Monochromie: Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep

monoch_enlightThe main idea behind the new release from Monochromie seems to be to take fairly straightforward melodic instrumentals, then over-modulate certain sounds to grit up the texture and make a contrast. For the most part, this works fairly well, but there are two issues. First, it’s overdone in places. The over-saturated sound in “Birds Never Die” starts right off the bat, and rises to reach a level that just seems to exist only to annoy the listener. I get about halfway in before I need to move along to the next track. “Fireworks” doubles down on the test-your-patience efforts by bring in not just spatters of static like a radio that’s slightly off frequency, but also a high-pitched whine underneath that grinds away at your ears. Second, it’s the only idea at play here, and across the span of nine tracks it gets old. Which is a shame because the underlying music is a pleasure. “Ashes and Sparks” finds a near-perfect balance, with twinkling piano singing along with soft pads under lightly fuzzed accompaniment. “Day and Night of a Scarecrow” works well, its post-rock tune coming in on the heels of what sounds like a recording of light rain. This one builds up nicely, elements lacing into place–piano, chimes that take a counterpoint, shuffling drums–and then, nearing the end, the interference, which Monochromie keeps at a level where it partners with rather than overpowers the rest of the sounds. In this instance it makes a great accent, helping to drive the piece to its conclusion.”Insomnia,” the last track, does away with the distortion almost entirely, replacing it with a resonance-based drone that draws a virtually unwavering line through another piano melody and a lovely vocal sample. The drone has a mind-soothing effect and the piece overall is dreamily ethereal. Unfortunate that it’s at the end of the disc we get a taste of what might have been had it not been for all that fuzziness. There is quite a bit of very good material on Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep, but you’re asked to dig through too much of one thing to find it.

Available from Fluttery Records.

One thought on “Monochromie: Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep

  1. Hello John, I just listened to some of the tracks and totally agree with your comments. It is a shame they have done this as some of the tracks are really nice apart from the excess unrequired noise.

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