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AK-Mono – Return to N.Y.

AK- MOMO is a Swedish duo, and this is, unbelievably, their first album. The disc is recorded with the employment of two fail-safe aspects: a tinny, Joanna Newsom-like vocal, and an Optigan.


The voice on this disc is SO witchy and gorgeous it takes the blankets off a sleeping baby and makes the hinges creek and the wind howl. Being in an otherwise cozy bed is transformed into a state more akin to being afraid to get out of bed, for fear of the goblins dancing under the full moon in the lawn below.

Then there’s the Optigan, a near-ancient beta-version of the Casio SK-1, but it is a portable, all-in-one keyboard and rhythm section. Its archaic pre-recorded beats all sound mildly like an island tribe constructing huts in the distance—and the pre-fab fills are simple genius! The key tones are muted and imperfect, with a slight vibrato that, again, makes for music that is trying to be soothing, but there just something a little creepy about it. [For a more quirky application of the Optigan, check out Rob Crow (Pinback) side-project, Optiganally Yours.]

This is a really cool album all the way through, for say, a night of drinking wine and paging through your favorite magazine. You will want to be able to stop and listen to the lyrics and musical details at times; yet, you can also immerse yourself in other activities and leave it in background.

An amazing debut.


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