Robert Henke Layering Buddha

Robert Henke has cut his work out for himself on Layering Buddha. Exclusively making use of the nine stationary loops available from the FM3 Buddha Machine, which due to a manufacturer’s error varies between individual machines, Henke layered, pitched and filtered through the sounds to create this compelling work of textural dissonance. Better known for the project Monolake, Henke has experienced with a variety of different mediums, including installation art, and actually taking part in the development of software for computer music with Ableton. All of this becomes evident in the soundtrack-like affectations of Layering Buddha. "Layer 004” mimics the crashing of waves against a coast of electrical fields, with cell phone towers and television lines broadcasting distorted frequencies along the shoreline as the water bubbles with quiet intensity. "Layer 006” shows the result of isolating specific sounds buried deep within the Buddha’s program, bringing to the track not only a definite beat, but even a melody that could have been achieved through a programmed synthesiser. All of this beneath flaps of enveloping ambience. The album reflects an introspective attention to progression, as the loops often take the form of through-composed works, and one would be hard pressed to identify the album as anything other than the ambitious work of an idiosyncratic and mysterious artiste veering away from musique concrete. Instead, it’s exactly oppositional, with the artist creating through pure technology. Henke’s challenging us with Layering Buddha, but in no way is he making it hard for us to listen to him. (Imbalance)