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LIVE REPORT: Metamono
David Stubbs , September 26th, 2012 11:17

The exponents of all things analogue play the Hörbar in Hamburg

Photograph courtesy of Bruce Atherton and Jana Chiellino

For those who are weary of the spectacle of modern-day electronica as a single man generating toxic, morose drones bathed in the half-light of a Macbook, those who wish to enjoy for an hour or so at least a sense of freedom from the dead weight of postmodernism, layered and ubiquitous, compressed like landfill, whose overbearing referentiality makes us forget there was once such a thing as space and as the future, then look to Metamono.

It's not that Metamono don't offer reminders of the past; but it's a past littered with too-quickly discarded possibilities. Drifting through their joyfully brisk, industrious set tonight are fleeting intimations of Cabaret Voltaire, Robert Rental, Joe Meek, early acid, Moroder, Bowie. Essentially, however, there is an elemental purity about Metamono, which is down to their manifesto.

Their rejection of the sampler, of the digital, of their insistence on “real” instruments in real time adds a bracing sense of the here and now and who knows where and when? To their sound – noises squiggle like glowworms, hove like sheet aluminium, ping about like ball bearings, undiminished by the non-dimensionality of mp3 – more like 3-D.

Tonight, they're fresh from a festival in Denmark, where the relentless vigour of their sonic handiwork literally brought plaster falling from the ceiling in chunks, all over themselves and the revelling throng. As a rule, Metamono like to play at the same level as the audience, indulging their curiosity regarding their wonderful, antique collection of instruments, a rebuke to the downsizing of modern hardware, look on agog as Jono Podmore does his stuff with the Theremin.

The Hörbar, however, is a cinema theatre, and so it's a different sort of experience, one in which you fully take in the synaesthetic experience of their light show and recurring, images of eurythmic dancers. The locals are agog – one young lad in a Swans t-shirt looks like he longs to be beamed up into the green glow emitted by the backdrop, as if into the underbelly of a visiting spacecraft. Metamono are challenging but the challenges they set are to themselves; the resultant sounds are a filip to despair, effervescent, optimistic, infectious, irresistible. Frankly, I find it hard to go see anyone but Metamono right now. If you have yet to experience their friendly assault on the mind, body and senses then I fervently suggest you make it to their all-dayer on September 29 at the Portico Gallery in West Norwood, London.

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