Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Formica Blues – Mono [#491]

on February 1, 2016

Mono_Formica_Blues_album_coverYears ago, before it was ruined by Spotify I used Last.FM to stream my music. Using Liverpool University’s superfast internet connection, at a time when to most scousers the word “Broadband” met something to do with being fat, I would stream new music, scribble down those I liked and then try and download it all buy it legitimately.

Back in those early days, the algorithm used by such sites couldn’t cope with my eclectic music tastes and would regularly throw a spaz or start playing stuff it thought “I should like”. One such band was Mono which, it turned out, I actually liked.

Mono were a British band whose appearance on the world stage was brief and shared only by a few in the know. THE ultimate nineties/noughties hipster band. Many hipsters will know only of Mono through the inclusion of  Life in Mono on the soundtrack of the fabulous 1999 film Great Expectations and other might know them because they were related some how. But I know them because technology said to me I wasn’t cool or hip enough to know them before anyone else.

Formica Blues is one of my most favourite albums. It crosses many genre boundaries whilst also paying homage to both John Barry and Lulu. Much akin to Sneaker Pimps, Portishead and Massive Attack, Mono fall neatly into the Triphop genre but with only one, highly acclaimed but hardly known album under their wing, the band disbanded in 2000;  Lead singer, Siobhan de Mare, later working with Cocteau Twin, Robin Guthrie.


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