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Bleep Interview Monolake
+ show tonight at Fabric, London.

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This week sees the welcome return of Monolake (aka Robert Henke). He has a new album entitled “Ghosts” and is also doing an album launch party tonight in Fabric. We decided to have a few words with the man himself about his new album and his relationship with his music…

Bleep: ‘Ghosts’ seems to come with a whole creative aesthetic, from the artwork to the sound particles, what experiences have you drawn on to create this album?

Monolake: I very much like the idea of a record as being more than just a random
collection of tracks. When I work on music, I get inspiration from very different sources, and I try to make it all come together to form a bigger structure. In the case of Ghosts there is the story fragment, and then there are the photos I took in Australia, and of course the music. I continuously make music, write little stories and take photos. Sometimes things just come together and start making sense. This happened to me when I started working on Ghosts. The cover photo was pretty obvious to me once I finished a rough sketch of the first track, and then the rest just happened. I like to create atmospheres and spaces. So once the overall tone was set, the direction became quite clear.

B: With the current culture of music consumption encouraging a short attention span, your album seems to instead require and encourage the long player format. What is it that you want your audience to experience?

M: Do you know the movie ‘Stalker’ by Andrej Tarkowski? You watch it and it is quite odd and disturbing in its slowness. It demands focus and at the same time it is totally ‘ambient’. The big WOW! moment comes later, after you left the movie theater. You suddenly realize that this was very amazing and spiritual. Ideally my music works in a similar way. Not sure if I achieved it so far, but that’s the goal.

B: How does this then transfer into a live show?

M: Unlike all Monolake live shows in the past, this one here is really aimed towards bringing the sound and the mood of this specific album on stage. In the past the live shows were slowly growing and changing, independent of record releases. This one is different. I spent a lot of time in preparations and in thinking about a good strategy here. It was clear to me, that I want to present it in surround, because I want it to be as immersive as possible. It was also clear that I want to find a way to transfer all the work I made in the studio on stage in a way that allows me to improvise. I need to have fun during a concert, too, and simply pressing play and dance behind the laptop is not an option. And also very important is the visual component. I am working with a brilliant artist and programmer, Tarik Barri, and I pushed him hard to develop a quite unique and special visual counterpart for the music. ‘The Monolake Ghosts in Surround Tour’ is a big effort in reaching a different level, show wise. I am quite happy how the preparations work out so far, but the first concert has yet to come. Let’s hope it works the way I intend it to work. It is certainly not the usual club food, there are some challenging moments in it, including a track in the middle of the set that has no beats at all and lots of tracks with different tempos and groove. I definitely want to play this in clubs, at prime time. Going to a concert also in a club must be an experience that is at least in parts surprising and different from what a normal DJ set would deliver.

B: The ability to microscopically record sound and manipulate it is still relatively new to music, how has technology changed your creative process?

M: I work much faster than ever, and it takes all much longer. Faster because I can make tons of edits in no time, and it takes longer since no technology answers the most important question in creating art: why do we do what we do? The more options one has, the more difficult it can get to make the right decisions. One always need to step back and try to find a distant perspective to the own work. It became very easy to get lost in detail.

B: Are you evolving with the technology or are you creating it to evolve with you? (Does the music feed the technology or does the technology feed the music?)

M: It is a feedback loop. However, after being involved in the creation of tools throughout my artistic career, I focus more on mastering the tools I already know, instead of exploring new ones. We are at a turning point, where the complexity of the tools becomes the main limitation for creation. I do not need more technology, I need more time to understand the potential of what is already right in front of me.

B: Your work within Ableton and your work as a professor shows your interest in facilitating information. How important is this dialogue, does it also feed back in to your own work?

M: I love teaching students, because they always ask questions I cannot answer. This forces me to learn and to rethink my own points of view all the time. If you want to be a good teacher, first of all you need to be curious and open. Talking with students is an occupation I tremendously enjoy for this reason. It keeps me mentally alive.

B: What are the reasons in having your own label to release your own music?

M: It just happened and now I am just used to the fact that I have total control over every detail. I do not want to give this freedom away anymore. Imbalance Computer Music is a one man show: I make coffee for myself, I write invoices, I define release schedules and get more grey hairs when my releases are leaked before they are even in the shops. Might not be very wise, economically, but I am a bit stubborn.

B: How do you see 2012 unfolding with your work and live show?

M: I hope the album and the concerts will be well received. I worked very hard on it all, and it would be nice to get some recognition for it. But as far as I can tell today, things look good. And there are a few amazing artistic possibilities for 2012 / 2013 on the horizon, which I do not want to talk about at this time….

Monolake – ‘Ghosts’ is available to buy now on Bleep.
Monolake performs tonight at Fabric, London as part of the ‘The Monolake Ghosts in Surround Tour’.

