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Friday, 9 June 2017

Living The Mono Life

I wrote this without knowing what the election result was so I've no idea if this morning is one of elation or despair. Despair I expect. Anything else is a bonus.

Some of the teenagers I work with like to say (ironically I think) 'I didn't choose the thug life, the thug life chose me'. East Yorkshire's Mark Osborne didn't choose the thug life, he chose the Mono Life. Mono Life's first album, released back in 2015, was a Bagging Area end of year favourite. A couple of weeks ago he released his second, Sandalphon. I wanted to give it a good listen and live with it rather than type up a hasty review. This means that he's had to fight for airtime with some recent big hitters who've put out new albums in May, Jane Weaver and The Charlatans mainly.

Sandalphon is an album not just a collection of tracks put together, it works as a coherent whole, buzzing with ideas and invention from start to finish. Opening track The Science Of Love And Deception with juddering synths and beats is a powerful statement of intent and from there on he covers the gamut of electronic styles, from acid house to big beat, via Crockett And Tubbs, an 80s style electronic funk. Phantoms rides in on a cool breakbeat and bleeps. Radiate echoes Leftfield's dub techno. Dusky is low slung and optimistic. Closer The End (Keep Smiling) opens with washes of noise and builds from there, darker and less sunny than much of what's gone before it. Some piano finds its way in and then the distortion and static returns for the end. Mono Life has one foot in the past for sure, dance music's back pages are where this comes from, but there's also an eye looking forwards to an electronic future.


Jake Sniper said...

Your making it sound good to me,I'll have to give it a listen. This mornings result not what I feared, although living in Scotland not what I expected. If that makes any sense to anyone but me.

Anonymous said...

It turned out to be alright on the night. I feared a Tory majority of 30-40. Seeing that Labour didn't win an outright majority, I think the Tories having to hobble along as a minority government, harassed by Labour and the other progressive parties is preferable, for the time being, to Corbyn leading a minority coalition government and being blamed for everything under the sun.

The Mono Life album is great, by the way.

Brian said...

You must have smiled at least a bit when you woke up this morning. This made me smile: 'I didn't choose the thug life, the thug life chose me'. I'm going to use that often, replacing "thug" as needed. I didn't choose the fat life, the fat life chose me.

Jake Sniper said...

Excellent,really enjoying Sandalphon.

Echorich said...

This sophomore release from Mono Life DOES NOT DISAPPOINT!!! Sandalphone made my entire aparment rumble when I turned it up loud! Destined for a place near the top at the end of the year.

Jake Sniper said...

Same here Echorich, I got told off by my kids again for playing music too loud. Crockett And Tubbs is also a great track and i'm very picky when it comes to records influenced by 80s synth.