The first compilation release from the Berlin-based PAN label is a celebration of ambient experimentation. With tracks from the likes of AAYA, Helm, Yves Tumor, M.E.S.H., Mya Gomez and Flora Yin-Wong plus a contribution from label head Bill Kouligas, this 16-track collection pulls from a chasmal pool of talent from the bleeding edge of club music.
Its title, the Japanese phrase ‘Mono no aware’, translates as ‘the pathos of things’, and the record seems to have a desire to formulate a discourse around ambient’s potential future. Often, mono no aware achieves something transcendental with music that is hypnotic, diverse and tenebrous but clearly forged by the sensitive hands of humans. Its progression too, from one singular composition to another, runs like the uninterrupted pouring of water from a tap. Kareem Lofty’s delicate opener Fr3sh segues almost meditatively into the celestial droning of Malibu’s Held. Mya Gomez’s comparatively boisterous intro to justforu succeeds Flora Yin-Wong’s dissonant instrumental measures in Lugere. M.E.S.H.’s softly evolving industrial polyrhythms confidently knot into Oli XL’s scarily zonal Heretic. And so on. In its entirety mono no aware is a Spirograph of uniquely experimental artists merging together to create something even more beguiling. A truly arresting listen.