenced, but it seems like folks forget about Japan's Mono, who traverse similar sonic territory, but in many ways do it a whole lot better.
We've loved pretty much everything we've heard from Mono, but this singles and rarities compilation has really kicked our asses, so much so, that whenever someone is playing this in the store, inevitably anyone else working, or anyone in the store shopping, ends up heading to the counter to find out what's playing.
The thing with Mono, sure their loping moody post rock soundscapes are gorgeous, expansive and epic, they definitely hold their moody melancholy own in the esteemed company of bands like Mogwai and Godspeed and Sigur Ros, but they make that sound their own, steeped with emotion, gorgeous melodies, and deft arrangements, but where they really shine is in the heavy parts, they don't just get louder, and they don't just unleash big downtuned riffs, they EXPLODE into dense swaths of noisy fury, often drawn out into length stretches of swirling static and glitchy crunchy white noise, dizzying and gloriously suffocating. The end of "Black Woods" is the perfect example, what begins as a jangly mathy workout, builds into a full on fury, with the drums crumbling into clouds of cymbal sizzle, the guitars becoming jagged shards, enormous cresting waves of feedback swallowing everything whole, abrasive and intense, caustic and furiously fiery, sounding a bit like maybe Merzbow got a hold of the tapes. Elsewhere, the band seems to let loose any semblance of song structure, allowing the guitars to spill out of the amps like thick black pools of sound, but always to be deftly drawn back in by some gorgeous spidery guitar line, or simple soft melody.
And while the proceedings definitely tend toward the loping and melodic, the drawn out and pretty, and don't get us wrong, a whole record of nothing but Mono's dreamy moodiness would suit us just fine, it's the band's ability to simply destroy, to musically torch everything within sight, to turn guitars and drums into incendiary devices, all without ever completely letting the song crumble into chaos, always eventually finding their way back to a place of beauty and melody, that really makes Mono so special.
Lost compiles all of Mono's essential musical odds and ends: their track from the split album with Pelican, two out of print eps, their track from the TRL Thankful compilation and all the tracks from their Travels In Constants disc.
Amazing packaging too: die cut tray card, with the cd visible through the back of the jewel case, and a corresponding die cut slip case, which also allows the cd to be visible, the whole thing ends up looking like some cool mysterious map like buried treasure artifact.
MPEG Stream: "Finlandia"
MPEG Stream: "Black Woods"
MPEG Stream: "Yearning"

album cover MONO Hymn To The Immortal Wind (Temporary Residence Ltd.) cd 14.98
There was perhaps a time, when Japanese post rockers Mono were just that, a post rock group, but that time is long gone, now, they are anything but, or more accurately, so much more.
Mono take the soaring sweeping epics of groups like Godspeed into an entirely different dimension. Their sound is so grandiose, so emotional, so absolutley and stunningly epic, that it almost ceases to be rock. Sure there's plenty of rock like bombast, many of the songs culminate in a huge flurry of crashing drums and soaring guitars, but in the grand scheme of Mono's sound, those moments are fleeting. Like the old adage that it's more about the journey than the destination, the sound of Mono is all about the journey, the band weave elaborate soundscapes, that smolder and glow, rhythms pulse and throb, guitars are blurred into lush sonic backdrops, melodies are delicate and crystalline, the sound while instrumental, manages to sound choral, a sky full of weeping strings and angelic hymns. We can only assume that if Arvo Part, or Morton Feldman started a rock band, it would sound something like Mono. Hymn is like some post rock score to a massive role playing game, Final Fantasy 100 or something.... How can you not envision sweeping vistas, endless seas, crumbling cities, heaving seas beneath blackened skies, these sounds evoke so much emotion (this is REAL emo!) and passion, it does seem almost too reductive to call them a post rock band, or to call this 'rock', to us it sounds more like a symphony played by a rock band, or better yet a symphony attempting to play rock music, the result is grand, majestic, moving, stirring, something more momentous than a mere record, or a rock concert, Mono manage to conjure up a sound that seems to be alive, living, something capable of adapting and growing, every song sounding like a collection of sounds blossoming into still greater sounds, eventually a field of blossoming sound becoming Mono. It sometimes sounds like the most dramatic moments from every film you've ever seen distilled and converted into sound, then arranged into music... hyperbole? Probably. But the more we listen to Hymn To The Immortal, the more we're convinced that there's something truly magical going on here. And somehow, without even realizing it, we've listened to this record about 20 times in the last few days, which is most definitely saying something...
MPEG Stream: "Ashes In The Snow"
MPEG Stream: "Burial At Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn"

