Every week or so, the MP3 Discussion Group gets together online to talk about a recent release. Monolake‘s new album, Silence, is the latest object of our collective, occasionally obsessive, close listening. The album’s 10 tracks are a resolutely percussive minimal techno from an individual with a unique vantage on the tools that generate his sounds. Monolake, aka Robert Henke, works on the development of Ableton Live, a popular music software suite. As a form of “production notes,” Henke included the following paragraph on his website, monolake.de, where brief snippets of the album’s tracks are all available for listening:
“Sound sources include field recordings of airport announcements, hammering on metal plates at the former Kabelwerk Oberspree, Berlin, several sounds captured inside the large radio antenna dome at Teufelsberg, Berlin, dripping water at the Botanical Garden Florence, air condition systems and turbines in Las Vegas, Frankfurt and Tokyo, walking on rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, wind from the Grand Canyon, a friends answering machine, a printer, conversations via mobile phones, typing on an old Macintosh keyboard and recordings from tunnel works in Switzerland. Synthetic sounds created with the software instruments Operator, Tension, Analog and the build in effects inside Ableton Live. Additional sound design and sequencing using MAXMSP / MaxForLive. Additional reverb: various impulse repsonses via Altiverb. Composed, edited and mixed in Live with a pair of Genelec 8040s. Mastering by Rashad Becker at Audioanwendungen September 2009. Field recordings captured with a Sony PCM D-50.”
Participating with me in this week’s MP3 Discussion Group are:
Julian Lewis: “I write much of Lend Me Your Ears, a UK/Spain-based MP3 blog that appreciates less obvious music.”
Alan Lockett: “I write music reviews and commentary on ambient/drone, the more adventurous end of techno/house, post-dub, and IDM. Based in Bristol, epicentre of the Dub-zone in the Wild West of England, I can mainly be read on igloomag.com and furthernoise.org.”
Joshua Maremont: “I record as Thermal and pursue my musical and other obsessions in San Francisco.”
The conversation will play out in this post’s comments section.
A little note on MP3 Discussion Group format: This is by no means a closed conversation, so do feel free to join in. The initial posts by participants were all written before they had an opportunity to see each other’s take on the album in question, but after that it’s intended to play out in real time.