Operator Music Band – Mondo

Operator Music Band have shared a new track, with accompanying video. ‘Mondo’ is the second track to be released from the upcoming album, Duo Duo. Let’s talk about it for a bit.

From the outset it seems like a new gear has been found in the drive of Operator Music Band. Closed hi-hats sound like the best days of dirty disco. The bass is all funk, and everything else shimmers with elements of dance-punk. Previous releases from the band have shared deep affections for Kraut-Rock cleanliness. It’s true that ‘Mondo’ observes what may be the first love of the band, (this is not a total departure, or shift in trajectory) but this feels like a more confident, slightly grittier account of what the Jared Hiller and Dara Hirsch have been driving toward since inception. Or is this just a fancy way of saying ‘popbollocks has a new favorite track from Operator Music Band’?

Hirsch’s vocal presence, which was always excellent, now appears calmer, more established. This is the vocal assurance of a person who occupies doorways with hands on hips. The room his hers. There’s a gravity to her delivery that commands surrender. Speak-singing about pocket calculators is fucking genius.

The video, directed by Vanessa Castro, is also a thing of beauty. Hirsch’s energy is transposed to the screen. And the color palette is matched by dark and light jellies. It’s always nice to see Jared Hiller dancing. There’s a serious levity to the awareness of being on camera. The art takes work, but not itself to seriously. Castro delivers the kind of visual that belongs in projection. She calls on split screens, and the kind of in-camera graphics that you’d see in the old-school camcorders. We box live performance with recording studio takes. Hirsch sings, claiming responsibility as ‘the operator’ with a smile in the larynx.

It’s hard to guess where ‘Mondo’ will sit in the sequence of Operator Music Band’s new album. It’s one of those tracks that’s impossible to play just once. And someone needs to work on an extended remix with about 17 minutes of “M-O-N-D-O!” being chanted, because it’s almost too fucking beautiful.

Duo Duo will be released on September 20th.


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