album cover MONO Hymn To The Immortal Wind (Temporary Residence Ltd.) 2lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
There was perhaps a time, when Japanese post rockers Mono were just that, a post rock group, but that time is long gone, now, they are anything but, or more accurately, so much more.
Mono take the soaring sweeping epics of groups like Godspeed into an entirely different dimension. Their sound is so grandiose, so emotional, so absolutley and stunningly epic, that it almost ceases to be rock. Sure there's plenty of rock like bombast, many of the songs culminate in a huge flurry of crashing drums and soaring guitars, but in the grand scheme of Mono's sound, those moments are fleeting. Like the old adage that it's more about the journey than the destination, the sound of Mono is all about the journey, the band weave elaborate soundscapes, that smolder and glow, rhythms pulse and throb, guitars are blurred into lush sonic backdrops, melodies are delicate and crystalline, the sound while instrumental, manages to sound choral, a sky full of weeping strings and angelic hymns. We can only assume that if Arvo Part, or Morton Feldman started a rock band, it would sound something like Mono. Hymn is like some post rock score to a massive role playing game, Final Fantasy 100 or something.... How can you not envision sweeping vistas, endless seas, crumbling cities, heaving seas beneath blackened skies, these sounds evoke so much emotion (this is REAL emo!) and passion, it does seem almost too reductive to call them a post rock band, or to call this 'rock', to us it sounds more like a symphony played by a rock band, or better yet a symphony attempting to play rock music, the result is grand, majestic, moving, stirring, something more momentous than a mere record, or a rock concert, Mono manage to conjure up a sound that seems to be alive, living, something capable of adapting and growing, every song sounding like a collection of sounds blossoming into still greater sounds, eventually a field of blossoming sound becoming Mono. It sometimes sounds like the most dramatic moments from every film you've ever seen distilled and converted into sound, then arranged into music... hyperbole? Probably. But the more we listen to Hymn To The Immortal, the more we're convinced that there's something truly magical going on here. And somehow, without even realizing it, we've listened to this record about 20 times in the last few days, which is most definitely saying something...
MPEG Stream: "Ashes In The Snow"
MPEG Stream: "Burial At Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn"

album cover MONO New York Soundtracks (Arena Rock Recording Co.) cd 13.98

album cover MONO The Sky Remains The Same As Ever (Temporary Residence Ltd.) dvd 17.98

album cover MONO Under The Pipal Tree (Tzadik) cd 16.98
Mono are an instrumental rock quartet from Tokyo making their debut on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Let us quote from the obi: "[Mono combine] elements of minimalism, psychedelia and trance rock to create a distinctive and powerful new sound via John Fahey, Sonic Youth and the Grateful Dead." Hmm, intriguing. So we listened to the disc. Our first thought: whoever wrote the obi obviously has never heard MOGWAI! Our second thought: or maybe they just never actually listened to this Mono disc? 'Cause this sure sounds like Mogwai, and about umpteen other Mogwai-like post rock bands. I mean, this could easily be Explosions In The Sky or lots of other things on Temporary Residence. That said, this IS quite a nice effort in that vein, with quiet pretty parts (with boring drumming though) and searing, loud, psychedelic guitar epics both. Not bad at all, just not a "new sound". (But, it also sure doesn't sound like the Grateful Dead, so that's a relief.) Our advice: Zorn and/or his Tzadik staff need to get hip to what the kids are listening to (like the kids in Mono) before announcing another "remarkable" new find. After all, Zorn's the guy responsible for turning a lot of people in the US on to the likes of Boredoms and the Ruins, so his standard for "remarkable" you'd expect to be a bit higher! That aside, post-rock fans won't be disappointed by Mono.
RealAudio clip: "Karelia (Opus 2)"
RealAudio clip: "Jackie Says"

album cover MONO Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined (Temporary Residence Ltd.) cd 14.98
Is Temporary Residence looking to get some kind of award for having the longest album titles of any record label? Well, the long album title kind of goes right along with the music produced by this Japanese band, as they're masters of the epic, soft-loud, post-rock-athon. Instrumental, slow-building majesty, that will sound familiar to, and be welcomed by, fans of Mogwai, Kinski, Godspeed, Explosions In The Sky, etc. Not groundbreaking per se, but a consistent band who does what they do really well. Funnily enough, when we reviewed their debut on Tzadik a few years ago, we said that they'd fit in perfectly with a lot of the acts on the TRL roster, and now here they are! TRL followers will not be disappointed.
MPEG Stream: "16.12"
MPEG Stream: "Mere Your Pathetic Light"

