Brainfeeder don't do too much wrong so hopes are high for this debut album from Mono/Poly (aka Charles Dickerson). Even better news is that Thundercat makes an appearance twanging his bass and Flying Lotus affiliates Niki Randa and Rebekah Raff, plus Mendee Ichikawa (Free Moral Agents) are here too. Mono/Poly already has fans in Erykah Badu and Radiohead and appeared on Thundercats's excellent ‘Apocalypse’. Looks like a winner to me. LP pressed on 180g vinyl with printed innersleeve and download code.
2 reviews. Add your own review.
As with most stuff on Brainfeeder - the prodigious FlyLo's progressive electronic stable - this album spills with a fevered imagination and has a tenderly layered, atmosphere-drenched quality oozing from every pore.
Twinkling ambient euphoria, blissed dream-hop and nebulous downtempo trance infused with subtle light jazzy touches. All this set to a drowsy Clams Casino-paced amble. 'Golden Skies' is an extremely lovely listen from Mono/Poly, one that has so much delicious fantastical stuff happening at every turn you're kind of just rooted to the spot in wonder. The mind swirls in delight. The lips curl into an opiated smile. Love the surprise when Mendee Ichikawa's vocals (the only ones on the album seemingly) hit, quite late on, during 'Empyrean' which recalls the Chromatics at their most horizontal.
To me this is a prime example of supremely well-crafted electronic music, lovingly calibrated with absolutely zero chaff and I simply cannot recommend it enough. Feel that lazy sensual groove and ride it to the end for 'Golden Skies' is a near impeccable gem bursting with positive vibes and needs nothing more saying about it; other than it's an album that demands a completely uninterrupted listen hence I'm late in with this review (again)
8/10 Mark Customer review, 29th August 2014
The first time I heard of Mono/Poly was when lead track 'Ra Rise' appeared on Soundcloud. I listened and after roughly 12 seconds I found myself gawping into space with a 'what the fuck is this?' look slapped across my chops.
I shouldn't have been surprised. Whilst he has released previous work, this is his debut LP on the excellent Brainfeeder label and with a title like 'Ra Rise' I should have expected awe. Given that I should have been better prepared when the second track from the album dropped 'Empyrean'.. but no, I was equally side swiped. The guest vocals by Mendee Ichikawa had me scrapping my jaw off the kitchen floor. Stunning.
The album itself is full of outer space splendour, an ambient trip across the galaxy on the back of Mono/Poly's space horse. The synths are full of squelch and lush texture, while there are loose jazz vibes layered over trippy beats with some techno hype thrown in for good measure. All the things Brainfeeder has become associated with over the past couple of years. As if to hammer the point home Thundercat pops up on closing track 'Gamma' his easily recognisable bass plundering away like a Jazz Viking giving Mono/Poly's melody a solid groove.
In many ways this is the quintessential Brainfeeder release, really nailing what the label is all about.
Mono/Poly shares some common ground with label mate Ras G, they both seem to be buzzing of Sun Ra's "Space is the Place" vibe but moving it into the electronic experimental hip hop sphere with differing but staggering effects.
I'd definitely recommend this album, if your a fan of Brainfeeder then don't even think about, but I also think it's a great starting point for people looking to get into what the label is about. It's experimental without being hard work, and challenging without losing any of the fun. Plus you get to ride a Space Horse.
(Disclaimer: Space Horse not guaranteed)
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- Golden Skies by Mono/Poly
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