Monokle, “Rings” Review

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By: Brie East
Music Reviewer
Artist: Monokle
Album: Ringsmonokle
Label: Ki Records
Release Date: September 4, 2015

It always seems like art is trying to be loud, constantly creating a spectacle of itself. But there is a need for something more substantial and understated, something to make people step out of what they know. Russian electronic artist Monokle is a good place to start. After the release of a well-received EP in 2012, Monokle has debuted his sophomore release Rings.

Otherwise known as Vlad Kudryavtsev, Monokle’s ambient music takes the familiar and makes it unfamiliar in the sense that it disorients, yet calms in a contradictory manner. With music creating visions of cold, icy ‘tundra worlds,’ his music is trancelike, enveloping the listener in a strange warmth. The album is dreamy; songs like “Blew” (featuring Galaga) feel like a lullaby. Meanwhile, “Backwash” sounds like the soundtrack to a haunted house.The music straddles the line between music you can dance to and a more thoughtful take on electronic music. With such a deep, rich sound, it’s no wonder that Monokle is a graduated psychologist.

The producer, based in St. Petersburg, made two mixes for Thump and Impose to showcase Russian electronic artists, a huge yet unappreciated scene. Citing Flying Lotus and Erik Satie as influences, Monokle’s second EP serves to be a good representative for his roots.

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