(Copyright © 2004 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
HongKong (1997), 6.5/10
Interstate (1999), 6/10
Gravity (2000), 6/10
Cinemascope (2001), 6/10
Momentum (2003), 6/10
Polygon_Cities (2005), 5/10
Silence (2010), 6/10
Ghosts (2012), 4/10

Monolake, the Berlin-based duo of Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles, bridged minimal dub-techno music and abstract digital soundsculpting (achieving symphonic effects with the manipulation of field recordings). The single Cyan (1994) and the EPs Magenta (1996) and Lantau.Macao (1997), partially collected on HongKong (Chain Reaction, 1997), displayed a manic attention to detail and an uncanny sense of dynamics. The project evolved via Interstate (1999), the EP Gobi: The Desert (1999), Gravity (2000) and Cinemascope (2001), not to mention the EPs Tangent (1999), Stratosphere Ice (2000), Fragile.Static (2000), Bicom.Remotable. Cut (2001), Ionized Ping Frost (2001), Linear.Atomium.Reminiscense (2003).

Robert Henke also recorded under his own name Piercing Music (Imbalance, 1994), Helical Scan (Chain Reaction, 1997), Floating.Point (Imbalance, 1997), Signal to Noise (Imbalance, 2004). He composed ambient music for FM3 Buddha Machine on Layering Buddha (2006). Atom/Document (2009) documents an installation of visual artist Chris Bauder.

Momentum (Monolake, 2003) delivered the shower of echoes of Cern and Atomium, indulged in the glitchy dissonance of Tetris, painted the alien soundscapes of Linear and White II. But overall is was a more linear and less ambitious recording.

That trend continued on the more lively danceable Polygon_Cities (Imbalance Computer Music, 2005).

Silence (Imbalance Computer Music, 2010) was almost the alter-ego of the seven-year predecessor: a set of contemplative zen-like pieces that use techno and dubstep only as a (gentle) springboard to reach inner dimensions, aided by a discreet percolation of field recordings and found sounds. It was a producer's album, as opposed to an artist's album, focusing on the sound for the sake of sound just like some Hollywood movies focus on visual effects for the sake of visual effects.

The user-friendly Ghosts (2012) was perhaps an attempt at reaching a broader audience, but the result was the emptiest of his albums.

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(Copyright © 2004 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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