Monolink describes growing into his musical self and the inspiration behind ‘Amniotic’ [Q&A]

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In recent years, a new type of artist has been developing in Germany, one as unique as he is talented. This artist is called Monolink, and his music is a blend of his own voice, his guitar, and craftily arranged, satisfying electronica. His music has been so well received, in fact, that some are pointing to him as one of the most innovative new artists on the scene. After several years developing his  project and building out his repertoire, he released his highly anticipated debut album, Amniotic, on the boutique German imprint, Embassy One Records. We caught up with Monolink to see about getting a better understanding of who he is, and from where his music comes.


Amniotic is an interesting title for your debut album. Tell us about what that word means to you in this context, and why you chose it.
The title came to me when I was writing the lyrics for the opening track, which is also called “Amniotic.” Amniotic fluid is the liquid that an unborn baby lives in, and for the first months of our lives, it is the only reality we know, where we only float in our subconscious. The song is about being born, or maybe the moments right before, and I felt like it suited the whole idea of the album very well, since it’s my first full body of work.

You have such a unique sound. Who are some of your musical inspirations?
I always felt very much inspired by Nicolas Jaar and his approach to electronic music. For a long time, it was mostly based on sampling and editing old songs with new sound elements. To me, that sounded like the future, and a dystopian one, due to the quality of the old samples. When I heard Darkside’s (one of his side projects) first EP, it was unlike anything I had listened to before, and I knew this was something I’d want to do as well.

I was also always really interested in stories and lyrics. During the time I was playing as a singer-songwriter, my main inspirations were Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and all those old masters of words. So the whole idea for this project was to bring those two worlds together.

Tell us about how you got started making this form of live electronic music, coupled with your voice and your guitar. What lead you to start this project?
I guess moving to Berlin in 2009 had a strong impact on me. I was really inspired by the music scene here. The first years, I was playing in bars and on the streets, and I was all about folk music. I was then drawn into the world of electronic music, the clubs, and the whole community around it. It was completely new to me, and unlike anything I had known before—a different way of listening to music. There were still stories being told, not with words, but with energy and repetition. You would listen with your body, and not so much your mind. That fascinated me, so I soon started producing electronic music, taking material from the songs I had written before. I also realized I could play my songs live instead of just sampling them. I still wanted to play concerts and create a live music experience, but I also wanted to add a new layer of sound, letting people feel it and dance to it.

We know you’ve been out touring around the world for quite some time already. What’s one of your best stories from life on the road?
I once got to play for the queen of Thailand! After I finished school, I was traveling in Southeast Asia for some months, and I joined a Thai band in a little town close to Bangkok. We played cover shows in clubs and bars, until one New Year’s Eve, when we were booked to play the queen’s party, at her summer residency. It was a huge, beautiful place, all surrounded by a national park. When the queen arrived, the band had to stop the music, and we all got on our knees to pay respect. The queen, for some reason, was dressed up in a cowboy costume and walked right up to me (I was the only foreigner there). She asked me where I was from, and when I said, “Germany,” she laughed and replied to me in German, telling me that she studied in Switzerland. She then, for the rest of the night, made all her announcements in German, with me being the only one in the room who could understand her. It made me smile. This was long before I started Monolink, but still a story I like to remember.

After releasing a full-length album like Amniotic, what comes next for you?
I’m working on a full concert show with a band at the moment, which is really exciting for me. As much as I love playing at techno events, playing shows in concert venues will open up so many new possibilities: working with lights and visuals, creating a full body experience. We’re going to start touring in fall, and after that I want to start working on my second album.

We’ll close with a fun one. If you could have one artist remix a track from the album, which artist and which song would you choose? Why?
I would love to have David August remix. I can really relate to the music he makes; I feel like we have a very similar view on sound aesthetics. Which song is a difficult one, though. Maybe the opener, “Amniotic?” I don’t always like the way my vocals sound on record, but in that track, I love the way the harmonies work together. I think he would like it, too.

 

Feature Image Credit: Hailley Howard

Techno Tuesday: My Favorite Robot select the tracks that define their MFR Imprint

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Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

My Favorite Robot maintain an enduring mission: to spread love for more nuanced shades of dance music as widely as possible, all while refusing to define themselves under any one label. The result of this mission? A diverse repertoire of compositions, each containing a skillful balance of house, progressive, and tech elements that are fused into a cohesive whole. Their approach to musicmaking and their unique sound in general has led to the Canadian duo landing on multiple prolific labels, the likes of which include Last Night On Earth, Crosstown Rebels, and No. 19.

My Favorite Robot - 2018

Beyond releases on other labels, My Favorite Robot have one of their own, dubbed MFR Records. Their brainchild has come far from its humble beginnings, signing Kenny Glasgow, Clarian, Emerson Todd, and other greats into its fold over time, just to name a few. The label has just crossed into its milestone 10th birthday, moving at full speed ahead into its next decade of existence.

We wrangled the outfit ahead of embarking on their celebratory label tour, which kicked off mid-April, and got them to give us a list of what they’ve deemed to be label-defining releases over the years. Enjoy the selections!

