Feature: Metamono ‘‘With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics’ and ‘with compliments to Metamono’ playlist.

Tickling My Fancy Music Selection: Fits, Master Plan Inc., Superman Revenge Squad Band. 


Metamono  ‘With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics’  (Instrumentarium)  – 21st October 2013

More attuned to the humanistic virtues of Cluster than to the deadpan automation of Kraftwerk, the Crystal Palace based trio, Metamono, break from the ‘man machine’ dictate to inject some soul back into the electronica movement.

Though borne with a clarion call manifesto of intent, the Metamono sound is one laced with both sophisticated vaporous experimentation and humour; manipulated, guided if you like, by the tour-de-force triumvirate of Jono Podmore (Kumo, Cyclopean and collaborator with Can’s Irmin Schmidt), Paul Conboy (Bomb The Bass) and fine artist, Mark Hill.

Deconstructing the apparatus of algorithmic and impersonal techno for one that harks back to an era of bright-eyed exuberance and discovery, the trio is invigorated if not inspired by, what seem, the restrictions and perimeters of the analogue equipment they’ve chosen to adopt – or as Podmore summarises, “limitations breed resourcefulness”.

Over the last 18-months the trio have been releasing gaseous and chemical formula referencing EPs and singles; their progress followed closely by your humble author, who has reviewed nearly all of them in some capacity or another (see links). For God is In The TV’s recent ‘David Bowie Month’ celebrations mixtape and as a release in its own right (sharing the double A-side with their own ‘Shafty’), they covered the sublime Berlin period peregrination soundscape, ‘Warszawa’; producing a magical tributary revue that doesn’t supersede but manages to sound like it could have predated the original.

The Tape EP (read HERE)

Parcel Post EP (read HERE)

Via the popular crowd-funding hub, Kickstarter, they’ve now produced the debut LP they’d always threatened. Comprising of seventeen-tracks spread over four sides of fluctuating thematic exploration, With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics squelches, simmers, modulates and fidgets through a gravity free environment, from The Orb like preoccupation of our immediate cloud blessed atmosphere to something approaching an unidentified lunar bounding landscape.

Though not easily demarcated, the traversing chapters do change subtly to encompass both the thoughtful and harassed. Starting with the odd mechanical stirrings and busy tweaking twittering sound collages of ‘Uplink’ and continuing to erode bit by bit until reaching the ‘bonkers’ caustic primordial soup finale, ‘Amillaria Solidipes’, on Side Four. A constant feed of chatter and veiled conversation between the ‘instrumentarium’ flight deck of radios, switches and accumulated ‘retro’ equipment permeates as the broadcasts evoke hints of Air Liquide, Brian Eno and the Artificial Intelligence series on Warp records.

Though there’s no mistaking the decade this analogue bank of trickery and dial turning foolery was made, the Metamono excavate and transduce the bleeps, burbles and textures of a period that stretches back decades; passing through the early attempts of Roedelius and Moebius in the 70s to the R&S, Rising High and Machine Codes enriched acid/intelligent techno record labels of the early 90s.

Each side of the album is awash with sonorous and eyebrow rising piques of interest and amusement, the four semi-extemporised suites offering even its own authors a few surprises; gravitating and reaching far beyond their control, as the frequencies and waves interact and fuse, left untethered and free to roam.

In search of a parallel modernistic electronica in an age of square wave dullness and laptop anonymity, then look no further.

Visit the Metamono site for more details HERE

Track List –

A1. Uplink

A2. Linger Langour

A3. Rare Earth Rush

A4. Plums


B1. Blessed Space

B2. Construct

B3. Slenderman

B4. La Grande Peur


C1. Trypnotism

C2. Slippery Jack

C3. Deuce

C4. Fezgate


D1. This Constant

D2. Glowfade

D3. Just Real Enough

D4. Funland

D5. Amillaria Solidipes

Tickling My Fancy Music Selection


Fits  ‘A French Radio Host In America’  –  Available Now

With only the production values of a cheap Casio keyboard and its pre-sets, and the pre-loaded instruments that come free with Garageband, the Pleasant Grove bedroom composer Samuel L. Clarke peaceably fashions a kitschy mix of observational and languorous musings on the ‘pains of being pure of heart’.

Drawn to the Monolith Cocktail’s attention a few months back, Clarke’s less friendly and softened, ‘minimal vignettes of mystery’, Train Station collection (read more about it HERE) had its moments. A succession of EPs and tracks have both preceded and followed, including A French Radio Host In America: the new debut LP/extended EP that collects together Clarke’s first eight songs, ‘EVER!’

Like a low-rent Pavement recorded onto a well-worn cassette player, Clarke under the adopted moniker of Fits conducts a lo-fi symphony of poorly sounding distorted percussion, muffled Wurlitzer, spindly organ and psychedelic playtime melodies. All of which threatens to either wind down to a standstill or break off from lack of interest or energy.

