Reviews

Monolake

Does Robert Henke make repetitious machine music? Yes, he deals with electronic sounds, compiling them into cold instrumental landscapes. In some ways his fifth album under the Monolake name, Momentum, sounds like a gazillion other minimal techno records you may have (been unfortunate enough to have) heard: all bleeps and blips and glitchy effects and dubby beats and inscrutable noises and melody-less space.

But to the educated and/or sympathetic ear, Momentum's nine tracks operate on a brilliant logic quite foreign to its less sophisticated genre counterparts. "Atomium" kicks off with a drum being beaten in a steady tribal pattern before washes of ambient synthesizers speckled with swirling percussive bars overtake it. "Stratosphere" opens with a wash of synthesizers before a brisk 4/4 beat starts kicking along at somewhere between 100-110 beats per minute while that initial blush of noise keeps coming back, winding in and out of the beat's path.

These excursions are both thrilling and frightening. They are miniature adventures on which one sound inevitably leads to the next until the track finishes after several minutes. Then an hour and nine minutes later, the CD is finished, completing an album of short stories that use instrumental electronics to communicate overwhelming, unspeakable emotions.

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Mosi Reeves
Contact: Mosi Reeves