Release Date: Aug 21, 2015
Record label: Endless Flight
Gonno's second full-length, Remember The Life Is Beautiful, lives up to its name. It gushes with starry-eyed house and Balearic flourish, but not in spurts of flat optimism—it has complexity, diversity, eccentricity and depth. Scan the tracklist: "The Worst Day Ever" seems to conquer the doldrums through mental levitation, "Confusion"'s disorienting movement and steady pulse reflect chaos in a bustling city and "The Island I've Never Been" plays like a vision of far-off escapes from civilization.
The opening song on Gonno's debut album, Remember the Life Is Beautiful, is called "Hippies". I don't know what the attitude towards hippies is in Gonno's native Japan, but there's no doubt in my mind that the song is meant sympathetically. Its backmasked guitars waft like dandelion tufts across an open field, and its bass tone is as reassuringly heavy as a hand-me-down blanket.
Switching between two extremes of the electronic music scale, from new age and ambient to heads-down techno, without making a pig's ear of it is quite a challenge.Japanese producer Gonno, though, has pulled it off here: a comforting throb fills the album, an electronic heartbeat that soundtracks the swirling, arpeggiated ambience of Hippies, or the trippy acid-techno of 'Stop' with its spitting hi-hats and skirls of cathedral organ.Elsewhere, the Tangerine Dream-like 'Beasts In Your Mind' and beautiful beach-lounge sound of 'Already Almost' help complete the full range of Gonno's skill-set. .
As the deepest genres of dance music continue to spread across the mainstream (and main stages), the producers to watch are the ones burying their heads even further into dusty crates of decades-old records. They’re also gleefully mashing together bpms and textures rarely combined since the earliest days of U.K. rave, building warmly organic mechanics off of analog instrumental templates, and diving with barely a ripple into house music’s smoothest signatures.