After aging for 12 years, the solo album by MONO frontman Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto is finally here - it was originally composed and recorded back in 2003! Featuring what will hopefully continue in the direction of engrossing, tension-filled compositions, Classical Punk and Echoes over Beauty has us holding high hopes. Highly recommended for anybody who needs their fix of the finest in contemporary post-rock.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 08 May 2015
I officially decree it a fantastic time to like boilerplate post-rock again. In this time of despair and making jokes on Twitter to make ourselves feel better, the second wave shall become whatever musical wave we’re now on -- let’s say the fifth. Crescendos, am I right? Enough said. They just feel good, and no one’s as adept at filtering greyscale build-ups into gloriously morbid climaxes as one Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto, also known in bold predictive text as That Dude From MONO.
Goto’s solo record is a record of gloriously uncompromised instrumentals, wired around terse string arrangements that echo Godspeed circa ‘Yanqui’ more than Mono circa anything, the violins interpolating with sparse and minimal guitar riffing that makes one feel full of dread and empty of companions. In a good way, though: this record’s isolating vibe makes it sound epic, a record full of agoraphobic fright wrung from despairing melody. The slightness of the drums on this record is what makes it such an impressive feat; Goto’s music can sound suffocating and panoramic without ever driving home a conclusion. It can imply climax while never truly delivering it.
He’s called it ‘Classical Punk and Echoes Over Beauty’, and I can’t think of a more fitting celebration of post-rock’s conflicts. Godspeed always wanted to be a punk band, but all they knew was Henryk Gorecki. This record sounds like Goto’s trying to write more simple and confrontational compositions, eschewing his technical prowess for plain piano chords, haunting strings and emotive guitars. Beauty is a good description, too.
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