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Archival Robert Henke MP3

The “free track of the month” at the website of Monolake (aka Robert Henke, at monolake.de) continues his excavation of his old hard drives. The January 2008 entry, titled “Fragment Endlos,” layers a rising and descending single-note piano line through a slowly evolving audio montage of field recordings, silence, and synthesis. That’s “through,” not “over” or “under.” The piano at times stands alone, but for most of the piece it’s heard in a specific setting: complemented by artificial strings or muddied by crowd noise, for example. Henke describes the track’s origin as follows:

On one of those tapes I found the track Fragment Endlos, and I immediately remembered when it was made and under which circumstances. This is a very personal piece for me, created in a time where I felt quite dark and lived in an appropriate environment. I just had moved from West-Berlin, Neukoelln, to the east, to Prenzlauer Berg, which at that time was not the expensive hippster neighborhood it is now, but the very opposite. I lived in a small place on the ground floor in a backyard, with a coal oven and a toilet outside the building… It was the end of winter, cold, unfriendly, and very dark. …

Musically this is influenced by ‘The Pearl’ (Brian Eno, Harold Budd). Sound design wise it shows that I just go the TG-77 and SY-77, and then there is this one long brass-like sound that I made as a result of listening to John Chowning.

For the free track of the month version I slightly edited the original 45 minute version and added field recordings of Bahnhof Zoo and the S-Bahn here in Berlin which I also captured in 1992.

There’s additional information, including technical specifications, at monolake.de. Henke posts these MP3s on a regular basis, but with a strict stipulation that no one link directly to the file, but instead to the page itself.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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