> > Mar 13 2012

Monolake - Ghosts
By Alan RantaThe eighth Monolake album, and second part of a trilogy, following the lead of 2009's Silence, there's a thick layer of ominousness running through Ghosts. The haunting atmosphere never lightens up, from smaller moments like the Sealab 2021 computer voice saying, "you do not exist" in the opening title track, the ethereal whistling on the fringes of "Tuco" and the Phantom of the Opera organ on "Aligning the Daemon" to the off-kilter filters, intimidating reverb, slightly panicked dub beats and persistent snippets of itchy white noise. What makes the album so effective in its brooding evocations is Robert Henke's attention to detail. The plucky German helped create Ableton Live, which Ghosts was recorded and mixed using, so it's a record on his terms. The sophistication of the processing and balanced construction he was able to achieve place this release amongst the highest levels in electronic music worldwide, leagues ahead of even his work, circa Polygon_Cities. Ghosts is the thinking electronic music fan's subtler and more paranoid alternative to Amon Tobin's brick-smashing A/V opus, ISAM.
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