album cover MONO You Are There (Temporary Residence Ltd.) cd 14.98
If you've followed Tokyo's Mono, you will know that their brand of post-rock is the kind that is equal parts orchestrated beauty and slow building metallic eruptions. This sound gets them mentioned in the same breath as kindred spirits Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky. There is no denying that they aren't really reinventing this sound by now, but what they are doing is releasing really consistent and good records one after the other. This one unfolds really nicely as an entire album. The slow build, the pretty beginning, the subtle tension building, and then the loud eruption which breaks down in shimmering waves. Unlike some of their contemporaries, they have kept their songs vocal free and we thank them for that as we can all attest to the fact that so often post rock or metallic post rock or whatever you want to call it can suffer from some pretty uninspired sounding vocals thrown sort of randomly on top. You get the feeling listening to this record that Mono are quite particular and precise in a way that doesn't feel forced but instead you can feel their labor and thought as you listen to every note on this record.
MPEG Stream: "Are You There?"
MPEG Stream: "Moonlight"

album cover MONO You Are There (Human Highway) lp 15.98
If you've followed Tokyo's Mono, you will know that their brand of post-rock is the kind that is equal parts orchestrated beauty and slow building metallic eruptions. This sound gets them mentioned in the same breath as kindred spirits Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky. There is no denying that they aren't really reinventing this sound by now, but what they are doing is releasing really consistent and good records one after the other. This one unfolds really nicely as an entire album. The slow build, the pretty beginning, the subtle tension building, and then the loud eruption which breaks down in shimmering waves. Unlike some of their contemporaries, they have kept their songs vocal free and we thank them for that as we can all attest to the fact that so often post rock or metallic post rock or whatever you want to call it can suffer from some pretty uninspired sounding vocals thrown sort of randomly on top. You get the feeling listening to this record that Mono are quite particular and precise in a way that doesn't feel forced but instead you can feel their labor and thought as you listen to every note on this record.
MPEG Stream: "Are You There?"
MPEG Stream: "Moonlight"

album cover MONO & WORLD END'S GIRLFRIEND Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain (Temporary Residence Ltd.) cd 14.98
Wow. This collaboration between Japanese epic art rockers Mono and their equally arty countrymen World's End Girlfriend is nothing short of gorgeous. Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain is an absolutely breathtaking five-part mood piece that enshrouds the listener in looming desolate shadows cast by classically composed guitar, strings, piano, saxophone and even a fleeting vocal chorus. A staggeringly moving work definitely for fans of Godspeed You Black Mogwai or anyone else looking to have their jaw dropped by some seriously bleak beauty.
MPEG Stream: "Trailer 1"
MPEG Stream: "Trailer 5"

album cover MONO / PELICAN split (Temporary Residence Ltd.) lp 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As some of you already probably know, this limited 12" is a split release on both NYC based post rock label Temprorary Residence, and now-L.A. based thinking man's metal label Hydra Head. Accordingly there are about 7 or 8 different versions, some on Hydra Head, some on TRL, some with different colored labels, but you know what? That's just tough. We have to draw the line somewhere, and it's now right here. We have about 30 copies of the Temporary Residence version, which is already out of print. When we run out of these, we might get some of the HH version(s). Not sure which ones. This collectable vinyl business is beginning to obscure the whole reason we all buy records, because we love music, and we love to hear amazing music, and this record is absolutely fantastic. So try to stop worrying about the color of the vinyl or the number pressed or any of that stuff and just pick this up because it's so damn beautiful. Pelican deliver a massive slice of gorgeously grandiose post rock, sweeping and emotional, melancholy and but weirdly hopeful with its minor key arrangement. Not a trace of 'metal' to be found here. Which is fine by us. Imagine a slightly heavier version of the song that plays during the final scene at the end of the movie, after the boy has gotten the girl and we finally realize everything is going to be okay. It sounds a little like that. Really beautiful. The second track makes up for it though, as James Plotkin (Khanate, Joy of Disease) takes Pelican at their dirgiest / sludgiest and adds tons of extra grind and grit and grrr and effects and crumbling distortion and malfunctioning electronics. Like your favorite Pelican song dipped in blood and rolled in the dirt. Wow.
Mono, who are often touted as being metal, stick closer to their mighty epic post rock sound with a sidelong track that is as Godspeed You Black Emperor as a non-Godspeed band is likely to get. Brooding and melancholy, building to a huge explosive coda, before drifting back into a creeping maudlin dirge, that sort of drifts and fades into the dark. So nice. And as we mentioned before, far too limited.

