This is a post that I have been meaning to do for quite some time. For quite a while now my favourite recording artist has been Monolake. There is something about his extra deep and sometimes-dark beats that really resonate with me. It’s perfect working music. As a graphic designer what really makes Monolake stand out from the crowd is his attention to detail. He really puts a lot of thought, care and attention to his craft.

Below is some artwork from some of his vinyl releases (expect another vinyl artwork related thread later this week). In a time of digital labels and sometimes awful artwork for electronic music, Monolake never seems to drop the bar, preferring integrity and craftsmanship over commercially viable ventures and success.

When I saw him play for the first time I couldn’t seem to see him on the stage. “Strange!” I say in the direction of my friend, who I notice is facing the back of the dance floor because the performance is being broadcast from the dance floor not the stage. A small touch that makes a big difference. So as well as playing live all around the world using his custom built Monodeck (below), recording wonderful music, being some of the brains behind the most revolutionary piece of music software ever (Ableton), Monolake seems to have time for instillation pieces and writing essays about his craft.

One of his more intriguing pieces is Atom. Atom as described on his website is:

“A room is filled with deep, evolving noises from a four-channel sound system. An eight-by-eight array of white, self-illuminated spheres floats in space like the atoms of a complex molecule.
Through variable positioning and illumination of each atom, a dynamic display sculpture comes into being, composed of physical objects, patterns of light, and synchronous rhythmic and textural sonic events. Change, sound, and movement converge into a larger form.

The height of the helium balloons is adjusted with a computer-controlled cable, whilst the internal illumination is accomplished using dimmable super-bright LEDs, creating a pixel in a warped 8×8 spatial matrix.The sonic events, the patterns of light, and the movement of the balloons are manipulated in real time as a 45-60 minute-long performance.”

Another one of his projects involves the FM3 Buddha machine (pictured below). The Budddha machine is a box that makes noises on a loop. Monolake recorded these loops at extremely high bitrates and riped them apart to create an album, Layering Budda. Although not one of his more complex albums, this has to be one of my favourites as it evolves from calm dreamy soundscapes to more menacing drones, it definitely takes you on a journey.

What I think I’m trying to get across here is that there should be more stuff around like this. As with graphic design often crossing the dangerous threshold of art, so should music cross pollinate with different creative medias on a commercial scale. Sure It happens all the time, but it sometimes needs highlighting. Mr Henke (Monolake) I salute you!