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Gobi. The Desert

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Album Review

Monolake releases such as Hong Kong and Interstate draw directly on the living environment, fusing wispy minimal techno with field recordings of waves, insects, and bustling streets until the latter begin losing all reference to origin, even to reality. The group's Gobi EP takes the opposite tack, conjuring earthy hums, chilling night winds, chirping microscopic fauna, and distant, bassy rumbles from the thin air of the digital recording studio. If this is just the ambient M.O. ported to the desktop, so be it; the results are far more stunning and transporting than any mere replicant methodology could possibly achieve. Entirely beatless, and therefore quite unlike the group's previous releases, it's also some of their strongest work to date.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Monolake were among the most acclaimed and enduring artists to arise from the Berlin-based Basic Channel/Chain Reaction label group, run by Moritz "Maurizio" von Oswald and home to such champions of minimalist dub-techno austerity as Vainqueur, Substance, and Porter Ricks. Monolake initially consisted of Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles, but Behles departed during the early 2000s to run Ableton, the music software company that both producers established in 1999. For a stretch, Henke was Monolake's...
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Gobi. The Desert, Monolake
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