album cover MONO / PELICAN split (Hydra Head Industries) lp 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As some of you already probably know, this limited 12" is a split release on both NYC based post rock label Temprorary Residence, and L.A. based "thinking man's metal" label Hydra Head. Accordingly there are multiple versions, different colored vinyl, some on Hydra Head, some on TRL, some with different colored labels, etc. But you know what? That's just tough. We have to draw the line somewhere, and it's now right here. We sold out of the Temporary Residence version, which is now out of print. We now have about 25 copies of the Hydra Head version, which we would imagine is also out of print by now. We have all different colors: white, green, gold, and black. We have so few that these are limited to one per customer, and it will be totally random which color you get (we'll go through the colored vinyl copies first). This collectable vinyl business is beginning to obscure the whole reason we all buy records, because we love music, and we love to hear amazing music, and this record is absolutely fantastic. So try to stop worrying about the color of the vinyl or the number pressed or any of that stuff and just pick this up because it's so damn beautiful. Pelican deliver a massive slice of gorgeously grandiose post rock, sweeping and emotional, melancholy and but weirdly hopeful with its minor key arrangement. Not a trace of 'metal' to be found here. Which is fine by us. Imagine a slightly heavier version of the song that plays during the final scene at the end of the movie, after the boy has gotten the girl and we finally realize everything is going to be okay. It sounds a little like that. Really beautiful. The second track makes up for it though, as James Plotkin (Khanate, Joy of Disease) takes Pelican at their dirgiest / sludgiest and adds tons of extra grind and grit and grrr and effects and crumbling distortion and malfunctioning electronics. Like your favorite Pelican song dipped in blood and rolled in the dirt. Wow.
Mono, who are often touted as being metal, stick closer to their mighty epic post rock sound with a sidelong track that is as Godspeed You Black Emperor as a non-Godspeed band is likely to get. Brooding and melancholy, building to a huge explosive coda, before drifting back into a creeping maudlin dirge, that sort of drifts and fades into the dark. So nice. And as we mentioned before, far too limited.

MONO PAUSE Peeping Through The Listen Hole (Electro Motive Records) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brand new lp by East Bay's Mono Pause. Taking cues from the early days of Thinking Fellers and Sun City Girls then building on it, Mono Pause's compositions range from off kilter ethno-prankster-rock, to seemingly semi-German classic psych, to improv skronk. The multitude of such musical tangents are at times discreet and others brilliantly blended. Quite good.

album cover MONO PAUSE / AAVIKKO El Cebo / Of Stomping Men (Seeland) 7" 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Split between east-bay ethno-rockers Mono Pause and Icelandic organ power-trio Aavikko, with each band covering the other's work. Mono Pause takes a mighty fine stab at "El Cebo", slowing down the tempo and filling out the arrangement with guitar, ud (mandolin? other ethnic-lute-thingy?), whacked synths, drums, bass, trumpet and more. After a Kraftwerk style vocoder intro, Aavikko, for their part, do almost the opposite with their arrangement of their chosen Mono Pause tune: stripping it down to fit their organ, organ and drum format and speeding up the tempo to a lively jaunt. Very purdy cover art on this Seeland release, makes it worth the slightly steep 7" price. We wonder if Seeland has designs on possibly reissuing some of that out of print Aavikko stuff.
RealAudio clip: MONO PAUSE "El Cebo"
RealAudio clip: AAVIKKO "Of Stomping Men"

album cover MONOBROW s/t (Meatlocker) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Years and years and years ago (2001!), we reviewed a record by a Canadian seventies worshipping hard rock combo with the bizarre name of Sir Hedgehog, and it was one of those classic records pretty much all the aQ heavy rockers here were obsessed with, we sold a ton too, and always sort of wondered what happened to those guys. Well, apparently at least some of them now play in another goofily monikered outfit, this one called Monobrow, and while they may not worship the seventies as much as they once did, they're still heavy and hard rocking and psychedelic, the new band is all instrumental though, with a more stoner metal vibe, big riffs, killer leads, bombastic drumming, the songs mathy and a little bit proggy, we even hear a little Fucking Champs, if the Champs were on MeteorCity. And actually, the deeper we get into the record, maybe these guys haven't ditched that seventies love as much as we thought, plenty of proto-metal sounding grooving, wild wah wah guitar freakouts, thick meandering melodic basslines, and songs that are pretty goddamn catchy considering they're instrumental, as well as pretty dense and proggy, but hell, we can't imagine anyone into heavy psych, stoner metal, riff rock or just classic heaviness, not flipping out over these guys.
Most definitely recommended, and another one of those records we can't seem to stop listening to.
MPEG Stream: "Naught Witch"
MPEG Stream: "From The Brown Sun"
MPEG Stream: "Ministry Queen"
MPEG Stream: "Swan Of The Superplanet"

