Sunday, 23 September 2018

My favourite music artists of the 10s : #79 - Monade

Second entry in that end-of-the-decade early overview, i must clarify a few points already. Firstly, the ranking doesn't mean that much, after #40 maybe, a hundred names could have come up right there, at the #41 mark... barely a personal impression at that given moment. Moreover, plenty of still active all-time favourites of mine have been left out for various reasons : Björk, Massive Attack, Tortoise, Radiohead, Tim Hecker, Jim O'Rourke, Sigur Rós, Aphex Twin, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, múm, Alva Noto, Tindersticks, Max Richter, Deerhoof... an excruciating enumeration really. And finally, music artists with only one longform release since 2010 had no chance to appear, even Phoenecia whose incredible Demissions is simply my favourite album of the 10s so far (their Miami-based imprint of mutant IDM will be represented, though).

Moving on...

Not to be confused with the excellent post-rock side-project of Stereolab's vocalist Laetitia Sadier, Monade aka Roberto Donato is an italian beatmaker, perhaps the greatest regular contributor to the tragically overlooked Xtraplex Records, one of my favourite IDM and experimental electronic labels of the decade.

With the two beautiful and highly atmospheric tracks, made of pulsating beats, oniric textures and moody piano, that he recorded for compilations curated by both my French websites IRM and Des Cendres à la Cave (actually, half the musicians from that list took part to at least one of those, and i am quite grateful for that), i could very well have a soft spot for the guy. But with 5 albums in half a decade already, including at least three impressive ones, my admiration for Monade goes far beyond that, starting with the futuristic and shapeshifting Pt#9 from 6 years ago.

Equally synthetic and somatic, haunted and dreamlike, dark and melancholic, mutant and melodic, Monade's tracks infuse their electronic destructurations with anxious phantasmagorias, recalling the finest hours of Warp Records, with more and more focus on splintering rythms, deep ambient textures and organic clicks and cuts since Own Your Ghost (2013), an evolution culminating the following year with Puni's fascinating cybernetic mitosis, life emerging from a technological void and expanding, invading its synthetic substrate to merge with it and take over... probably his best release to date.

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