Monos' music is elusive: if you don't pay enough attention, it blends into the background, becoming an unremarkable soundscape with strange sounds occasionally creeping in. But the moment you focus on it (or listen with headphones, strongly recommended) it becomes immersive and fascinating. Darren Tate and Colin Potter work with the threshold of audibility and familiarity, mixing together vaporous synth textures, field recordings, and electronics to create aural surrealism. Sunny Day in Saginomiya is more demanding than Nightfall Sunshine. The album consists of two extended tracks (over 20 minutes each). The title track is constructed over field recordings made by Daisuke Suzuki. The whole landscape (a Japanese garden, it seems) is clearly audible at first, but as the piece gains in density only the birds, some of them singing from frighteningly close range, signal that the field recording is still there. The other elements are woven into a shifting soundscape with no beginning or end. It is a beautiful experience. "October" adopts a very different perspective. In this piece, the sound of a helicopter provides the basso continuo, accompanied by motor hums and a barely audible synthesizer patch. On top of this basic layer are added odd, disgruntling sounds: a creaking floor, fart sounds in a metal pipe, and various other found sounds, all introduced carefully and purposefully placed into the composition, even though they are often loud, disturb the mood of the backbone layer, and alter -- even contradict -- the peacefulness of the first piece.
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