Boiler Room #72 – Bleep.com Take-Over..

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Flyer by Boiler Room. Video and photos by Shaun Bloodworth

Watch the video recordings from the show:
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Bleep does Sonar 2011

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In anticipation of 2011’s festival, we partnered up with Sonar to offer a series of exclusive MP3s give-aways from some of our favourite artists playing at the festival. We hope that you didn’t miss out on them but if you did, be sure to be quicker on the mark next year.

Bleep x Sonar 2011 by Bleep.com

Anyway, the annual pilgrimage to Barcelona now over, recuperation almost achieved, we look back over those magical few days that was Sonar 2011…

Since its inception in 1994, Sonar has been steadily amassing a considerable fan base of clued-up music aficionados attracted like buzzing flies to Sonar’s illuminated orb of inspired programming and gentle summer vibes, set to the backdrop of one of the most exciting cities we know; Barcelona. Sonar’s beauty lies in its contrast of venues and schedules. Sonar by day, a spirited affair that loosely unwinds as the hours go by, is a visual and sonic delight. The minimalist lines of the MACBA contemporary art gallery perfectly frame Barcelona’s deep blue skies and blazing sun. Sonar by night, on the other hand, is a whole other beast. Set in the cavernous space of what can only be described as an aeroplane hanger, the sheer scale and enormity of the whole affair is undoubtedly the most impressive attraction.

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However, although Sonar is the real draw here, the plethora of off-Sonar parties and events provide endless distractions and temptations for the music hungry festival goer. This year’s proceedings kicked off with the annual Red Bull Music Academy BBQ delightfully located on the terrace of the Barcelona yachting club with a port-side backdrop. Free drinks, meat fresh off the grill, surprise appearances from Jackmaster, Benji B and Space Dimension Controller, and the prospect of four incredible days ahead, made for content industry peeps who on any other occasion would surely be a whole lot harder to please. Less chin stroking, more getting down to classics such as Midnight Star’s ‘Midas Touch’ and Prince’s ‘Erotic City’.

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Nicolas Jaar @ Sonar Hall / 16.06.11

A gloriously sunny Thursday afternoon was the perfect way to shake off the night before with outdoor sun-soaked sets from the likes of Floating Points, Little Dragon, Toro Y Moi and one of the most hotly anticipated performances of the weekend from Nicolas Jaar. Playing to a packed out crowd, he did not disappoint with a jazz-infused journey through his latest album offering. Off-Sonar, poolside preening came thanks to Hotflush and Aus Music and their hotel-rooftop soiree which saw respective label bosses, Scuba and Will Saul sound-tracking gentle poolside toe-tipping alongside Appleblim, Sigha, Midland and Deadbeat.

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As day blurred in to night, Thursday night traditions were re-lived at Barcelona super club, Razzmatazz. The intimate confines of the Lolita room played host to London’s Hessle Audio and Hemlock Recordings who filled the club with a mass of punishing bass lines and futurist rhythms from the likes of Ben UFO, Untold, Pangaea, Pearson Sound, Girl Unit and surprise guest Jackmaster.

Friday’s Sonar by Day was prime example of Sonar’s exemplary programming, showcasing one of the most consistent and exciting new labels of recent times, Tri Angle. oOoOO and Bleep favourite Holy Other took us on a tour of their haunting downbeat rhythms, but it was How To Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) who stole the show. Performing on stage without a band, laptop, backing singers or any sort of pretence of a live-show – simply an invisibly operated backing track, a microphone and himself. Laid bare in sincerity, Krell’s falsetto vocals were vulnerable and unashamed, like watching a man singing in the intimate confines of his shower. Highlights included a R. Kelly cover and tracks from his performance punctuated with Michael Jackson-esque grunts and vocal hiccups.

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How To Dress Well @ SonarComplex / 17.06.11 / photo by Juan Sala

Another highlight came from Shangaan Electro – first brought to our attention by the incredible Honest Jon’s compilation – performing a brilliant showcase of the energetic and visceral new wave of marimba infused native dance music coming from South Africa. They took their eager crowd on an ascending journey through BPMs, starting at around 150bpm and exploding with an ass-shaking finale at destination 184 bpm!

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Shangaan Electro @ SonarVillage / 18.06.11

As usual and throughout the whole weekend, the Sonar Dome stage curated by the Red Bull Music Academy was the place to be for avid followers of the most cutting edge and exciting artists in the current electronic sphere. Hosting appearances from the likes of San Soda, B.Bravo, Teebs, Illum Sphere, Cosmin TRG, Kidkanevil and a particularly energetic disco finale from Tiger & Woods.

