The Untold Way
Sascha Borchardt, aka Monoloc, is a dystopic atmospheres fanatic that has dedicated his life to the dancefloor from an early age. The Frankfurt-born artist's raw, yet sleek take on techno and ambient has evolved to characterize 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 is his second album, following Drift (CLR 011CD, 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 it proves to be uniquely different - 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 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 beat-less, 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 focused tracks of the album, "Momentum" and "Muted". The last track, "Ground Disorder", 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.