Metamono – With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics

Metamono - With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics

Metamono – With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics

After a string of cassette, 10” and 7” releases put over the last few years from the London-based analogue electronica and manifesto-clutching trio, here finally comes Metamono’s debut studio album.  Not content to make a tentative statement, With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics is an engorging 17-track double-LP that opts to deeply explore the full sonic range and peculiarly English eccentricity of Jono Podmore, Mark Hill and Paul Conboy’s collective digital-defying vision.  However, rather than steering listeners into an uninterrupted audio barrage, With The Compliments… is skilfully sequenced to make thoughtful use of its four vinyl sides.

Thus, side one acts as a bridge between the album and its short form predecessors, providing a solid virtual summary of the group’s story so far, through the electro squelch of “Uplink,” the burbling space-pop of “Lingour Langour,” the Radioactivity-era Kraftwerk-meets-drum ‘n’ bass cross-breeding of “Rare Earth Rush” and the primitive techno of “Plums And Custard.”  Side two has a more nuanced approach and is arguably better for it.  Hence, the ghosts in the machine ebb and flow of “Blessed Space” paints with a more atmospheric palette; the elegiac “Construct” and the bustling “Slenderman” pay homages to prime-time Harmonia; and the spooky swirling “La Grande Peur” echoes the dreamier tracts found within Eat Lights Become Lights’ recent Modular Living LP.

Swapping slates over for side three reveals another Metamono gear-change.  Boiling things down to an intense primordial beat-bubbling soup, this third helping reimagines ‘80s/’90s acid-house within the environs of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop rather than The Hacienda.  The final flip over on to side four opens out the most expansive and extreme ends of the Metamono world.  Openly acknowledging the influence of Cabaret Voltaire’s The Voice Of America (an album which Podmore paid tribute to on this very site earlier this year), this passage of more maximalist material goes for disorientating spoken word manipulations (“This Constant” and “Just Real Enough”), post-apocalyptic soundscapes (“Amillaria Solidipes” and “Glowfade”) and skittering synth/percussion melding (“Funland”), closing the collection in a downcast but future opportunities-suggesting mood.

When listened to en masse, With The Compliments Of Nuclear Physics can prove to be a somewhat exhausting experience, which might make it appear like an act of self-indulgence to some.  However, when spun in spaced-out intervals, its four distinct pockets of playfulness, introspection, exhilaration and radicalism uncover a band pushing against a set of self-built boundaries with invigorating invention.  Like many good debut albums, it doesn’t feel like a definitive artistic declaration but more a showcase of ripening possibilities.

Instrumentarium Records