MONO NO AWARE: Tatemae Honne 2xCD HANDS
There are two versions of this release available right now. One is ‘Tatemae’ and the other is the rather limited deluxe double CD package including ‘Honne’, of which I have been lucky enough to be sent to review. The packaging is nothing short of splendid; imagine a longer, taller version of the trademark smart pack cases that Hands normally release.
‘Tatemae’ opens up with the title track resonating with subtle drones; blissful ambience and a warm rhythmical patter that never exploding, gently paced and what is effectively an intro for what is to come.
Next on the agenda is the up-tempo ‘Freigaenger’, providing more of what fans of this project have come to know, love and expect. Coupled with the hypnotic ‘Blackbox’ it doesn’t take long to settle into the distorted beat madness gripping the listener with an unrelenting assault on the senses that doesn’t give rise to the impression of ever letting up.
The majority of disc one provides a varied range of styles, from the more mid paced affairs of ‘HFF’ and ambient led ‘MMM’, to the utterly insane ‘AI’; and it’s this solid grass roots formula that has allowed MNA to remain at the top of his game. A surprising shift in form throughout provides a key structure to the album that if dictated by one particular format, could have become dull rather quickly and because of that attention to detail, thankfully this doesn’t.
The second disc of this limited edition affair, ‘Honne’ is one that is purely for fans alone. Effectively this does sound like various outtakes of its hombre ‘Tatemae’, with other variations on ambient and broken, disrupted beats. Whilst providing a value for money, alternative-purchasing option for the collector, ‘Honne’ was never going to outshine the main album that as stated earlier, will be readily available only in its singular format. What it does provide however, is some additional listening pleasure for the ever-audio-hungry industrial addict, sealing what is overall a worthy output from one of the power-noise genre’s long-term originals.