Monolake started in 1995 as a collaborative project between Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke, with the release of the 12″ vinyl single entitled “Cyan” on the Berlin based label Chain Reaction. Both Henke and Behles shared a background in programming, an interest in academic computer music and a fascination for the raw forces of electronic club music. Combining elements of both musical worlds, Monolake’s releases are centered around the development of slowly changing repetitive structures, embedded in complex sound design.
From the very beginning of the project, the creation of music was a process more connected to playing and interacting with machines in realtime than to the idea construction.
As a result of this attempt, Robert Henke started to build own hardware for Live performance, like the Monodeck II, and Gerhard Behles founded the music software company Ableton. Robert Henke joined it in order to develop the first music software for performance, Ableton Live. As a side effect, Monolake became a Robert Henke solo project with occasional guests, most notable Torsten “T++” Proefrock, who contributed to the albums Cinemascoope (2002) and Polygon Cities (2005) and to selected live performances in 2008 and 2009.
Since early 2009 Monolake concerts are presented in surround sound and with additional realtime computer animation by the dutch visual artist Tarik Barri. Musically Monalake does not fit into any of the strict genre definitions, it’s not Techno, not Minimal, it’s not Dubstep, not Ambient. Probably the best description is: Music with a lot of bass, a lot of percussions and a wide and deep sound design.
Monolake Live Surround is a research and result project. Its about moving people on the dancefloor, overwhelming the audience with stunning sound and sophisticated visual manipulations. It’s about exploring new technologies like ambisonics and wave field synthesis and it’s about providing an experience that can only happen in a concert situation.
Music by Monolake has been licensed for TV series such as CSI Miami, several dance productions, and video clips. Monolake have been remixing Depeche Mode, Die Goldenen Zitronen, Apparat and others.
The name Monolake has been chosen after a missed attempt of Behles and Henke to visit the Mono Lake whilst travelling the US in summer 1994.