Mono & World's End Girlfriend CD review by Mike Trouchon

Music Reviews
Mono & World's End Girlfriend CD review by Mike Trouchon
Jun 13, 2007, 07:41

MONO & World's End Girlfriend - Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain

MONO & WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain CD

Now here's a frontispiece worthy of not only a string of twinkling lights, but something from which you can hang your whole goddamned evening. And I mean from appetizer to last call. These two Japanese collaborators—one better known for shape-shifting post-rock (Mono), the other for modern comp-inspired electronica (Katsuhiko Maeda, a.k.a. World's End Girlfriend)—have constructed a seamless and utterly beautiful five-part suite of orchestral proportions that explores a world a whole lot bigger than the one the majority of us are inhabiting this very minute. The music develops from a plaintive, neo-classical melody played on a single violin into a polyphony of sonorous themes from what sounds like a whole string section. Added to this are subtle choral incantations, an occasional strummed guitar, ghostly electronic murmurs, and a smattering of a piano and percussion. Eventually Mono's wall-of-guitars emerge from the mist to elevate the proceedings for some real high altitude flying before gently handing it all back to the non-electrified instruments for a ride upon the thermals blowing just above the canopy. Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain is probably closest to something Sigur Ros or A Silver Mt. Zion might craft, but I can't go without mentioning that I hear the spirits of Florian Fricke and Philip Glass in this music as well. Think of the lush cinematic qualities of these two gentlemen's compositions and you'll know what I'm hearing in this collaboration. If you're a cracker jack at math, you can probably even subtract the psychedelic and post-rock elements from Mono's Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined album (which I think is one of their best, btw) and end up with the root equation for Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain. The fact that most folks will trip over this release while swappin' Mogwai boots on Rapidshare is somewhat of a harsh toke, but I'm hopeful that a chance collision with excellence will make the average listener just that much more discriminating. [Temporary Residence]

–Mike Trouchon


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