album cover MONOCHROME SET, THE Love Zombies (Water) cd 15.98
The awesomely titled Love Zombies was record number two from UK post punk combo the Monochrome Set, released a handful of months later then their debut in 1980, and while the band professed that Love Zombies was meant to be more accessible than their Strange Boutique debut, it's hard to get that from the album opening title track, which sounds like it could have come right off Strange Boutique (then again, the records were recorded just months apart), but weirdly enough reminds us of a band that would come way later The Cardiacs, proggy and bombastic and cabaret-like, the music intricate and lush, the vocals crooned and dreamily dramatic, with strange bits of pop bombast and weird production, a buzzing main melody (a synth maybe), some spidery guitar leads, the word 'zombie' chanted ominously, it's hard to believe this was their idea of more accessible. And while the wild tribal drumming that was all over the debut is notably absent, and the vibe is definitely slightly less dark, everything else is still present, the songwriting, the strange arrangements, the fey vox, if anything, Love Zombies reminds us a little bit of another seminal post punk pop reissue, the Cleaners From Venus, we'd imagine most folks who dug those Cleaners reissues would like this as well, although Monochrome Set, especially on Love Zombies, are a whole lot more precious, a bit jazzier for sure, in fact, in the review of Strange Boutique we mention Murray Head and "One Night In Bangkok", which again, much of this reminds us of, but there are plenty of subtle surprises and bits of weirdness here and there, like the garbled freak out opening of "In Love, Cancer?", which sounds like it came straight off a Teenage Filmstars records, but for the most part this is just a classic slab of eighties (post punk) jangle pop.
MPEG Stream: "Love Zombies"
MPEG Stream: "Adeste Fideles"
MPEG Stream: ""In Love, Cancer?""

album cover MONOCHROME SET, THE Love Zombies (4 Men With Beards) lp 17.98
The awesomely titled Love Zombies was record number two from UK post punk combo the Monochrome Set, released a handful of months later then their debut in 1980, and while the band professed that Love Zombies was meant to be more accessible than their Strange Boutique debut, it's hard to get that from the album opening title track, which sounds like it could have come right off Strange Boutique (then again, the records were recorded just months apart), but weirdly enough reminds us of a band that would come way later The Cardiacs, proggy and bombastic and cabaret, the music intricate and lush, the vocals crooned and dreamily dramatic, with strange bits of pop bombast and weird production, a buzzing main melody (a synth maybe), some spidery guitar leads, the word 'zombie' chanted ominously, it's hard to believe this was their idea of more accessible. And while the wild tribal drumming, that was all over the debut is notably absent, and the vibe is definitely slightly less dark, everything else is still present, the songwriting, the strange arrangements, the fey vox, if anything, Love Zombies reminds us a little bit of another seminal post punk pop reissue, the Cleaners From Venus, we'd imagine most folks who dug those Cleaners reissues would like this as well, although Monochrome Set, especially on Love Zombies, are a whole lot more precious, a bit jazzier for sure, in fact, in the review of Strange Boutique we mention Murray Head and "One Night In Bangkok", which again, much of this reminds us of, but there are plenty of subtle surprises and bits of weirdness here and there, like the garbled freak out opening of "In Love, Cancer?", which sounds like it came straight off a Teenage Filmstars records, but for the most part this is just a classic slab of eighties (post punk) jangle pop.
MPEG Stream: "Love Zombies"
MPEG Stream: "Adeste Fideles"
MPEG Stream: ""In Love, Cancer?""