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Tiger & Woods @ Red Bull Music Academy Stage / SonarDôme / 18.06.11

Friday night saw Ramadanman and Scuba both delivering excellent sets, however the night was always going to belong to one person, and one person only. All excitement and buzz concerned Aphex Twin’s arrival at the world’s leading electronic festival. Never knowing what to expect, Richard D. James delivered an incredible set live face-mapping visuals and a sound spectrum that both pummels and massages your aural senses at the same time. Incredible beyond explanation.

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Aphex Twin @ SonarClub / 17.06.11

The following night, Bleep threw a little warm-up party with Smalltown Supersound with DJ sets from Bleep staff, Diskjokke and Annie. Later that evening at the main event, we were treated to an excellent showcase from the French label InFine, with a particular stand out set from Rone. Africa Hi Tech took to the stage to rightfully play what was perhaps the most ubiquitous track of the whole festival, the absolute killer Out in the Streets VIP mix. However, once again it was those audacious Scots who seemed to be running the show. Following in the footsteps of LuckyMe and their 2010 Sonar showcase, fellow Glaswegians, Numbers, took charge of the Sonar Lab stage on the Saturday night to host the likes of Redinho, Spencer, Deadboy, Lory D and their poster-boy and DJ of the moment, Jackmaster, with a surprise appearance from vocalist Jessie Ware nestled in between. The UK continued its complete Sonar domination with London’s finest, Night Slugs, taking over the Sonar Car stage, presenting Egyptrixx and one of the highlights of the festival, a super-tight set from label heads, Bok Bok and L-Vis-1990, played out to a backdrop of screaming dodgem car sirens. Surreal to say the least.

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Nursing sore heads and shattered egos all that was left was Sunday night and the Lucky Me x Earnest Endeavours Sonar after-party where our insatiable appetites for more beats and more whisky were sated with the sounds of special guest Gaslamp Killer, Machine Drum, one to watch Lando Kal and the definitive beat wizard Hudson Mohawke. He finally took us to the end of our limits with a hip hop heavy set featuring tracks from his eagerly anticipated new EP, Satin Panthers.

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Another Sonar, done and dusted. See you next year.

Words: Laura Humphries / Raj Chaudhuri
Photos: Margot Didsbury (unless stated)

Smalltown Supersound and Bleep
Sonar-Off Party – 18.06.11

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Smalltown Supersound & Bleep presents
Sonar Party with Annie, Diskjokke and Bleep DJs @ The Pulitzer

Saturday 18 June | Terrace Hotel Pulitzer | 19:00-23:00
The exclusive terrace, open only to accreditation holders

Hotel Pulitzer – c/Bergara, 8

We’re throwing a little off-party at Sonar with the good folk over at Smalltown Supersound. Come down this Saturday…

Shaun Bloodworth –
Underground Exhibition

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Our good friend Shaun Bloodworth is this week having his first solo exhibition. Containing Photographs and Film, documenting the UK and US electronic bass music scenes, since 2005, with over 200 pictures from FWD>>, DMZ, Low End Theory, NYC and Sonar . There will be collaborative work from GiveUpArt, Humanstudio, Peter & Paul and of course the NSEW project that he completed with our good selves.

The exhibition ‘UNDERGROUND‘ will open 28th April until May 14th, in Sheffield UK, with a special ticket only event on May 7th, with DJ sets from MaryAnne Hobbs and Grievous Angel .

In the words of Shaun himself:

Most of the subjects are of a different generation to me, a group who are much maligned by the media – accused of being lazy, consumer-driven and selfish. However, I consistently find the opposite to be true – they are hardworking, talented and driven by personal experiences, living their lives to the full.

I fell into their world by chance, a returned favour creating a new path for me, and now find myself bizarrely and happily part of it. Over the past twenty years I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world , see incredible things and meet amazing people, but nothing has inspired me more than those featured in ‘Underground’.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this journey, its never to judge a book by its cover.

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Bleep @ Bloc 2011…

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Last Thursday, we had a little Bleep x Bloc warm-up party in Paris with Joy Orbison, Lone, Boxcutter and Max Cooper… This was merely a taster for the weekend we were about to embark on…

Surreal does not even begin to describe the lunacy that is a weekend spent at Bloc festival in Butlins. From the utilitarian-esque rows of chalets to the noisy games arcade and the culinary options that extend no further than a Pizza Hut buffet; we’ve never had so much fun dancing around on garishly decorated carpets. One thing is for sure, no other festival on our British shores represents the best of underground electronic music, big and small, and past and present, as well as Bloc does. We were thrilled to present our Bleep Showcase on Sunday evening over on the Jak:Bloc stage this year where some of our favourite artists played to a packed out crowd.

