Mono - Neumos - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Mono - Neumos

by Brian Lange. Rating:9 Release Date:2011-12-17

Why are the Japanese so cool? MONO, for one. (See what I did there?)

Formed in Toyko, instrumental band MONO has been creating beautiful soundscapes since 1999.  The band consists of Takaakira Goto and Hideki 'Yoda' Suematsu on guitars, Tamaki Kunishi on bass and keys, and Yasunori Takada on the drums. Incidentally, all of them are also versed on the glockenspiel. 

Their live performance is a palpable and emotional onslaught of all the conceptual elements of a record put into the strata of a small concert venue. Taking the stage without ego or assumption, MONO waste no time entering into their first song, 'Recoil, Ignite', the opening track on their latest LP, Rays of Darkness. Recorded simultaneously to complimentary LP The Last Dawn, the two work in tandem as a double-album of sorts. Two conceptually diverse records, yet constructs of the same story. 

The presentation of droney soundscapes comes forth like an Explosions in the Sky record with Godspeed You! Black Emperor intentions during a samurai uprising in Kyoto. Taka, though sitting down like fellow guitarist Yoda during much of the performance, is anything but static. Often dropping to the floor, the flailing and pedal-mashing delivered anything but a stagnant performance. 

Neumos, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, is perhaps the perfect place for a band like MONO to perform. A room filled with all sorts from the quintessential hipster, the metalhead, the punk rocker, and the teeny-bopper*. 

Upon completion of their performance, over the ecstatic crowd, Taka modestly speaks into the mike in broken English: “Thank you very much, we love coming here to Seattle. We will come back, hopefully next year.”


Recoil, Ignite 

Unseen Harbor 


Pure as Snow

Where We Begin 

Ashes in the Snow 

Everlasting Light


*No teeny-boppers were present.

Comments (3)

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The Japanese are cool, I saw Bo Ningen a few years ago and they were awesome. I need to go to Japan one day.

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You and me both. My friends've told me it's amazing!

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Les Rallizes Denudes!

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