album cover MONOCHROME SET, THE Strange Boutique (Water) cd 15.98
We missed the Monochrome Set the first time around, then again we were only ten or eleven when this record, their debut full length, came out in 1980. But then a few years back, someone turned us on to these guys and we became sort of obsessed, total seminal post punk radness from the UK, catchy and weird and a little bit fey, jangly and hooky, with wild tribal drumming, Morricone-ish guitars, dramatic crooned vox. Apparently, the Monochrome Set was born from a band called the B-Sides, a group that also featured the future Adam Ant, and at least on MC's debut, it's easy to hear that both Adam Ant and the Monochrome guys shared similar influences, especially in the drumming, just give a listen to the "The Monochrome Set (I Presume)", the opening could be an Adam Ant song, big tribal drumming, pounding toms, surrounded by all sorts of jungle sounds, but where Adam Ant would take that song in a more rock direction, the 'Set add some spidery minor key melodies, and the result is almost like a sped up Tom Waits jam, the guitar very Marc Ribot-ish, it's not hard to imagine Waits' raspy growl, but instead, more guitars enter and add a little woozy groove, and then the vocals a sort of sung spoken croon that reminds us a bit of Murray Head ("One Night In Bangkok"!), then the chorus, with it's weird sing songy vocals, it's such a weird, killer song. Our favorite for sure. But the rest of the record is nearly as good. "The Lighter Side Of Dating" unfurls a string of low slung bass pulses underneath some effected guitar strum, and then the drums come in, a dizzying spray of fills, which lead right into an almost Smiths-like chorus, very twee and again dramatic. And so it goes, the record rife with coulda/shoulda been classics, some dark and churning and groovy, others lighter and poppier, with a cabaret streak a mile wide running throughout. So good!
MPEG Stream: "The Monochrome Set (I Presume)"
MPEG Stream: "The Lighter Side Of Dating"
MPEG Stream: "The Puerto Rican Fence Climber"

album cover MONOCHROME SET, THE Strange Boutique (4 Men With Beards) lp 17.98
We missed the Monochrome Set the first time around, then again we were only ten or eleven when this record, their debut full length, came out in 1980. But then a few years back, someone turned us on to these guys and we became sort of obsessed, total seminal post punk radness from the UK, catchy and weird and a little bit fey, jangly and hooky, with wild tribal drumming, Morricone-ish guitars, dramatic crooned vox. Apparently, the Monochrome Set was born from a band called the B-Sides, a group that also featured the future Adam Ant, and at least on MC's debut, it's easy to hear that both Adam Ant and the Monochrome guys shared similar influences, especially in the drumming, just give a listen to the "The Monochrome Set (I Presume)", the opening could be an Adam Ant song, big tribal drumming, pounding toms, surrounded by all sorts of jungle sounds, but where Adam Ant would take that song in a more rock direction, the 'Set add some spidery minor key melodies, and the result is almost like a sped up Tom Waits jam, the guitar very Marc Ribot-ish, it's not hard to imagine Waits' raspy growl, but instead, more guitars enter and add a little woozy groove, and then the vocals a sort of sung spoken croon that reminds us a bit of Murray Head ("One Night In Bangkok"!), then the chorus, with it's weird sing songy vocals, it's such a weird, killer song. Our favorite for sure. But the rest of the record is nearly as good. "The Lighter Side Of Dating" unfurls a string of low slung bass pulses underneath some effected guitar strum, and then the drums come in, a dizzying spray of fills, which lead right into an almost Smiths-like chorus, very twee and again dramatic. And so it goes, the record rife with coulda/shoulda been classics, some dark and churning and groovy, others lighter and poppier, with a cabaret streak a mile wide running throughout. So good!
MPEG Stream: "The Monochrome Set (I Presume)"
MPEG Stream: "The Lighter Side Of Dating"
MPEG Stream: "The Puerto Rican Fence Climber"

MONOCHROME SET, THE The Lost Weekend (Cherry Red) cd 16.98

album cover MONOCHROME SET, THE White Noise : Early Recordings 1975-1977 (Captured Tracks) lp 13.98

