[dorkbotsea-blabber] FW: [exponential media seattle] Monolake / Db benefit :: Sat @ Chop Suey

Kate Seekings kate at whimsyfree.com
Thu Sep 8 16:42:28 EDT 2005

Nordic Soul (dj at the first ever dorkbot meeting, Decibel founder), Paul
Edwards and dorkbot alum Randy Jones in one night?  Plus Monolake?  If
you're interested in electronic music, this'll be a corker.  One of two
excellent events this Saturday night; next one to follow...


-----Original Message-----
From: exponentialmedia 
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 10:51 AM
To: exponentialmedia 
Subject: [exponential media seattle] Monolake / Db benefit :: Sat @ Chop

Saturday September 10th @ Chop Suey

2005 Decibel Benefit Show featuring:
MONOLAKE: Live PA - Berlin (Ableton Live engineer, Chain Reaction, ml/i 

w/ special guests:
NORDIC SOUL: DJ Set - Seattlle (Synth Club, Dreaming in Stereo, Decibel)
PAUL EDWARDS: Live PA - Seattle (PG Series, Oscillate, Decibel)

Live visuals by:
RANDY JONES Seattle (Cycling 74, Orac)

$10 presale available at Wall of Sound, Chop Suey, Sonic Boom and online at 

Doors open at 9pm (come early)

*All proceeds will being going towards the 2005 Decibel Festival happening 
September 22nd - 25th. Check out www.dbfestival.com for more info.

Chop Suey
1325 E. Madison

Beatseeking Missives - MONOLAKE

Last year, Monolake (mainly the recording project of Berlin producer Robert 
Henke) had to cancel his Seattle gig due to a bad case of tinnitus. Data 
Breaker's hoping the ringing in Henke's ears has subsided (one is hopeful as

he played two memorable gigs at Montreal's Mutek festival this year) so he 
can help bestow Monolake's icewater-in-veins, dubwise techno on our humble 

For the last decade, Monolake—at first a duo with Gerhard Behles, then Henke

solo from 1999–2004, and now operating as a duo with Torsten "T++" 
Pröfrock—have been advancing the art of minimal techno. Hongkong, Monolake's

1997 debut album on the legendary Chain Reaction label, established them as 
a major international techno force. The disc stands out for its vivid sound 
design; recontextualization of dub as laid-back, oceanic skank; and 
mesmerizing rhythms that seemingly emanate from the deepest caves. The 
tracks strike a riveting balance between tranquility and tension and would 
probably sound fantastic while you're scuba diving.

Monolake have continued to refine their sound over five more albums, 
including the most recent, Polygon_Cities. This work lightens Henke's 
typically tenebrous atmospheres and ushers in attractively pastoral tunes 
and winsomely chugging beats à la '70s proto-synth-pop band Cluster. As 
usual, Henke's sonic palette is rich and precisely arrayed, but a slight 
predictability's creeping into his approach, which is somewhat expected when

you've been creating for 10 years. Nonetheless, Monolake's music is more 
interesting than 98 percent of their peers', and even if they seem to have 
plateaued, Monolake's plateaus top most artists' peaks.

Regardless of what you think about Monolake's recorded output, you have to 
respect their live act. Under his own name at Mutek, Henke stunned a large 
crowd into silence with his Studies for Thunder piece, which had punters 
repeatedly flinching and reaching for their phantom rain gear, even though 
we were indoors. Later in the fest, Monolake played a marathon set that left

people happily drained. After an intro of ominous, midnight-blue dub-tech 
with efficiently neck-cracking beats, the music gradually became more 
complex and polyrhythmic. At points, Monolake seemed to craft the perfect 
hybrid of German and Afro-Latin dance music—brainy yet slyly bawdy, with 
accelerated cha-cha beats surprisingly surfacing. The tracks were extremely 
heavy, but they possessed irrepressible shake appeal, and they turned 
dancing into an act of paranoia.

What makes Monolake unique is Henke's role as head engineer for the revered 
Ableton Live program, as well as his musicianship. It's as if Antonio 
Stradivari were also a virtuoso violinist. Henke is both scientist and 
sorcerer. While most of the Chain Reaction roster has lapsed into 
obscurity/inaction, Monolake are the sole act still powering the mighty 
legacy futureward.

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