Leighton (Bleep DJ Competition Winner) I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Leighton (Bleep DJ Competition Winner) I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Boxcutter I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Boxcutter I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Luke Abbott I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Luke Abbott I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Our Bleep Competition winner, Leighton, kicked off proceedings warming the stage up for Planet Mu’s Boxcutter who played the difficult early slot to a completely packed out room. To have a queue extend from the Bleep stage right through to the amusement park is no mean feat at 5pm. Following this, Luke Abbott delighted the crowd with his blissful electronic melodies, which left things to Jacques Greene to switch things up a level or two, delivering some pumping future bass rhythms. What followed was a full on 90’s rave with Lone skilfully dropping some gems, such as Adonis’ Trax Records classic, No Way Back and his own Pineapple Crush. Kyle Hall then stepped in to close the stage with some hands in the air moments with the 90’s club jam, Show Me Love and Moodymann’s Freeki Mutha Fucker.

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Jacques Greene I Bleep.com stage I 13.03.11

Lone I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Lone I Bleep.com Stage I 13.03.11

Kyle Hall I Bleep.com stage I 13.03.11

Kyle Hall I Bleep.com stage I 13.03.11

Elsewhere, Rustie rocked the Numbers showcase with his trademark aqua-crunk beats and some particularly choice cuts such as an (as of yet) unreleased Hudson Mohawke gem. Space Dimension Controller stole the show at the Resident Advisor showcase with his distinctive boogie-infused house beats. Jimmy Edgar worked his excellent live show with improvised vocoder, seamlessly switching from electro to funk to all out jungle within the blink of an eye. Alva Noto represented the Raster-Noton camp, bringing us a performance that balanced between the experimental and the club experience perfectly, pleasing a dedicated crowd as well as converting some new devotees.

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Space Dimension Controller I RA Showcase I 12.03.11

Alva Noto I Overkill Showcase I 12.03.11

Alva Noto I Overkill Showcase I 12.03.11

LFO I Centre:Bloc I 11.03.11

LFO I Centre:Bloc I 11.03.11

Aphex Twin pulled out a brilliant (and suprizing) set that journeyed from beautiful ambient harmonics to dubstep (even dropping Ramadanman and Night Slugs’ Jam City!) to an incredible crescendo of drilling beats and white-noise… The previous night, one of the standout moments of the festival perhaps belongs to LFO and the rapturous reception that Freak received from the Centre:Bloc crowd.

We shall see you there next year…

Words: Laura Humphries I Photos: Margot Didsbury
For more info on Bloc: http://www.blocweekend.com/

Bleep x Bloc – Paris Party / Festival Showcase / 2 Exclusive mixes

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2 weeks ago, we were pretty happy to tell you that we were hosting a showcase at Bloc this year. The festival has now totally sold out, but for those of you who can’t make it we have decided to give you 2 exclusive mixes from the artists at our stage. As well as that, we are also throwing a Bleep x Bloc party in Paris as a special preview of the event.

The event will take place at La Machine du Moulin Rouge and the line-up includes Joy Orbison, Lone, Boxcutter, Max Cooper and Bleep DJs.

Thursday 10th March – Bleep Presents Bloc
JOY ORBISON / LONE / BOXCUTTER / MAX COOPER / BLEEP DJs
More Info / Facebook Page /

La Machine du Moulin Rouge / PARIS 18
80 Boulevard de Clichy – metro Blanche
Paris, France

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If you have been lucky enough to get a ticket to Bloc, make sure you check out our showcase on Sunday 13th March (the closing night of the festival).

- Lone
- Kyle Hall
- Boxcutter
- Luke Abbott
- Jacques Greene

More Info on the Bleep showcase
/ Bloc website

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In the meanwhile, check out these 2 exclusive mixes from Boxcutter and Lone.

Free Bleep DJ Mix…

Free L-Vis 1990 podcast
+ win tickets to the Numbers 7th Birthday

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For those that weren’t lucky enough to go to the Numbers party at Barcelona the other week, here is a free podcast of the set from L-Vis 1990 from that night.

If that wasn’t enough, our mates over at Numbers are having even more parties to celebrate their 7th birthday… There will be one on the 2nd July at Sub Club, Glasgow, and one on the 9th July at Fabric, London.

We have a pair of tickets for both shows to give away… Just simply e-mail info@bleep.com and state your lucky number and why. Please also tell us which show you would like to go to (Glasgow or London).

Bleep x Sonar

Bleep x Sonar 2010 by Bleep.com

This year, Sonar Festival and Bleep are partnering to give away 2 MP3s a week, every week for a month in the lead-up to Sonar Festival 2010. The 8 UK artists involved in the giveaway are Hudson Mohawke, Fuck Buttons, Broadcast, Roska, King Midas Sound, Sandwell District, 2020 Soundsystem and The Blessings.

With many of the 8 tracks being exclusive or previously not on general sale, this is a unique opportunity to have an upfront taste of the music that will be soundtracking Barcelona in June and get your hands on some rare recordings of these incredible artists.

Check out our Bleep x Sonar MP3 giveway