Mona De Bo – Kur ir šeit?1/4
by Emīls Vilcāns
Somewhat a year since their 4th release Īstenībā (Actually), the Riga, Latvia based ambient/drone duo Mona De Bo announce their next endeavor Kur ir šeit? (Where is here?). Releasing the first quarter of the album, simply put as 1/4, the act conjures a dark, misty field of consistently vibrating sounds and dotted field-recorded nuances. Album due for release on 11th of March through I Love You Records.
Shedding their peculiar soundscape experiments since the year of 2005, Mona De Bo is one of those precious jewels you might carve when found digging through the Latvian underground music-scene. Consisting of two guys both by the name Edgars, they bring forth an intriguing jazzy slow-paced, kept up by Mr. Eihmanis on drums, soundscape experimentation fueled by the creative guitar and keyboard work of Mr. Rubenis. Combining oozing synth notes, effect-colored guitar, field-recordings and other musical instruments, the duo crafts spacious, pressingly ambient and sometimes even damn-right heavy drones and noise pieces. As, for example, the track Brūkošais Prāts (Crumbling Mind) from their 3rd album Pag, Pag (Wait, Wait) elapses with heavy guitar crashes and continued bashing of the cymbals, instrumentally hinting towards Sunn O))) and Eyehategod. However, still maintaining a melodic touch to the whole thing over 4 albums, even a tad progressive, the band’s up-coming Kur ir Šeit promises to withheld a more minimalistic approach, as the band itself revealed, inspired by avant-garde/contemporary composers La Monte Young and Tony Conrad.
Arriving at this point, when less is more, the opening of Kur ir Šeit? is a fluttering mediative experience. Created out of field-recordings done 2 summers ago and capturing sound movements in different acoustic environments. The 84 minute long album for guitar, drums and harmonies, it’s creative approach and instruments were adapted to the acoustics of Tilza Evangelical Lutheran Church, where the continuous sound managed to develop itself. The oozing soundwave from the start carries you into a limboistic field of mist, where stuck together with a hauntingly distant bass and snare drum-beat. Colliding with other lingering sounds, the buzz harmonizes and transforms numerous times with its pressing peak points and emerging high-pitch notes in the background. The small field-recording nuances of clicking noises, analog humming and snaring add a rather parallel reality sense to it, bringing up the scene of black lodge from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me right in front of my eyes. That said, the track really harmonizes atmospherically with Nervous, Sad, Poor… by Godspeed You! Black Emperor for me, yet its mediative nature insists on an individual and shifting experience with every listen.
Engaging and gripping from the very start, the first quarter of the up-coming album Kur ir Šeit? is a splendid atmosphere builder and a trip of itself. Knowing now the main approach to the sound and it’s flow of the 84 minutes, the interesting part is the development of the overall sound and the approach to the guitar lines. As mentioned before, listing Tony Conrad as their influence for the release, I expect somewhat screachy/noisy and delayed legato notes, as well as the colorful pinches of the field-recording samples. So far, definitely digging it! If you’re in town of Riga around the 11th of March, head over to the Anglican Church and catch them live!