May 11, 2013

RhoDeo 1318 Beats


Hello, as the world witnessed 4 miraculous escapes from women this week, it makes me wonder how many men would have survived the same ordeal, none probably, men are after all, when push come to shove, the weaker sex. The primitive couppling of strength with superiority still holds true for many of the countries dominated by paternalistic (animalistic) religions and as women display such a stamina it will take much more time before they say enough is enough and do away with men..

Meanwhile we're here for some beats, we've been getting serious and clinical and it should hardly be a surprise we turned to Germans for that, considering Thomas Brinkman got a duoposting you'd have to agree Monolake  deserves a double bill as well. Now let your mind drift from all the stress and bother that comes with everyday life.      ..N'joy

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Monolake were among the most acclaimed and enduring artists to arise from the Berlin-based Basic Channel/Chain Reaction label group, run by Moritz "Maurizio" von Oswald and home to such champions of minimalist dub-techno austerity as Vainqueur, Substance, and Porter Ricks. Monolake initially consisted of Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles, but Behles departed during the early 2000s to run Ableton, the music software company that both producers established in 1999. For a stretch, Henke was Monolake's lone member, but in 2004 he was joined by Torsten Pröfrock, who had previously recorded for Chain Reaction as Various Artists and Resilent. No matter the membership, Monolake's output always sat at the intersection between abstract computer music and the more dance-derived techno redux of their early Chain Reaction labelmates.

Behles studied formally at Utrecht's Institute of Sonology (a noted fount of electronic experimentation formed in the late '60s by Stan Tempelaars and Gottfried Michael Koenig). Behles and Henke met at Berlin's Technical University, where Behles taught and Henke was studying sound engineering for film. Monolake formed somewhat by accident, when a first round of collaborative improvising in the studio led to a handful of tracks from which their first single, "Cyan," was soon pressed. A number of follow-up releases appeared in 1995 and 1996, with the best of these eventually joining new material on the 1997 CD release HongKong, an important release both for Chain Reaction (it's widely considered the label's finest) and Monolake (whose previously vinyl-only 12" releases reached a somewhat small, specialist audience).

Beginning with 1999's "Fragile" 12", almost every Monolake release was issued through Henke's Imbalance Computer Music label. If not as groundbreaking as the earlier releases, the albums Interstate (1999), Cinemascope (2001), Gravity (2001), Momentum (2003), Polygon Cities (2005), and Silence (2009) were uniformly excellent -- brisk, vibrant, and steely home-listening techno at its best, rich with details. In addition to his prolific release schedule throughout these years (he also issued several solo-in-name titles), Henke remained a software developer at Ableton and was also a mastering engineer at Berlin's revered Dubplates & Mastering facility. In 2012 Monolake released Ghosts moving somewhat into techstep.

Monolake's minimal, dub-influenced techno music helped establish the sound of the Chain Reaction label, also located in Berlin, subsequently using their own [ml/i] (Monolake / Imbalance Computer Music) label for the group's output. Both current members have solo projects, with Henke releasing under his own name and Pröfrock as "T++" and "Various Artists."

In 2008 T++ followed Ricardo Villalobos in bridging the gap between minimal techno and dubstep, by remixing Shackleton's Death Is Not Final for the Skull Disco label. In 2009, Robert Henke appeared in the electronic music documentary Speaking In Code which presented the completion of the Monodeck, a midi-controller interface for spontaneous editing and effects work during live performances, even without having to look at the computer screen. As of 2012, Henke has been designing a new form of live show syncing surround-sound audio stems with visual loops, allowing for improvisation.