 


2008 – My Favorite Robot – In The Dark

2009 – Kenny Glasgow – ‘Something Special’

2010 – Jonny White & My Favorite Robot – ‘Desensitize’ (Chloe Remix)

2011 – Nitin – ‘Blink Twice’

2012 – Fairmont – ‘Old Ways’

2013 – Tim Paris – ‘Outback, Stones, & Vinyl’

2014 – Clarian – ‘Unrest’

2015 – My Favorite Robot – ‘Glass To The End’

2016 – Jori Hulkkonen – ‘Black Books’

2017 – Rodion & Local Suicide – ‘Abu Dhabi (Los Mekanikos Remix)’

2018 – Sebastopol – ‘Friday To Sunday’

 

Remaining Tour Dates:

May 12 – Enter the Dragon [Munich, GER]
May 12 – Groove Club [Mexicali, MEX]
May 15 – Techno Taco Tuesdays [Las Vegas, NV]
May 18 – Solset at Firehouse [San Diego, CA]

Yolanda Be Cool assemble breezy new playlist ahead of Splash House [EXCLUSIVE]

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yolanda be cool

Palm Springs will undergo it’s semi-annual transformation into a dance-fueled desert oasis come June 8, as Splash House‘s first edition makes its rounds through its usual home resorts.

The Goldenvoice institution turns five this year, and to switch things up, lineups are staggered as well. June’s roster has just been unveiled, revealing a bevy of acts like What So Not, Duke Dumont, Dusky, and more that will take help guide festivities in the most raucous of fashions.

Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool will also be taking the decks over the weekend; however, they simply could not contain their excitement for the upcoming festivities. Appropriately, they’ve created a fresh new playlist for Dancing Astronaut that is pumped with tunes matching their musical aesthetic: mellow, grooving, and sunny. Within minutes, the vibe will be too infectious not to dance along to!

 

Elypsis & Arielle Maren Team Up For ‘Always Be’ + Vintage & Morelli Remix

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Silk Music has been raising the bar on melodic tunes in 2018, and today it continues with “Always Be,” to which three extraordinary artists, hailing from three different continents, contribute their superlative production and vocal talents: Elypsis (Australia), Arielle Maren (USA), and Vintage & Morelli (Serbia). 1. Original Mix Having just celebrated the one-year anniversary

The post Elypsis & Arielle Maren Team Up For ‘Always Be’ + Vintage & Morelli Remix appeared first on EDM Sauce.

BVRNOUT Releases “Nothing More” (Feat. Cadence Ludden)

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Massachusetts-based dance music DJ/producer first known for his massive release ‘APACHE’ delivers a brand new track titled, ‘Nothing More’ featuring the wonderful and soulful vocals of Cadence Ludden. BVRNOUT’s “Nothing More” is a playful  track with a  deep house/tropical house melody with faint guitar chords with infectious beats out now on Spinnin Record’s sub label

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A lifetime in the making, the debut album from Aeron Aether is here, ‘Landscapes & Dimensions’

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Aeron Aether, celebrated veteran composer and longstanding mastering engineer for the Silk Music imprint, has released dozens of beloved singles and remixes in his illustrious career, including collaborations with the likes of Matt Darey and Mango. Ten years in the making, his debut album, “Landscapes & Dimensions,” finds the Hungarian virtuoso in peak form. A

The post A lifetime in the making, the debut album from Aeron Aether is here, ‘Landscapes & Dimensions’ appeared first on EDM Sauce.

Lane 8 and Avoure Release ‘Let Me’

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Following the success of his sophomore album Little By Little which was released earlier this year, Daniel Goldstein aka Lane 8 releases ‘Let Me’ with Avoure as the second volume of his Root To Branch compilation EP. Conceived to nurture fresh, upcoming talent to his This Never Happened label family, Root To Branch will again

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Shiba San throws down Chicago house in new ‘Off To Funk’ EP

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Dirtybird deity, Shiba San returns to Relief Records with his newest EP, Off To Funk, his second release on the Green Velvet-founded Chicago-based label.

The producer’s patriarchal presence in the house and tech scenes began after the release of 2015’s wall-to-wall club track “OKAY.” Since, he has embarked on world tours and worked alongside some of the most prestigious names in his respective genre, including Dirtybird label head, Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet himself, for their collaborative 2017 EP, Fearless. 

The four-track extended play, Off To Funk, features two original extended cuts, as well as two coinciding, shortened club mixes. The EP sees Shiba embrace the deeper, classic Chicago style house and tech elements that are so very characteristic of Green Velvet and the Relief imprint. In “Back To Funk,” a deep bass line thumps alongside rattling hi-hats and the repeated sample chop, “Back to funk/Freak the funk.”Comparatively, “Off” proves more melodic, with a colorful, highly texturized synth line alongside a crooning female vocal cut. Coming in with four new, satisfying club-ready house products, Shiba San has found a fitting home away from home on Relief’s roster.

Listen To Vera Blue’s Latest “Lady Powers | Power Ladies Remix EP”

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Vera Blue is an artist that has been making some big strides recently, with the release of her latest single “Lady Powers” and now the remix EP, there’s no doubt that she is headed for a bright future. Not to mention the fact that she has also been featured on tracks with Slumberjack and Flume,

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Premiere: Inxec & Droog – Monstar

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Droog

Living across thousands of miles and an ocean isn’t enough to stop Droog and Inxec from making some collaborative gold. The LA-based duo have been working with the British native for years, fashioning house music containing a blend of mystical elements and entrancing melodies.

They’ve once more joined forces on Droog’s Culprit imprint, coming out of the studio with a brand new, five-piece EP with four originals between the two, plus a remix from the venerable Dance Spirit.

Din opens on a scintillating note with “Monstar,” which traverses through patches of seductive vocal clips, metallic hits of percussion, and dramatic melodies. Its unfolding is meticulously timed, with its creators subtly adding in layers of sound until a satisfying climax hits.

Due for an April 27 release, “Monstar” is likely to be rinsed throughout the festival season.

 


Pre-order a copy here