On repeated listens – and due to its short running time you should give it at least a few listens through – the subtle and at times almost accidental sparks of Beatle-esque melody and sentiment, coupled with redolent hints of The Unicorns and Devo, won the Monolith Cocktail over.

From the very first seconds of the opener ‘Not Shine’, the ramshackle, awkward, but majestic-on-a-budget production does all it can to dampen the ambitions of Clarke; obscuring his plaintive slacker vocals to near faint trembling’s from a giddy ether. Deranged from a lack of sleep – as the progressively harassed chorus testifies – our protagonist wilfully riles against the smashing cymbals and chopsticks like organ accompaniment on that track, before resigning himself to the sorrowful state of affairs on the following fairground ditty, ‘Everything Can Be An Acronym’.

It grows stranger and more experimental as the album goes on; ‘How Come We Have Cars If We’re Not Going Anywhere’ sounds like a recording of a recording of Clarke played back on a windy verge, and ‘Interlude Insomniaque’ repeats a backward loop against an incessant undulating modulating wave as a tune threatens to break free.

A cover version of the relatively obscure Manchester Orchestra’s ‘Colly Strangers’ rounds off the LP on a high (technically the ‘bonus track’). A paean and tribute of sorts to one of his ‘girlfriend’s favourite songs’, Clarke’s version is left to drift and build indolently to its final lovesick conclusion.

Linked together in a fey and delicate fashion, this is a modest songbook of ideas; most of which transcend the confines of the bedroom to promise something…well, something grander!

Master Plan Inc.  ‘Master Plan Inc.’   (Jazzman)  – Available Now

Solid grooves from the funk archives of Chicago now as the rare, almost overlooked and laid dormant, private recordings, reel-to-reels and acetates of the Master Plan Inc. finally see the light of day after years spent in obscurity.

Known for their impeccable taste in the spiritual and cosmic jazz genres, the Jazzman label has also been known to dig up some orgasmic, salacious and slick soul from time to time. With the Master Plan they’ve struck gold! Sizzling with deep soul, heralded horns, gospel and funk vocals and succulent basslines the band bounce between mid 70s stormers (‘Intro’), ‘foxy lady’ paeans (‘Heartbreaker’), conscious brotherly love (‘Younger Generation’) and balladry (‘Valarie’).

Hardly a household name or even for that matter a name, the group only ever put out one single – priced at a hefty $2000, if you can find a copy. Far from suffering from a lack of good material (as you’ll hear for yourself), the group suffered instead from the trials and tribulations of plain old bad luck and band member disgruntlement.

A long time coming, but those lost basement studio tapes are now free to air.

The Superman Revenge Squad Band  ‘There Is Nothing More Frightening Than The Passing Of Time’  (Audio Antihero)  – 14th October 2013

Featured us a taster track from a few weeks back, worn and weary troubadour of modern life’s idiosyncrasies, Ben Parker rolled out the ‘plaintive accordion sorbet’, ‘A Funny Thing You Said’ ahead of a new LP. In keeping with the despondent romantic’s verbose take on the real anxieties that face us all, his album is suitably entitled There Is Nothing More Frightening Than The Passing Of Time.

Formerly a leading member of the merchants of  ‘crap town’ resignation, Croydon’s Noseferatu D2, Parker is now sporting the equally baffling if odd non-de plume, The Superman Revenge Squad Band, and once again writing heartfelt prangs of guilt and frustration for the times we’re in.

Not so much ‘modern life is rubbish’ then but just ‘reliably disappointing’, Parker references the foibles and mundane aspects of the digital age through an often self-depreciative gala of hurt and forlorn despair. Whether it’s the fictional character of Rocky Balboa’s brother-in-law Paulie smashing up a pinball machine in Rocky III or the old school pantomime bad guy wrestler Kendo Nagasaki, metaphors are played out through the films, TV, literature and music of the 80s; Parker often looking back at those days with a certain gratitude; thankful in part that he grew up in a time with less pressures, devoid of the omnipresent 24-hour miasma of digitalism. Though hardly nostalgic or even rosy, Parker farms his own past to make sense of the now in both a harassed and elegiac manner.

Galloping through truthful rattled guitar ditties like ‘Lately I’ve Found Myself Regressing’ – filled with great lines like, “I’m so indie I could die, I like to underachieve and call it D.I.Y, but still listen to the radio, still wonder why they don’t wanna play me.” – or picking sweetly through ‘We’re Here For The Duration’, there’s a elegant beauty at work. Some might call it indie, some might lean towards a kind of kitchen sink estate version of folk, but as Parker sings, “Persistence Of Time by Anthrax means more to me than something like Blood On The Tracks…” his influences vary dramatically.

Aptly released by the ‘commercial suicide’ proud Audio Antihero (often gracing the ‘choice’ selective lists of Monolith Cocktail), this alum will be the label’s tenth release. I can’t think of anything more suitable.

One Response to “Our Daily Bread 016”

  1. […] the London trio’s debut album With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics in 2013, the Metamono mavericks once again apply the “back-to-basics” mechanics of an age devoid […]

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