album cover MONOCHROMIE Colors In The Dark [Deluxe] (Time Released Sound ) cd 45.00
Local label Time Released Sound unearths yet another dark and dreamy sonic gem, this one fitting perfectly into the label's washed out and wistful modern chamber music aesthetic, but like all the TRS releases, manages to exist in its own mysterious soundworld. Colors In The Dark, by Monochromie, aka French pianist/composer/soundscaper Wilson Trouve, is all lush, layered landscapes of plaintive piano, fans of Lubomyr Melnyk and Anton Batagov will feel right at home, drifts of hushed melodic shimmer, swoonsome swaths of chordal thrum, all swirling softly beneath Trouve's gorgeous piano, the vibe achingly heartfelt, the arrangements sweeping and cinematic. We're definitely reminded of Eluvium, the music on Colors similarly sounding like it could be the perfect score for some low budget indie art film, dramatic and intense, melancholic and emotional, the sound alternately brooding and moody, before slowly morphing into something more warm and washed out. The melodies so lyrical and lilting, the whole thing wreathed in a hazy patina of gauzey soft focus shimmer, some tracks drifting dreamily, others slow building, smoldering and intense. Gorgeous stuff. We're tempted with every TRS release to say it's our favorite, and generally it is, at least until the next one. As always, WAY recommended.
As with all Time Released Sound releases, Colors In The Dark comes in two version, the standard, limited to 200 copies and housed in a full color digipak, and the deluxe, which as always, is totally stunning, this time around, the cd is housed in a printed envelope, affixed to an 8.5" x 8.5" square folder with aluminum screws. The front of the envelope features a diecut cardstock print affixed to the front, printed with silver metallic concentric circles, inside are 4 square prints made from spray stenciled and collaged pieces of vintage wallpaper, all sewn and folded together, everything, held shut with more aluminum screws, which have to be unscrewed to access. So cool. LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Brightness"
MPEG Stream: "Ballade"
MPEG Stream: "Childhood"

album cover MONOCHROMIE Colors In The Dark [Standard] (Time Released Sound ) cd 14.98
Local label Time Released Sound unearths yet another dark and dreamy sonic gem, this one fitting perfectly into the label's washed out and wistful modern chamber music aesthetic, but like all the TRS releases, manages to exist in its own mysterious soundworld. Colors In The Dark, by Monochromie, aka French pianist/composer/soundscaper Wilson Trouve, is all lush, layered landscapes of plaintive piano, fans of Lubomyr Melnyk and Anton Batagov will feel right at home, drifts of hushed melodic shimmer, swoonsome swaths of chordal thrum, all swirling softly beneath Trouve's gorgeous piano, the vibe achingly heartfelt, the arrangements sweeping and cinematic. We're definitely reminded of Eluvium, the music on Colors similarly sounding like it could be the perfect score for some low budget indie art film, dramatic and intense, melancholic and emotional, the sound alternately brooding and moody, before slowly morphing into something more warm and washed out. The melodies so lyrical and lilting, the whole thing wreathed in a hazy patina of gauzey soft focus shimmer, some tracks drifting dreamily, others slow building, smoldering and intense. Gorgeous stuff. We're tempted with every TRS release to say it's our favorite, and generally it is, at least until the next one. As always, WAY recommended.
As with all Time Released Sound releases, Colors In The Dark comes in two version, the standard, limited to 200 copies and housed in a full color digipak, and the deluxe, which as always, is totally stunning, this time around, the cd is housed in a printed envelope, affixed to an 8.5" x 8.5" square folder with aluminum screws. The front of the envelope features a diecut cardstock print affixed to the front, printed with silver metallic concentric circles, inside are 4 square prints made from spray stenciled and collaged pieces of vintage wallpaper, all sewn and folded together, everything, held shut with more aluminum screws, which have to be unscrewed to access. So cool. LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Brightness"
MPEG Stream: "Ballade"
MPEG Stream: "Childhood"

album cover MONOLAKE Cinemascope (Monolake) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Former Chain Reaction mainstays (Chain Reaction is the label that is home to the murky dubbed out minimalist 'heroin house', the only house music anyone here at AQ can stand) Monolake left their former label behind, but you'd never know it, that Chain Reaction sound is still in full effect. On 'Cinemascope', Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles (aka Monolake) take their hazy, grimy house/dub sound and smooth it out a bit. The sound is still music to the ears of Pole / Vladislav Delay / Kit Clayton fans, but it's much dreamier and easy on the ears, a kind of post-apocalyptic chill-out music. Adventurous fans of stuff like Thievery Corp. and Kruder and Dorfmeister might want to give this a chance.
RealAudio clip: "Bicom"
RealAudio clip: "Ping"

