Album of the day: Hypomanie – A City In Mono

With 2012 in its infancy, here’s a worthy record that we overlooked the first time around earlier last year: Praise for Hypomanie‘s A City In Mono from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: Here’s another band for all those folks freaking over the blissed out post black metal jangle pop of groups like Alcest, Amesoeurs, Les Discrets, Sleeping Peonies and all the rest. This Dutch one man band began life as something much more black and grim, but gradually shed all of that as the sound drifted toward something way more shoegazey and poppy.

And that’s essentially what this is, a shoegaze record, a fuzzed out dream pop record, albeit one with buzzing brittle guitars, occasional squalls of frenzied fast picking, and once-in-a-while blast beats, and any of the elements that would normally go toward creating a grim black buzz, are transformed into a prismatic psychedelic shimmer. A fuzzy, a blissed out shoegaze buzz equal parts super sunny jangle pop and slow building instrumental crystalline post rock, soaring and epic and emotional, oozing with glistening melodic shimmer, wreathed in warm sonic swirls.

If we had to pick one band to compare Hypomanie to, it would probably be Slowdive. A sort of blackened post rock Slowdive, but that same sort of wistful melancholia, and epic shoegazey swells, not to mention the occasional sweeping string like synths.

There’s also a huge Jesu vibe in the guitar tone and the epic crescendos (which also remind us of M83), and there’s a strange looped vibe to many of the tracks, as if the songs were constructed and assembled, which gives the whole thing a dizzying, alien feel, which certainly suits the strange dreamlike sounds.

And throughout the record, there are definitely some subtle hints of Hypomanie‘s black metal roots, in the buzzing guitars, the tremelo picking, the strange production, and here and there, the sound does actually explode into some serious black metal, like the closing bit of the opening track, which bursts into some furious soaring frenzied buzzing, anchored to some double kick driven blast beats. But even then it’s all kaleidoscopic and dreamy, the blasting drums buried in the lush sonic swirl, a sound so epic and cinematic and fantastically grandiose.

Gorgeous stuff for sure, and ANYone into the post black metal jangle pop usual suspects (mentioned above), will definitely dig this big time.

At 40 years old, Aquarius is the oldest independent record store in San Francisco. We try to only carry music we love, and we’re always searching for more new, cool, weird and wonderful music. All of which we then share with you, our loyal customers.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 11th, 2012 at 3:16 pm and is filed under 2012, Album of the Day, Roadburn Recommended . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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