Monoloc – The Untold Way LP
Sascha Borchardt aka Monoloc is a dystopic atmospheres fanatic that has dedicated his life to the dance floor from an early age. The Frankfurt-born artist’s raw yet sleek take on techno and ambient has evolved to characterise his own musical style in his productions. Monoloc’s sound is a mixture between techno, dub and ambient, nurturing a tone that is driving, groovy and low-slung, but with greater emotional range. He acquires most of his inspiration from old movies and likes to work mostly with field recordings in his productions.
‘The Untold Way’ on Dystopian is his second album, following his first in 2012, and shows a notably matured development in the artist’s style. Sascha explores the distant realms between the pillars of genres, presenting a 12 track album of techno but not as we know it – left field, keeping a foot in ambient, with elements outside of the dancefloor. He brings together the concept of an album written in his own language of atmospheric patterns, melodies and fragments of words and voices. Instead of functional four to the floor tracks he explores the meaning and depths of dark, melancholic music.
The album unfolds into a 12 chapter story of his musical style with many surprises and twists along the way. ‘The Untold Way’ starts with the ambient ‘Revive’, slow and gentle yet apprehensive. As the listener moves through the album they catch glimpses of almost formed club tracks, in ‘The Untold Way’, ‘Michigan Lights’, ‘Gravity Growl’ and ‘Alighting’. These have remnants of a dancefloor impression, a prominent beat is there, but not much more.
At other points you see Monoloc’s more experimental side. ‘No GHSTS’ featuring Tijana T evokes a resounding beat filling an empty space, with the occasional piano melody and eerie vocal. ‘Cloning Society’ is beatless, driven merely by a consistent bass and echoing voice. The album is interspersed with short ambient interludes, each just a few minutes long: ‘Lowa’ and ‘Gently Falls’, serene and reflective, give the listener time to breathe. And bringing you back to familiarity are more the dancefloor focussed tracks of the LP, ’Momentum’ and ‘Muted’. The twelfth and last track is ‘Ground Disorder’, which brings the album to a halt with an air of nostalgia.
The result is a story, a history in twelve chapters that the listener is guided through like the landscapes of a gothic horror film, with a new twist on the percussion or surprising effect hidden behind every bass sound, waiting to excite and delight.
Out October 31 / Dystopian
2/A2. The Untold Way
4/B1. No GHSTS feat. Tijana T
6/B3. Michigan Lights
7/C1. Gently Falls
8/C2. Cloning Society
10/D1. Gravity Growl
12/D3. Ground Disorder