Sunday, October 18, 2009

sunday morning with monolake

i wanted to share some more mellow, beatless soundscapes to help you get through your sunday, so i'm going to talk about a few half-hour-plus compositions by one of my favorites, monolake.

first up is the original, uncut version of "indigo," a track originally from the 2001 album cinemascope. most of monolake's music has an austere, academic quality to it, but works like this prove that robert henke and his little gang of nerds can also wring plenty of emotion out of so little source material. composed of simple percussive tweaks, an insistent stabbed dub 'chord', and a few drops of water, these ingredients are simply fluctuated in and out for the extent of the musical journey. less is more, indeed. check out this page for an introduction from the man himself, and try this free direct download link.

next is a 'reworked' version of "indigo" for an art installation. read this page where robert henke describes the process of recreating and recording this piece. composed mainly of atmospheric washes, i think the man himself puts it perfectly when he says indigo_transform fills a room "like a perfume." i think it's amazing how much auditory power is conveyed by a mere drop of water. we are lucky to have a freely-available edit of this 're-composition' - download here!

finally, an official monolake work from 1999, gobi. the desert ep. this is probably the most ambient of the official monolake albums, but compared to the tracks i've discussed above, this ep - actually a single long soundscape - is busier and more mechanical in nature. i think the title works perfectly for this one: i imagine a small machine, slowly moving and shifting in place, in a desert oasis as insects buzz by. again, the minimal aesthetic is applied by employing only a handful of sounds in constantly-changing arrangement.

as always, please check out the official monolake website for a wealth of information and free music, and please support these artists. also, i wouldn't mind you sending them an email encouraging robert and co. to bring their music stateside. cheers, and happy sunday!

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