Monolake Polygon_Cities

Ten years have come and gone since Robert Henke began producing atmospheric, subtle techno as Monolake. With auspicious beginnings as one of the original acts on Berlin’s highly influential Chain Reaction label, Henke’s brand of minimalism emerged at a time when acts such as Maurizio, Porter Ricks, and Vladislav Delay were washing over audiences with baths of pre-millennial technological paranoia that sounded as if it were tailored specifically for the times. Chain Reaction’s mighty roster disbanded a few years later, and Henke spun off into his own label, granting himself a carte blanche to release whatever he wanted. Polygon_Cities constitutes his eighth full-length album as Monolake, and his most intriguing since 2000’s Gravity. For the sessions that made up this latest, Henke was joined by T++, the mysterious collaborator who assisted on 2001’s Cinemascope, and together they manage to fill the halcyon darkness of the Monolake template with more danceable break beat flourishes. Like much of Henke’s work, the rewards are still to be found mainly in the details, but those who approach this album with the keenness it requires will not be disappointed. A worthy addition to an already remarkable catalogue. (Imbalance)