Continuing on the free album front, I recently discovered MONO ATRO on Myspace, accidentally. MONO ATRO, a Japanese artist, currently has two short albums available, “MDCCLXXVI” being the most current from 2007.

“MDCCLXXVI” is a really bleak album. It is dark ambient with a huge variety of finely produced sound textures. This is not just tonal ambient work. This album lacks the deep drones many dark ambient artists employ. There are washes and tones woven in the mix, but what makes this album so engaging is the usage of voices, environmental sounds, radio recordings, metal clanging and a myriad of other textures mixed in. The snippets of voices are certainly the most unsettling aspect of this album. On a few of the tracks, there lies some simple but effective, glitchy and down-tempo percussion work. This helps drive the album along very well, and helps add a lot of musical depth. The fact that this percussion is produced so subtly prevents it from distracting from the ambient nature of the recording. The track “Silicis” in particular moves along with this percussion layered in with exceptionally scary synth work and utterly creepy vocal grumblings and snippets. This album is truly dark.

“MDCCLXXVI” reminds me a bit of Akira Yamaoka’s soundtrack work for the “Silent Hill” video game series. It also reminds me a bit of of Shinjuku Thief’s less orchestral work. This album is free to download from Clinical Archives.

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