Singer, Songwriter, and Electronic Producer – to many, these may sound like very different aspects of modern sound culture – which, in turn, makes Monolink a fascinating character, being all rolled into one.
His style seamlessly connects the narrative structure of a song with the compelling thrust of electronic rhythms. Guitar chords merge into synthetic pad sounds, hypnotic bass vibrations meet emotional vocal parts, passionate physicality meets sublime stimulation for the mind. This sound could recently been heard on his debut album, “Amniotic”, or on his current multi month live tour across the US, Europe and UK.
Here, Monolink stops by our own podcast series to deliver an hour of rhythm, vibe, and atmosphere with the 215th in our series! Also, our editor in chief caught up with Monolink ahead of his appearance at this July’s The Gardens of Babylon: The Monastary & Three Neverending Nights. You can read a portion of the interview below and find the rest HERE
“Amniotic” is NOW AVAILABLE on Embassy One BUY
You hold a much more live performance background over DJ background, which I would assume affects your approach to how you construct projects, as well as how you present them? How would you say this background sets your approach up differently from a more “traditional” electronic music approach?
I started making music by playing the guitar and writing songs, back when I was 16 years old. Writing lyrics and harmonies became sort of an obsession, and it’s still what drives me most in music. So when I start a project I usually already have a song-ish idea in my head and I construct the electronic part around that. I need music to surprise me, and the “traditional” electronic approach of adding layers of loops to build up energy usually gets me bored too quickly. I need to have a change of harmony or key, or a vocal line that speaks and triggers something in order to keep me hooked. So that’s what I strive to create.
Can you actually expand a bit on your live background? You currently perform via Ableton, guitar and live vocals, but what was your first instrument? What has your general relationship with live performance been like over the years?
Since I started making music I was also always playing live. I played in several bands and as solo artist in clubs, bars and on streets, performance is an essential part of music for me. I mean until not long ago there was no music without performance. Every element you would hear on a record had to be performed live by someone. Now a lot of the electronic music that’s being produced is performed by a computer, with just automations being drawn into the software that plays it back. I try to stay away from that as much as I can.
The album will be released via Embassy One, a subsidy of Embassy of Music, which has released work from the likes of Booka Shade & Moby. How did you find the creative atmosphere at the label?
I couldn’t be happier about it. They are based here in Berlin and we’re in touch every day. This is the first time I’m releasing on a label that is not focussed on electronic dance music, but releases a wider range of genres, and they really support me in every idea I have, while being very professional in the way they work. This is actually the first time I really understand what a good label can do for an artist.
One of the first elements of a project that catches the eye (even before the ear) is its artwork. Can you discuss the thought behind “Amniotic” cover art?
Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds a baby as it’s still in its mother’s womb. The whole idea for the album was describing a state of non existence, or pre-born. The artwork shows exactly that. It’s a gate leading into another “world” from a spiral-like place of introversion. It was made by paper collage artist “Ventral is Golden”!
Read The Full Interview: The Gardens of Babylon’s Dialogue With Monolink
1. Kevin Morby – Harlem River (Monolink Edit)
2. Manuel Wassmer (Arutani re-interpretation)
3. Ulises – Pan Klub
4. Noraj Cue – Story at the Campfire (Mira & Chris Schwarzwälder Rmx)
5. Bernstein – Álom
6. Trikk – Voltaire
7. Jacob Groening & Lennart Nicolas – Namande
8. Mike Tohr & Amari – Borax
9. Khen – Land of Goshen (Patrice Bäumel Rmx)
10. Kerala Dust – Wires
11. Niklaus Katzorke – Manhã de Carnaval
12. Hannes Fischer – Klumbatsch (Unten Mix)
13. Zigan Aldi – Fidale (Monolink Rmx)