Thursday, December 01, 2005

droplets upon your dome

The first time I heard this tune, I was awash in hazy sunshine on the shores of Fire Island. I was pick-nik-ing with the lady and some dear friends...well into 3 or 4 magical joints, belly full of fine wine and cultets of sopressatta. Oh, the halycon days of summer. Content as I was, I layed my head back in the sand only to be washed over by these sublime sounds of Monolake. Always a fan, this song had somehow escaped me. We'll I have tracked it down and, indeed, it is pure bliss. I highly recommend you lie back and flick on a sun-like halogen lamp....now close your eyes and drift into the sea. Corrr golly, thats nice.

Monolake - Indigo.mp3

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On Cinemascope, Monolake (aka Robert Henke) 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.


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