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Robert Henke – Indigo Transform


Indigo Transform

Once again Monolake genius Robert Henke delivers a masterpiece of tranquility: a 60 minute reworking of “Indigo”, the closing track of Monolake’s Cinemascope album (2001).

The original track is 8 1/2 minutes of layered sound and relaxing dripping water.
Swedish “installation artist” Fredrik Wretman contacted Robert Henke to use this track for a new installation called “Tap Tim“: ‘one single calm and focused work of art in a huge gallery space’.

But as expected this simple approach was not the route Henke would prefer to take. The original track simply was too short to just put on repeat.

So Robert isolated the original parts of Indigo, reworked them to three different versions on different CD’s, which then were played through a multichannel system to create an endless version with infinite differentiations. Indeed: the Brian Eno installation music approach!

This album is a ‘stereo mixdown of the initial state of the installation if all three CD’s would be started at the same time”.
(Note:I wonder why ambient installation music creators don’t release the multichannel versions? Shouldn’t be too difficult, since most people have access to full surround home cinema systems nowadays!
So PLEASE release multichannel surround versions next to the stereo CD versions!! Especially of CD’s like this particular one!!)

The result is a 60 minutes version of refreshingly calm music, (unsurprisingly) closely resembling the best installation music of Brian Eno. 
It’s as if you decide to rest in a comfortingly warm and humid cave, somewhere far removed from anything hectic.
Even without the installation it was created for, this music simply works well: relaxing and enhancing your own living room environment..

Robert Henke lives up to his expectations in creating a beautiful successor to Signal to Noise and Layering Buddha.

Monolake devotees should be warned though: there’s no trace of rhythm on this record other than the irregular drops of water.
You’ll have to do with your heartbeat gradually slowing down.

A 30 minute excerpt from the infinitely long soundtrack can be found on the Robert Henke website.

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Robert Henke – Layering Buddha


Robert Henke - Layering Buddha

It seems there’s an ongoing outbreak of Buddha Machine–inspired releases…

Only a few days ago I reported about the ‘Buddha Jukebox’, containing all sorts of remixes based on the original Buddha Machine samples. One day later I stumble across this Robert ‘Monolake’ Henke release. (One track of his CD is also featured on the Jukebox Buddha: check the sample track below).

Compared to the Jukebox Buddha, there’s quite a different feel. Whereas the Jukebox Buddha explores all possible surfaces of the Buddha Machine, Henke dives deep into the soul of it. He has magnified the sounds, enhanced the unheard artifacts and created a layered soundspace that has ZEN written all over it.

It’s astonishingly beautiful (and not unlike his last year’s ‘Signal to Noise’ release).

Conceptually it’s lightyears away from the original FM3 Buddha machine, which was deliberately lo-fi and poor sounding.
But that really doesn’t matter at all. The Buddha Machine now has its own spin off of peaceful sounding drone recordings – would FM3 ever have imagined that their lo-fi anti-Ipod machine would ultimately lead to a whole new sub-genre??

The  original Buddha Machine sounds and the CD spinoffs will be featured in the FOLIO show early 2007.

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