Monday, August 22, 2005

Monolake-not a dull summer camp

Monolake is the brainchild of Robert Henke.

Henke writes, "Robert Henke, born in 1969 in Munich. I was always fascinated by technology, wanted to be an engineer. Some day I discovered Oxygene by Jean Michel Jarre and I could not stop listen to it again and again. I did stupid jobs after school and finally had enough money to buy a Roland Juno-6. Now I was able to create strange electronic sound collages and I played in a bad gothic band."

Sounds like a reasonable beginning. It only takes one album to get your musical life going. What was yours?

The first three albums I bought were Jethro Tull-Thick As a Brick, Yes-Fragile, and Cat Stevens-Teaser and the Fire Cat. It is now very hip in the press today to totally dismiss albums like these, but that's because the popular music press is often about fashion and not music. These folks have to pose and feel superior to a music that's long been relegated to rock's past, but the truth is that great music never loses its merit, it just moves off to the side until it's rediscovered by another generation.
Monolake will never generate enough fire in the likes of Rolling Stone magazine, never strike up a huge flaming debate in Details. Nor will Robert Henke be stalked by paparazzi and have his picture on every tabloid proclaiming, "Madonna takes German composer as her lover! Exclusive pics here!" At least I think he won't.

Why doth you saith this, oh eclectic one?

Sometimes I feel a bit like Tiresias, weary from knowledge, seeing the same thing over and again. It's really not all that dramatic for me, but it seems that quality music never really becomes part of mass culture. There are some obvious and notable exceptions, of course, but for the most part when something is quality, it automatically makes it inacessible to mass culture. Our children run to the CD store en masse to purchase the latest 14 year old Disney music replicant or the gangsta falva o' the week whose videos degrade women in every frame-all without a word of condemnation from the popular press.

We live in a society where people consider Faith Hill music. What? The last time I went to Wal Mart, her mug was pasted all over the place. I suppose she has a new album out. I think I heard a TV commentator talking about her "returning to her roots" and "she's not chasing Shania Twain anymore." Fascinating! Then there was that Garth guy who seemed to seduce millions of cowboy booted morons who bought into his faux rain-storm-a'comin-prairie-ridin'-down home wisdom shtick. Why can't you see through that?

So, we return to Monolake. Does Monolake even want fame and fortune? I'm going to guess that Robert would like as much radio play as he could get and if a decent amount of CDs were sold, he'd probably be happy. The music is too well crafted, too well done and too complex to reach a mass market. And most of all, not filled with good ol' fashioned country music cliches.
-eclectic guy

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Jessy said...
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