New Music From Monolake – Ghosts

Robert Henke has announced a new Monolake album, Ghosts, scheduled for release in Feb 2012:

During the entire year 2011 I composed a lot of sketches, mainly rhythmical tracks, but most of them I had to throw away at some point. Either I did not like specific elements in them or they did not fit in my theme of a world of ghosts. Very often I assigned the same title to numerous different tracks in that process, since I did like the title and the message it potentially could convey but not the music assigned to it.

‘Foreign Object’ is the most extreme case here; a track with that name got completely discarded on the evening prior to the final CD mastering process and replaced by a new composition created in a rush at that very night: During the creation process of the album I spent a lot of time trying out different orders of tracks, order is important to me, I aim to create a work of art that works as one large structure, not just an arbitrary collection of songs. Even whilst, or maybe even because this is not the way most music is consumed in the age of random mp3 collections.

Henke explains the technical side of Ghosts:

The album was composed, edited and recorded entirely in Ableton Live and the synthetic sounds are the results of tweaking the Operator, Simpler, Sampler and Live’s audio effects, my Max4Live synthesizer ‘Granulator’, a bit of convolution reverb and a lot of Live’s own reverb.

An important role in the sound design also played the creative usage of Live’s various time stretch algorithms. The ‘Tension’ synthesizer’s physical model of a violin string bombarded with rapid parameter changes sent from a Max patch is responsible for the odd sounds on ‘Phenomenon’.

Other important contributions to my sonic universe come from my collection of vintage hardware synthesizers: Resonant timbres of a Sequential Circuits Prophet VS on ‘Afterglow’, bell-like sounds of a NED Synclavier II on ‘Foreign Object’, various timbres from a Yamaha DX-27 piped through an Alesis Quadraverb and a Lexicon PCM-80 reverb, pads from a Oberheim Xpander and more I forgot about.

Very essential for my creative process and for the incredible fun whilst working on this album are my newly acquired Strauss SE NF-3 studio monitors. One of my best purchases ever. The entire album was recorded in 96kHz and only the final master files were down-sampled to 44.1k for the CD / mp3 releases.

Henke, in addition to being a composer and professor of sound design, is one of the creators of Ableton Live.

You can preview Monolake Ghosts above.

via Tim Prebble at Music Of Sound

2 thoughts on “New Music From Monolake – Ghosts

  1. Really looking forward to the release. For some reason I did not like Monolake’s music when I first encountered it a few years ago but it has grown on me, especially the use of reverb and the obsessive sound design. It’s very cold yet somehow still “organic” and does not sound like machine music but rather like something sculpted by a scientist conducting an experiment. I wonder if people from around the world think that Monolake sounds “German” (whatever that means to people) or rather British or international or whatever. ;-P

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