As a founding member of Japan’s Mono, Takaakira “Taka” Goto has spent the last sixteen years crafting albums of stunning post-rock in the same vein as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky. Mono’s lovely compositions, which combine Goto’s guitar assault with frenetic percussion and soaring orchestral arrangements, have received acclaimed ’round the world, thanks to albums like Hymn to the Immortal Wind and For My Parents.
However, for his debut solo album, Classical Punk and Echoes Under the Beauty, Goto eschews much of Mono’s sturm und drang. Mind you, Mono fans — and fans of post-rock in general — will find much to like in the album’s seven songs. However, Goto moves beyond typical post-rock aesthetics and climaxes, and opts for something more cinematic and orchestral.
“Delicate Madness,” as befitting its name, is all taut strings and hypnotic piano, and plays like the score for the climactic scene of some arthouse psychological thriller.
Meanwhile, “Till the Night Comes” is reminiscent of both classic spaghetti westerns and spy flicks: its mournful violin evokes shades of Ennio Morricone while the slashing guitars and overall noir-ish atmosphere has a definite John Barry vibe.
Classical Punk and Echoes Under the Beauty, which was originally written and recorded in 2003, is available now from Pelagic Records.