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Monoloc – The Drift

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LABEL: CLRSCORE:  7/10

Monoloc, has been increasing his presence ever since his first musical inceptions around 2001. Until now he has released on CLR , Synewave, MultiVitamins, Micro.fon and Droid, who can’t get enough of the deep, organic, minimalist sound.   More recently he has been juggling various ventures including DJing, production and running record label Smallroom Records.   His live sets and DJ sets are known to be driving, pumping and internationally renowned. In keeping with his EP releases like Black pot, and also his remixes.   So, lets see if his debut LP effort lives up to his reputation. …  Drift kicks off with hypnotic organ chords, and heavy distortion and noise which set the tone not only for the intro track but also the majority of the album. Disrupting fragmented post apocalyptic samples add to the desolate sound; kick bases give a possessed pulse and driving hi-hats finish the sparse ensemble.   With more evil overtones Try has a feeling of a harder edged Burial track.   It’s mine that is a slice a bit more accessible to most. The first song with actual discernible lyrics. A slightly lighter affair because of the strained emotion of Daniel Wilde. A bit reminiscent of Futureshock. I wouldn’t describe it as cheesy but the difference between the first 2 tracks and this is pretty huge.   Things is a kick back into the sonic apocalypse just in case you thought things had gone too “commercial”.   The second collaboration with Daniel Wilde, When I get older, has a similar ambience to It’s mine, but is in a similar vein as the rest of the album.   The stand out track, Pblc, is a complete package with haunty guitar riffs, scattered noise samples, a cheeky hook vocal, along with a warmish constant melody and relatively groovy drums which bring colour to the album.   The swaggering bassline of About  brings with it a track with a bit more attitude which is a welcome addition.   There are shrouds of distorted noise in No Outro; no beats, no drums either and a few echoes extended to 3 minutes make this a misplaced track that doesn’t really add anything to the album.   It’s a shame is relatively upbeat despite its title and compared to the previous 8 tracks. A decent way to end the album.   The album obviously has a central theme of desolate sound scapes, but there are a few sparkles that could be thrown in a more danceable set. The album is undoubtedly Monoloc, but there is nothing really new and awe-inspiring.    Don’t get me wrong the production is excellent. A multitude of layers is involved in each track, and the craftsmanship is clearly evident.   Drifting, although allowing a freedom of artist production and an interesting concept for an album ends up somewhat of a novelty, and inherently without direction. The musical journey doesn’t stray from its central theme and seems a little self conscious. No one is expecting a plethora of different musical genres or anything unnatural and untrue to the artist; however a little more exploration  would have given a more rounded listening experience.   If you like noise tinged, drifting techno sonic adventures then this is for you. If you don’t then this is definitely not the album for you.   Unfortunately this falls a little short of expectations from previous EP production and performances. It’s definitely still worth checking out his EP creations and remix releases; and of course seeing him in person.

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