Monolake started in 1995 as a collaborative project between Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke, with the release of the 12″ vinyl single ‘Cyan’ on the Berlin based label Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction had just been established as a new platform by Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald, famous for their works as Basic Channel, Maurizio and Rhythm and Sound, and became a highly influential force in what later has been defined as Berlin Techno.
Henke and Behles shared a background in programming, an interest in academic computer music and a fascination for the raw forces of electronic club culture.Combining elements of both worlds, Monolake’s releases had a distinct and different sound around whilst still being related to the cultural and stylistic background of their peers.
With the help of self-written software, they developed their signature style based on variations of repetitive structures, embedded in complex sound design and with formal structures closer to sculpture than to classic song writing.
Gerhard Behles left the project in 1999 to found the software company Ableton
, which Robert Henke joined briefly after, to develop a software – Live
– which radically changed the way music is performed and produced, and which became one of the most successful and significant technical contributions to current music instrument technology. 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 performances in 2008 and 2009.