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On Cinemascope, Monolake blends the stark sounds of the street with beat-conscious elements, creating a reserved late-night brew of intense minimalism. Short bursts of light break through the dark cracks that underscore the majority of Cinemascope, allowing the largely clipped and clicky beats to comprise the framework of the record. Not unlike Richie Hawtin's later work, Henke utilizes subtractive theory to pull apart regular dancefloor structures into roomy, spacious reconstructions that echo endlessly, reminiscent of the introspective period of early-'90s Detroit techno. Perhaps the perfect record for driving around the city at night, Cinemascope takes in the wonder of architecture, construction, and how people tend to relate to those concepts. Certainly, Henke seems somewhat more closely aligned with his German, minimal-tech colleagues, but he no doubt is in safe territory with Detroit's innovators of the genre. His sometimes spooky and skittery layers of rhythm imitate the clunking and perfect cadence of factory machines in their restless stages. Little melody creeps in, but there's still something pleasant about the work. Perhaps this pleasantness is found in the music's general relaxedness. Nothing ever bubbles over with excitement, but ebbs and flows are still quite visible. And even still, Henke keeps the dancefloor in mind, especially on the track "Remoteable," which is dark and nondescript, held up with constrictive beats and subtle layers of rhythm. If Kraftwerk were humanoid robots, then Monolake must be like an upraged version of Kubrick's HAL-9000. Mindblowing.



Monolake - Cinemascope ( flac 365mb)

01 Atmo 0:20
02 Bicom 9:52
03 Cubicle 6:53
04 Ping 6:02
05 Ionized 10:43
06 Remoteable 5:39
07 Television Tower 6:08
08 Cut 4:55
09 Alpenrausch 7:15
10 Indigo 8:37

Monolake - Cinemascope  (ogg 169mb)

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Momentum, Monolake's fifth album, has plenty to admire in the output that bridges Hongkong to this; when strung together, Interstate, Gravity, and Cinemascope present an uninterrupted succession of pinpoint-precise tracks that establishes and hones a specific sound that no one else could possibly clone. I think "Momentum" represents real progress in terms of Monolake's musicianship, he has managed to take his signature style into new directions, and we're all the better for it. Within the space of these 70 minutes, Robert Henke continually finds ingenious ways to adjust the steely nature of his productions enough to impress and consume the listener. He's hardly gone soft in order to do this; these nine tracks are as industrious and industrial as ever, and none of them will give you flashbacks to kindergarten seesaw rides. The grip is immediate, taking hold within the first few seconds of "Cern." Its pinging pellets gradually become increasingly hollowed out, morphing from resonant clunks to trebly clanks. Just as alarming is the use of dubspace, with fibrillating rhythmic patterns providing a sense of unstoppable forward movement. Much of what follows is just as tantalizing. While the environments Henke places you in are far from womb-like, they are a lot more likely to draw you in than make you feel trapped. Highly recommended not just to fans of dubby techno, but to anyone who's into to techno at all.



Monolake - Momentum ( flac 401mb)

01 Cern 6:40
02 Linear 6:04
03 Atomium 7:33
04 White II 9:27
05 Tetris 7:40
06 Excentric 6:21
07 Reminiscence 9:00
08 Stratosphere (Edit) 8:57
09 Credit 7:29

Monolake - Momentum  (ogg 181mb)

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With Polygon Cities, Monolake once again show their high level.  With this they continue their warm tech-dub, keeping two feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Not prone to showy florishes, the tracks stay resolutely on the level, from the dark (but not overly so) "Pipeline" to the lower register growls and static of "CCTV." The long tones and vocoder directionals of "North" lead directly into the deep and wobbly "Axis." "Invisible" goes a chillier route (with more vocodered vocals), and "Carbon" stretches into more abstract territory. Finally, "Wasteland" takes the an ambient interlude before "Plumbicon" arrives to thump and blip us out of the album. Another impressive entry in Monolake's already powerful output. Typically brilliant stuff from Robert Henke and co.



Monolake - Polygon Cities ( flac 350mb)

01 Pipeline 7:23
02 Cctv 7:16
03 North 6:39
04 Axis 8:23
05 Digitalis 9:06
06 Invisible 7:56
07 Carbon 6:33
08 Wasteland 3:34
09 Plumbicon 8:30

Monolake - Polygon Cities (ogg 161mb)

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5 comments:

silence said...

yes!
Monolake.

Thanks for the write-up.

el Zarapastro said...

Please re-up monolake cinemascope flac. Thank you !

Anonymous said...

Can you reupload, please?

apf said...

Thank you so much for putting these back up.

Peter Tron said...

nice!