Boomkat Product Review:
Long before U.S.A.’s Discwoman, Denmark’s Apeiron Crew, or London’s Siren collectives formed, Gudrun Gut’s Monika Enterprise was pushing the idea of female solidarity within electronic music with expertly curated compilations and releases.
They introduced the world at large to a loose-fitting but like-minded spectrum of artists ranging from Lucretia Dalt to Julia Holter while providing a platform for hard-to-place artists such as Islaja and Natalie Beridze aka TBA - many of whom appear in Monika Werkstatt - but still left room for a few blokes such as Robert Lippok (To Rococo Rot) and Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel), effectively well representing that strand of identity politics, but not letting it completely frame or dominate their music.
If you’re looking for highlights, check the mercurial numbers from the legendary Beate Bartel (CHBB/Liasons Dangereuses/Mania D), namely her haunting Feuerland and the curdled contours of M.B.T., and likewise the drowsy but anxious Blindholes from Lucretia Dalt, or the intangible audness of Finnish psych spirit Islaja in Sappho’s Gifts and Lainaa Lause, while Gudrun Gut also impresses with the palpitating avant-electro-pop of Repetition. But some of the strongest parts are those tagged to Werkstatt, where the crew pseudonymously subsume their egos in the name of collectivism to subtle ends with the psychedelic minimal house of Tag2Neu and the keening dark ambient spectre of Blue and a 16 minute electro-acoustic marvel named Wilderness, presumably recorded at their Werkstatt site in the countryside.