Gonno

Remember the Life Is Beautiful

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Arriving a decade after his hard-to-find 2005 debut My Existence, Japanese electronic musician Gonno's second full-length is as bright and optimistic as its title, even as it contains shades of melancholy. Avoiding samples of other artists' material, Gonno constructs his tracks using his own synths and guitars, as well as quirky self-made recordings, such as handclaps and mouth-generated sounds. There's a bit of a psychedelic haze to the album, but it always feels focused and inspired rather than meandering. After beginning with two midtempo cuts, "Stop" dives onto the dancefloor with front-and-center shuffling beats and slowly swirling organ. Following the lush, guitar-driven ambient breather "Beasts in Your Mind," standout track "Across the Sadness" layers shifting shoegaze-influenced guitars under blissful techno beats, sounding slightly wistful but ultimately hopeful. The album ends with one of its most sublime tracks, "Green Days," which layers twinkling pianos, crystalline vibraphone, and ecstatic ride cymbal, skillfully achieving a blissful mood.

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