Monolake: Cinemascope

ml/i, 2001

Cinemascope cover

I’d lost track of Monolake since his Hong Kong days. Luckily this release shows he hasn’t strayed far from his atmospheric, minimalist roots. The first few tracks on Cinemascope are ambient soundscapes. They make for good background listening, with shifting chords and bits of broken beats. Even more enjoyable are the later cuts with more pronounced percussion. “Remoteable” is where this album picks up for me, with a solid groove of clicky beats and bass. “Alpenrausch” is similarly hypnotic, with fragmented vocal samples (from a commissioned work by Migros Kulturprozent) that burble along. Monolake, aka Robert Henke, has a knack for capturing the alienating aspects of urban spaces, even incorporating the subtle sounds of cars passing in the night. Frauke Kaven’s sleeve images of a blue-lit Shanghai highway interchange perfectly complement the Monolake experience.

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