times cry out in desperation for something new! Obviously. Yet, could be that the new new is old. Old and cheap, shopworn and
simple, useful but uncared-for, lovingly restored...respected.
Metamono is three guys in London, longtime mates
inspired to form a band of sorts –– an affordable band, a non-wasteful
band, a real, true hands-on electronic band –– while sitting round down
the pub. Jono Podmore is a composer/producer/programmer/engineer who as
Kumo is also a musical partner with Irmin Schmidt of Can, and has been
the chief mixmaster for all the recent Can catalog remasterings for CD and vinyl on Spoon Records.
Paul Conboy (a.k.a. APE, CorkerConboy, Soul Circuit) is an electronic
musician with numerous film and TV credits, and has written for and
performed with Bomb The Bass. Mark Hill is primarily a visual artist who
“has contemplated his Korg MS-20 for 25 years and has finally turned the
The trio have recently released a six-song
cassette called Band
which you can inquire about at http://www.metamono.co.uk. Yes, that’s
right, it’s a cassette-only release, as was their limited-edition initial
release, the four-song C15H14O6 .
good-humored power and charming oddness of Metamono derives in the main
from the power of restriction, to use limited means and far more direct
actions to make a sound that lives and breathes, and does it now. Their sound –– generated
with a borrowed, broken, substandard pile of vintage analog synths, ring
modulators, pedal-effects units, dial radios, a siren and theremin –– is
very, very musical, and there are many reasons
for that, as you shall see when you sit around Skype with us and discuss
the matter with Metamono:
BLUEFAT: There’s archness in the manifesto, like
Von Trier would do, but the issue is big: What is the meaning of analog? The
JONO PODMORE: Well, in our case we were talking about
analog purely technically –– because, for example, Paul has been building
a big chunk of the synths that we use; all of Paul’s gear he’s built
himself –– and avoiding using computers to compose the music. I mean, you
think about making music completely differently. It’s interesting, one of
the analogies –– analog-ies –– is, a friend of mine is a graphic
designer, and we refer to him and his job and his fellow artists as pixel
jockeys these days [laughs]. It’s like, someone is an artist, and they turn into a
pixel jockey –– and you give ‘em a job, you get a paint brush or a piece of wood, they fuckin’
love it. That’s kind of what we were trying to liberate when we came up
with the manifesto.
So there’s no cheating, then?
JONO: Paul, is there any cheating?
PAUL CONBOY: It’s not possible to
Why no microphones? Why no mechanical
PAUL: We didn’t want to get
involved in anything like traditional instruments or vocalists, because
we work with those kind of people all the time, and it’s very difficult
to record that sort of stuff, technically, and get it to sound good. Also
it just helps closing a lot of doors to us ––
MARK HILL: We just cut down all the
sound is now available to all musicians everywhere.
has become a flaccid shadow of the social power it once was.
restrict and limit the sound sources and techniques available to us in
LIBERATE the imagination.
ECHO the struggle society endures.
restraints will be our liberties.
limitations will be our aesthetic.
will kick against the pricks.
use a microphone
use digital sound generation or sampling
use mechanical sound generation
use digital sound processing
be afraid of mono
use analogue electronic sound generation
use analogue electronic sound processing
use digital recording and basic editing when no alternative is available
compose and mix simultaneously
build their own or play used instruments