album cover MONOLAKE Ghosts (Imbalance Computer Music) cd 16.98
Latest from this long running minimal techno outfit, aka sonic alchemist Robert Henke, and another fantastic excursion into a murky world of mysterious sound, minimal skeletal beats and crunchy, staticky ambience, dubby and this time around, surprisingly big-beat heavy. Long gone are the days of Monolake's 'heroin house' murk, the later releases by Henke displaying a lush sound palette, even at their darkest and moodiest, the sounds themselves are still glistening and prismatic, but Henke never shies away from employing sonic detritus as well, whether that means bursts of static, or sheets of crumbling distortion or clouds of white noise hiss. The title track gives us a glimpse of Monolake's new sound, which is seriously propulsive and downright funky, almost a little jungly, with a distinctive techstep vibe, but wreathed in crackle and crunch, making it sound a little Digital Hardcore as well, but Henke keeps things tight and controlled, so it never veers totally into any of those other realms, it remains mostly tightly coiled and minimal, but Henke also adds some creepy whispered vocodered vocals which add a whole other element.
The rest of the record is not nearly so block rocking (although a few tracks do come close), definitely hewing closer to Henke's more minimal roots, but within that sound, Henke definitely mixes it up, creating some serious headphone ear candy, a lush minimal liquid skitter one second, the beats seemingly made from the sound of marbles or various items rolling on a hard surface, some severe ultra pristine Raster Noton style click and crunch the next, although in both cases Henke definitely adds his own unique twist. There's one track where things get downright housey, complete with buried female vocals and weirdly reverbed handclaps, while elsewhere the sound does occasionally shift into strange buzz drenched metal percussed skitter grooves, or blisses out into gauzey, hazy almost Caretaker sounding ambience, or blossoms into warm whirling almost proggy synthscapes, or oozes into a hushed almost static black ambient rumble. Pretty fantastic stuff, but then, we've sort of come to expect that from Henke's Monolake.
MPEG Stream: "Ghosts"
MPEG Stream: "Taku"
MPEG Stream: "Afterglow"
MPEG Stream: "Hitting The Surface"

album cover MONOLAKE Ghosts (Imbalance Computer Music) 2lp 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL!!
Latest from this long running minimal techno outfit, aka sonic alchemist Robert Henke, and another fantastic excursion into a murky world of mysterious sound, minimal skeletal beats and crunchy, staticky ambience, dubby and this time around, surprisingly big-beat heavy. Long gone are the days of Monolake's 'heroin house' murk, the later releases by Henke displaying a lush sound palette, even at their darkest and moodiest, the sounds themselves are still glistening and prismatic, but Henke never shies away from employing sonic detritus as well, whether that means bursts of static, or sheets of crumbling distortion or clouds of white noise hiss. The title track gives us a glimpse of Monolake's new sound, which is seriously propulsive and downright funky, almost a little jungly, with a distinctive techstep vibe, but wreathed in crackle and crunch, making it sound a little Digital Hardcore as well, but Henke keeps things tight and controlled, so it never veers totally into any of those other realms, it remains mostly tightly coiled and minimal, but Henke also adds some creepy whispered vocodered vocals which add a whole other element.
The rest of the record is not nearly so block rocking (although a few tracks do come close), definitely hewing closer to Henke's more minimal roots, but within that sound, Henke definitely mixes it up, creating some serious headphone ear candy, a lush minimal liquid skitter one second, the beats seemingly made from the sound of marbles or various items rolling on a hard surface, some severe ultra pristine Raster Noton style click and crunch the next, although in both cases Henke definitely adds his own unique twist. There's one track where things get downright housey, complete with buried female vocals and weirdly reverbed handclaps, while elsewhere the sound does occasionally shift into strange buzz drenched metal percussed skitter grooves, or blisses out into gauzey, hazy almost Caretaker sounding ambience, or blossoms into warm whirling almost proggy synthscapes, or oozes into a hushed almost static black ambient rumble. Pretty fantastic stuff, but then, we've sort of come to expect that from Henke's Monolake.
MPEG Stream: "Ghosts"
MPEG Stream: "Taku"
MPEG Stream: "Afterglow"
MPEG Stream: "Hitting The Surface"

MONOLAKE Gobi: The Desert EP (Monolake) cd 11.98
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This German electronica duo (of Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles) stumbled a bit on their first post-Chain Reaction release, but their second is a return to form with this extended 35 minute track of granular synthesis, dubbed EQ, and slow ambient passages of soft pulsations and bubbling analogue sounds. If you liked Pole or the minimalist ambient of Kit Clayton, you'll be quite pleased by this one!

MONOLAKE Gravity (ml) cd 16.98
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Robert Henke took his Monolake project away from the Chain Reaction label a few years ago, but his recordings still sound as if they would be right at home within the rigid structures of Chain Reaction's techno minimalism. "Gravity" is a sedate album of quick tempo techno beats and deep ambience that Henke unsettles with thunderous digital dub reverberations. Definitely reminiscent of Vladislav Delay and Pole. This album (which collects a handful of singles onto disc) is a solid if not entirely innovative entry into the realm of armchair techno.

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