Metamono – Warszawa b/w Shafty 7″

Metamono - Warszawa b/w Shafty 7"

Metamono – Warszawa b/w Shafty 7″

Not content with justifiably basking in the glory of compiling last year’s brilliant Can boxset and debuting new material with Cyclopean (alongside Burnt Friedman, Irmin Schimdt and Jaki Liebezeit) in the space of the last year, Jono Podmore returns again already with his retro-futuristic analogue electronica operation Metamono.  Together with bandmates Mark Hill and Paul Conboy, Podmore’s trio clutch a defiantly composed manifesto that adheres to pre-digital era restrictions in order to find refreshed ways of breathing life back into vintage valves, wires and dials.

Following on from the Parcel Post 10” EP and Bambino Lives cassette releases, this double-AA side single is a brief distillation of the Metamono philosophy into a self-packaged 7”.  Perhaps more by accident than design, the A-side rides the current Bowie-is-back zeitgeist by bravely tackling a cover of “Warszawa” from the ‘Berlin trilogy’ LP, Low.  Intriguingly, whereas as the original roamed into the most gothic corners of Bowie’s realms, this sprightly and burbling makeover moves into more free-flowing sci-fi pop territory, akin to the giddier passages of Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity and the first self-titled Silver Apples album.  This is not to say that this wordless reworking doesn’t retain the song’s sense of mystery and atmosphere but there is a lighter more playful edge that is both respectful and reenergising.  The self-penned AA-side “Shafty” somewhat inevitably has a less instant grip on the senses yet it is certainly still engaging.  Driven by skittering bustling beats, squelchy bass sounds and free-wheeling synths that build-up and intermingle at a nimble pace, “Shafty” is like a primitive techno track that throws down a gauntlet to those who prefer their DIY electronica to be made too comfortably and blandly with slick samplers and laptop Pro-Tooling, instead of in a room of trip-hazard cables and over-heating antique equipment.

Perhaps what makes Metamono’s self-set restrictions successful in general is the well-measured tough-in-cheek self-awareness, which prevents any po-faced prurience from obstructing the triangulated charms of three men making music in a room together.  The threesome’s album due later this year could certainly be one to watch. Until then, this 7″ slice of Metamono is a good entry point into the group’s world.

Instrumentarium Records