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monolake - Interstate
'Interstate' originally edged its way onto the electronic music scene back in 1999, just after the creative axis of Basic Channel and Chain Reaction hit its peak. Having been a central character in Berlin's electronic evolution, Monolake was the brainchild of audio mastermind Robert Henke (who went on to develop everyone's favourite music software Ableton Live), 'Interstate' was his second cd album and showcased his immense skill and effortless originality after the initial Chain Reaction releases. Apparently though, 'Interstate' was recorded using only cheap hi fi speakers so Henke was never really pleased with the sound quality of the release, so for this re-issue he decided to take the files over to Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin for some 'experimental' mastering treatment. The audio files were pumped through various obscure analogue compressors and filters and the resulting album sounds better than it ever has, the crispy top-end he's so well known for sparkles and the bass hits you just where you need it to. Having lived with the original album for so long I can honestly say that you need to hear the new master, I'm not going to say it's like hearing a different record all together (that would be silly...) but 'Interstate' has never sounded quite this good before, and the mastering has added a great deal to the enjoyment of the record. I find it interesting now to listen to this record and hear just how influential Henke has been not just on electronic music production methods but also on electronic music in general, and so much of the current minimal techno crowd clearly lay a great deal of reference to this seminal work. Those crisp, affecting looped rhythms, underpinned with tweaked bass and moving dub-infected chords - and with so much electronic music (especially around this time) has dated horribly, sounding little more than throwaway when you go back to it now, and I guess that's why the name Monolake is still mentioned with hushed tones. If you've developed any interest in minimal techno, Sahko, Modern Love, T++ (who is now a member of Monolake, interestingly) and others - you owe it to yourself to listen to this album, and if you've already got the album, seriously you need to buy it again. Play it loud - you won't regret it...