10 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

That Robert Henke comes from a family of engineers seems obvious the second you start listening to Monolake. His latest collection of surgically-enhanced soundscapes, Silence, is clinical but never cold and actually sounds quite alive, from the rain-pelted tin roofs of “Watching Clouds” to the dynamite-plowed snow drifts of “Avalanche.” Even Henke's imaginary sci-fi soundtracks take on a Technicolor feel, including the robotic death rattles of “Far Red,” the post-apocalyptic countdown of “Internal Clock,” and the malfunctioning computer moans of “Null Pointer.” As for how all this fits into Henke’s dense discography, Silence is one of Monolake’s strongest mission statements — a defiant move away from techno’s 4/4 pulse, resulting in traces of dubstep (“Infinite Snow”) and straight-up sound installations (“Void,” the final half of “Observatory”). Henke’s alluded to both before, but never quite this cohesively, with the tiniest details poking out of the tinniest speakers. Definitely essential home listening for recovering club kids.

EDITORS’ NOTES

That Robert Henke comes from a family of engineers seems obvious the second you start listening to Monolake. His latest collection of surgically-enhanced soundscapes, Silence, is clinical but never cold and actually sounds quite alive, from the rain-pelted tin roofs of “Watching Clouds” to the dynamite-plowed snow drifts of “Avalanche.” Even Henke's imaginary sci-fi soundtracks take on a Technicolor feel, including the robotic death rattles of “Far Red,” the post-apocalyptic countdown of “Internal Clock,” and the malfunctioning computer moans of “Null Pointer.” As for how all this fits into Henke’s dense discography, Silence is one of Monolake’s strongest mission statements — a defiant move away from techno’s 4/4 pulse, resulting in traces of dubstep (“Infinite Snow”) and straight-up sound installations (“Void,” the final half of “Observatory”). Henke’s alluded to both before, but never quite this cohesively, with the tiniest details poking out of the tinniest speakers. Definitely essential home listening for recovering club kids.

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