Monos - Promotion cd-r
The UK has steadily churned out quality drone records for almost 30 years now thanks to artists like David Jackman, Jonathan Coleclough, Patrick McGinley, Steven Stapleton, and Andrew Chalk to name a few, many of them trading off and collaborating with each other like some beautiful incestuous drone addicted family. Darren Tate and Colin Potter, the brains behind Monos, are no exception, with Tate kick starting his musical output in the group Ora with Andrew Chalk and collaborating with the likes of Andrew Liles, Alio Die, and recently Banks Bailey and Ian Holloway, and Potter who is probably best known for his work with Nurse With Wound has a resume equally if not more impressive than Tate's.
Promotion, being the first ever Monos album was originally released in 2000 on Nil records in a total of three editions of 50 with four different sleeve designs of flowers and leaves and nature things depicted on them. The copy I have is a reissue on Twenty Hertz records that also contains a cool postcard and what appears to be a photographic print of ferns, both in red tint. Creepy and fun.
On the Monos albums to follow Promotion Tate and Potter would delve into deeply saturated drones and manipulated field recordings much like Ora, or Ringstones era Mirror. But the one 32 minute piece that is Promotion is something else altogether. Not a perpetual layered fog but a location recording that sounds like Tate took a microphone, a giant piece of metal and some phase shifters into a vacant lot and used his imagination. To some it would seem an impossible task to pull off an album from such limiting source material, but Tate manages to captivate through subtle foothill oscillations and the more abrasive scraping of metal on concrete. Neither of the elements are ever too present in the foreground but both seem to swell and shift enough labeling them anything but background ambiance. Imagine a more industrial Vacant Lights or if Chris Watson ever collaborated with Maurizio Bianchi (Wait, did they?). I hope you get the idea. The whole thing blows by in a second like most of the good stuff does. 200 copies. You have my blessing.
Listen to samples and get it at Aquarius Records