Monolake: Archaeopteryx (2CD, Imbalance, November 2020)

I didn’t know it, but I really needed this. There’s something very comforting about tucking into a hefty slab of crunchy Monolake loveliness, and this is 95 minutes of the good stuff.

Not that this record doesn’t have it’s surprises. Sure, for much of the time we’re in familiar territory: skittering beats, sci-fi stylings that range from the ominous to the urgent to the soaringly epic. Henke is a master at this, engineering everything with laser precision, and he’s definitely on top of his game here. But, wait, what’s this halfway through the third track, Triode Univec? In between the pleasingly pattering pads and the delightfully twinkling little riff, there’s… a bass-line, which is… actually rather funky. Briefly. Even more striking is track seven, Clockwerk Fatigue, which appears to be constructed entirely from sampled orchestral percussion, and has a slight feeling of prepared piano, and a slight feeling of Drukqs-era Aphex experimentation, while still sounding very much like Henke: as well as being a great track in its own right, it nicely serves to refresh the palate in between the more “traditional” Monolake stuff (some of these sounds reappear later on: Plateaux Orthogonal pairs glitchy sequenced percussion with some nice ambient washes).

So, yeah: I’m mostly quite intolerant of double-CD drops these days, but this is just such a reassuring thing to have in my life right now, with exactly the right amount of variety, and it’s so damn well put together, that I’m greedily lapping this up.

I bought this from Robert Henke’s Bandcamp page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.