Album of the Month for April 2017: Mono No Aware

At the end of last month, I wrote about my Book of the Month for April and also our Movie of the Month. I was going to tell you my  Album of the Month then too, but never got around to it then so now here it is my…

Album of the Month for April 2017

homepage_large.2253c3cbTitle: Mono No Aware
Artist: Various Artists
Label: PAN
Release Date: March 17, 2017

Yes, I know it was released in March. However, I didn’t see the review for it in Pitchfork until April 4. And I knew I had to give it a listen, especially after Pitchfork executive editor Mark Richardson described the album like this:

Each track on Mono No Aware is distinctive enough to represent a personal approach, but there are clear connections between them that make the mix feel like a unified whole. A rustling noise lends a given track a kind of “floor,” an earthy grounding absent when purely digital tones hang in a silent space. Small scrapes, tape hiss, and hushed knocks and clangs wind through the album, offering a tactile sense of hearing music in a room.

Small scrapes, tape hiss, and hushed knocks and clangs…that is the kind of music, yes, machine music that I enjoy. And after Richardson further explained individual tracks,

In “Exasthrus (Pane)” by M.E.S.H. (Berlin-based artist James Whipple), clouds of synths are mixed with the sound of feet moving across the floor and rain beating against glass, creating an enveloping nocturnal scene with an undercurrent of tension. “Eliminator” by Helm (London’s Luke Younger) sounds like music enclosed by a copper pipe, the drones echoing in the distance and escaping in a cloud of mist. Kouligas himself contributes “VXOMEG,” which starts with a blast of noise and then transforms into a kind of rusted-out wind chime, the sound of industry meeting the natural world.

I was hooked, listened to the album, and not surprisingly loved it. The set assembled by Bill Kouligas, head of the PAN label based in Berlin, is perfect headphone music. Don’t believe me, give a listen yourself here:

A close second for me was this album, two volumes of the best Italian house music from 1989 to 1993, and a bit more upbeat than Mono No Aware and perfect for summer:

Which album from last month or from any time this year has been on your virtual turntable?

3 thoughts on “Album of the Month for April 2017: Mono No Aware

  1. I’m going to pass these along to my son. He is on a mission to listen to two new (to him) albums every week, and he is always on the lookout for new ones!


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