Monolake - STUDIO


2x12 Inch LP

Imbalance Computer Music / ML-036LP

Front View : Monolake - STUDIO (2LP) - Imbalance Computer Music / ML-036LP
Back View : Monolake - STUDIO (2LP) - Imbalance Computer Music / ML-036LP

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2 x 12inch, black vinyl, 4C gatefold

My studio is my shelter, I feel comfortable there, surrounded by wonderful inspiring machines. A small cosy room where ideas emerge, mature, morph, and solidify into their final shape. 'Studio' is the result of spending time in that space. The album's intention is simple: Presenting a beautiful personal musical journey. The creative process in itself matters to me, the interaction with my instruments, the accidental discoveries, the successful execution of a vision and anything in between.
Most of the tracks on this album got revised countless times, and then even more, once I knew in which context and order I wanted to arrange them. I have been living with my music for months now, listening, thinking, changing, diving deeper and deeper into each piece.
I love albums, they are a beautiful long-form format where each part has its place, a journey from the start till the end. Each piece has its own story, its own flavour and history.
Some of them have been with me since a while already. There is material which I created years ago for installations and music derived from previous audiovisual works, all completely ripped apart and rearranged multiple times. During their creation my pieces often turn into something completely different, they repeatedly shift from one state to another until they become solid. What I consider a core element at the beginning might be later discarded completely, and a little detail in the background might become the essence.
Many explorations ended in the trash bin before the results had a chance to be part of 'Studio'. Things did not fall into place, did not feel right.
Other compositions had to fill the void instead, some created quickly in a rush of inspiration, some slowly, shy, questioning their significance. This album did not come into existence in a hurry, it took as long as it needed. I used the time to walk around my creations, to listen to them from the distance, physically, mentally, with friends, in all kinds of different contexts. I tried to understand what I just did. I started to see patterns, hidden motifs, things that were buried in between too many layers of sound. What is essential? What is ornament? I reduced, rearranged, added again.
The closer I got to the final state of 'Studio' the more clarity I found. The inherent doubts and the nagging voices from the inside got more quiet, and a sense of achievement started to manifest itself. More and more details just fell into place. And now it is done. After making electronic music since almost thirty years I don't care anymore about genres, about how to label things. It is music, my own personal music, and that's it. Call it electronica if you wish.
Process Notes
The music on this album has been constructed in Ableton Live. Most of the sounds have been created with my collection of beloved hardware synthesisers and effects, often further processed until something completely different did emerge. Sometimes I spend days in the studio just recording sounds or creating new presets, without already having a composition in mind. A few selected musical instruments contributed significantly to the palette of this album; a New England Digital Synclavier II, which also served as inspiration for the artwork, a Sequential Prophet VS, which is present on all Monolake albums since 1996, a Yamaha SY77, Linn Drum, and the Oberheim Xpander. And then there is Operator in Ableton Live, which I developed in 2004 and still love to use, and a lot of the other effects and instruments in the software. And of course my Granulator III instrument, and the PitchLoop89 audio effect. The final sonic world is often the result of radical processing of these elements, via filtering, pitch shifting, time stretching and other types of processing, both in Live and with my hardware. The good old Alesis Quadraverb deserves an honorary mention here, so does the AMS RMX 16.
The cover combines a few complex elements. A composition of various lichen photographs, and a computational noise field that cuts rivers into the structure, where the inner artwork of the album shines through: The inside of the CD package and the gatefold vinyl cover shows a non-existing musical instrument, based on the user interface of the Synclavier II. I've always been fond of its futuristic button matrix with red LEDs, which conjures a sense of nostalgia for early computer systems. But I wanted more than just a photograph of it. Instead, I created a collage that not only consists of its existing controls but also integrated additional features it never possessed, though it might have in a subsequent iteration. In essence, I crafted a vision of a future that never materialized.
Geeky detail: When a Synclavier II is turned on, and the connected mainframe computer did not boot yet, the LEDs in the buttons light up in random patterns. The imaginary version of it does the same.
31.08 EUR *
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