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John Chantler


July 7, 2003
CD, Digital, Streaming

Based on the rural Japanese island of Shikoku during the making of this album, John Chantler’s Monoke is testament to his time spent there. 

An articulate and precisely crafted album, Monoke is a musical exploration of the sounds, textures and rhythms of the everyday life that surrounds him. The record has a reflective and considered tone; the result of many months preparation and dedication. 

With a meager amount of equipment, Chantler first stepped into this record in 2001 and set himself the task of creating an album that not only reflected the pace and temperament of his locality, but also challenged his musical methodologies and abilities. A few months passed and his position working at a local school brought Chantler in contact with the school’s music department. Before long his album was reaping the benefits of this new exposure to a wealth of instruments. 

Recording hours of source material from the drums kits, melodicas, glockenspiels and keyboards, Monoke’s sonic appearance was directly shaped by the items he found in the school. 

In essence Monoke is a detailed blend of melting melodies, shifting rhythms and dreamlike arrangements that form a sonic portrait of Japan. If Hiroshige Utagawa had made his Ukiyo-e prints with sound, pushing his sonic colours through a screen of distance and alienation – perhaps it might have sounded like this.