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  • Release Date 2014-03-28
  • Label HANDS
  • Catalog HANDSD182
Mono No Aware are a truly veteran HANDS act, brought to the light of public with the first infusion of label artists around 2000, and with a steady history of releases and performances since. Mono No Aware stands for two things mainly: Unadulterated massively crowd-subjugating Rhythm'n'Noise power, and a subject matter relating to aspects of Japanese culture. For this album Leif Künzel has chosen the concept of Tatemae and Honne as a reference point: The term describes the dichotomy between a person's conduct and publically uttered notions on one hand, and one's true emotions and aspirations on the other. What is considered schizophrenic in a Western society permeated by a belief in psychoanalysis is considered necessary in Japan, in a society forced to live together on a crowded island. So can you then conclude that "Tatemae" is an album produced to match the public's expectations? The first 13 of the 15 tracks are all rhythmic, so much is sure, but the outcome varies greatly: Some tracks are slower, shuffling Rhythm Noise (like the nearly groovy "KFF"), some have an oppressive Power Electronics taste ("Negum", "Alive!"), some tracks kick it Industrial Hardcore style ("Bari X2", "Twyster"), some move along below club-compatible tempo, like the build-up-structure intro "Freigaenger" or the moody "MMM". And yes, some tracks are classic Mono No Aware, a rabble-rousing hyperactive intro followed by rhythmic onslaught. The most archetypal examples of this are "Jadoo" and "Blackbox", and it's those two that also get a bonus remix treatment: Wieloryb redo "Jadoo" in the style of their "Namaste" album, with oriental samples and stop-and-go kickdrum, while Dirty K keep "Blackbox", well, dirty. After all that bustle there's two more to go: "Datum des Verfalls" and "Augen auf und sieh!" are beatless, almost Dark Ambient pieces. "Tatemae" proves to be truly Mono No Aware, but it's Mono No Aware in 2012, with an updated crisp production giving it a modern appearance, featuring quite a bit of variation and detail that renders it fit for use at home as well as in the club.