Mona De Bo
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Mona De Bo

Riga, Rīga, Latvia | INDIE

Riga, Rīga, Latvia | INDIE
Band Rock Avant-garde


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Would Mona De Bo's 'Nekavejies, ...' exist without the drone metal of Earth and Sunn O)))? The very first guitar chords and brass horns clearly state - no. [...]

Yet, Mona De Bo's music is very compelling, therefore it wouldn't be fair to describe their new album only as a proficient imitation. At the moment they seem to be mediators between indie pop and avant-garde, as they don't deliver any innovations, but offer skilful saturation of alternative pop, with inspirations drawn (and modified) from various pioneers. Which means they create cutting-edge alternative music.

Viestars Gailitis, Program Director, Skanu Mežs international festival of music and film. -

Mona De Bo is the only band on the Latvian rock music scene in the past years, whose loud and noisy performance is not an end in itself;
what they create is an interpretation of different facets of rock history, and something completely new at the same time. One of the best Latvian live bands in a long time! - Toms Grevins/Radio SWH DJ

Half the time it's sheer bloody perverse noise of the kind John Peel would have played to annoy heavy metal fans at Reading, but the music is never less than daring, and at its best, it takes the breath away. - BBC's Tom Robinson

Nekavekies, Sis Ir Speles Ar Tevi
(I Love You)
What a stunning record! Absolutely arresting. The title Nekavejies Sis Ir Speles Ar Tevi, which means ‘don't hesitate, you're already part of it’ proves to be prophetic as this is one of those rare recordings that manages to slowly pull you in. It’s a creeper, as the songs do not move in the same formulaic fashion (quiet-loud-quiet) of those of a post rock band, but instead organically ascend to orchestrated mountains of sound. Mona De Bo do not play heavy music. In fact, there is nary a trace of metal here, and while the influence of post-metallers (just to call them something) like Earth is more than obvious on the desolate western feel of “Priekspedejais”, the difference lies in the excessive instrumental layering and in the droning use of trombone and French horn.

The resulting album is gorgeous. At times fully abstract and at times organic, Nekavejies Sis Ir Speles Ar Tevi is always immersive and expressive. A cinematic aural experience where the music flows with the same natural vibe of a river. In part, that’s largely the work of Edgars Rubenis, who must have the ear of god. The way he picks his notes and tones colors the record, pushing unpredictable sounds in every second and maintaining the density and darkness of classy post punk.

As bold as you’d expect an album of this ilk to be, Mona De Bo prove that commercialism is the last thing on their minds. Straying away from somewhat conventional song structures, the band goes for an impenetrable sound on “Dejosim!”, pretty much about eleven solid minutes of casual drumming and saturation. Yeah, if you listen closely there is a lot more than that but for reviewing purposes, I rather you check for yourself.

People are noticing Mona De Bo. This Latvian band started as a guitar drums duo in 2005. Since, they have played part of SXSW and have done soundtrack work for theater. Only a week ago, I was talking to a friend of mine in South America when he brought their name up. That’s because it is impossible to let this album pass without feeling something. And there will be those that draw the Earth comparison and classify them as mere copycats. Believe me, when I say that there is a lot more to Mona De Bo than that. -


''Mona De Bo'', 2008
''Nekavejies, Sis Ir Speles Ar Tevi'' (''Don't Hesitate, You're Already Part Of It''), 2010



A video of Mona De Bo playing live can be seen here:

Mona De Bo is a Latvian band playing a blend of slowcore, drone, and experimental rock music.

The band was started as a guitar and drums duo by Edgars Rubenis and Edgars Eihmanis in 2005. By drawing inspiration from Deerhoof, Jeff Buckley and Sonic Youth, they took to their playing with an exploratory approach, more often going into the challenging rather than the redeeming fields of music. Vastly describable as garage-y and experimental, their early material was captured on a debut vinyl, released in 2008. It comprised 10 songs sung in Latvian and played mostly in their duo setting.

Mona De Bo's new - second - album ''Nekavejies, Sis ir Speles Ar Tevi'' (''Don't Hesitate, You're Already Part Of It'') was written and recorded during the summer of 2009 and released in March 2010. It exhibits a strong departure from their early garage rock sound as the music has become much slower in tempos and thicker in tones. The densely orchestrated sound of the record was achieved by inviting friends to join the creative process and freely incorporating their playing in realization of the band's new musical ideas. The addition of an organ, another guitar, trombone, french horn, and a double bass opened Mona De Bo's music to the full sonic and orchestral spectrum, where it broadly takes advantage of low-end semitone collisions and melodic movements in the depths of white noise. Stylistically ''Nekavejies,...'' pays homage to the drone-doom of Earth and Sunn O))), blending it with occasional free-jazz drumming and noise assaults evoking Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine.

During their first years Mona De Bo mostly concentrated on playing live. They set up several international tours that went under the name of ''Go See Your Neighbour!''. There where 3 GSYN! rounds in 2007-8 with concerts in all Baltic states and Finland, where Mona was joined by such bands as Honey Power (EE), The Brainers (LT) and The Rollstons (FIN).
In 2008, just before releasing their debut, Mona De Bo traveled to the USA, appearing at the SXSW music conference and playing gigs in New York.