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Monolake


Artist Biography

Real Name: Robert Henke, Torsten "T++" Pröfrock
Monikers: Robert Henke, Helical Scan
Genre: Minimal, Techno


Monolake is an electronic music act based in Berlin. Originally consisting of members Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke, Monolake is now perpetuated by Henke while Behles focuses on running music software company Ableton, which they founded in 1999 together with Bernd Roggendorf. In fall 2004, Torsten Pröfrock became a member of Monolake.

Monolake's minimal, dub-influenced techno music helped establish the sound of the Chain Reaction label, also located in Berlin, subsequently using their own (Monolake / Imbalance Computer Music) label for the group's output. Both current members have solo projects, with Henke releasing under his own name and Pröfrock as T++ and Various Artists.

In 2008 T++ followed Ricardo Villalobos in bridging the gap between minimal techno and dubstep, by remixing Shackleton's Death Is Not Final for the Skull Disco label.

In 2009, Robert Henke appeared in the electronic music documentary Speaking In Code which presented the completion of the Monodeck.

Monolake is named after Mono Lake, which is east of the Sierra Nevada in California.

Robert Henke, born 1969 in Munich, is a composer, sound designer, software developer, installation artist and multimedia performer. His art is about carefully shaped details behind the surface and gradual changes of repeating structures in different time scales. Many of his works are defined as potentially endless and slowly evolving states, thus inviting the audience to immerse themselves completely for a freely defined amount of time. His sonic explorations are rooted in academic sound research as well as in club culture. With his collaborative musical project 'Monolake' he became part of the legendary 'Chain Reaction' record label in the early 1990s, and shaped what later became 'the sound of Berlin techno music'.

Locating himself more on the periphery of the dance music culture, he also started exploring interactive sound installations, and audiovisual performances beyond the dancefloor. For Henke, the artistic result that is evident in his works and the creation of the instruments and tools to achieve these results are two sides of the same artistic process. Since the founding of the company in 1999, he is one of the main developers of the 'Ableton Live' software, which became the current standard for electronic music production and performance.
Robert Henke is living in Berlin and teaches as professor for sound design and computer music performance at the University of Arts in Berlin.

Henke's strong interest in the interaction between a given physical space and the imaginary space defended in his art can be best experienced in one of his multiple loudspeaker surround concerts. His performances and installations have been shown at the Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, MUDAM in Luxembourg, PS1 in New York, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and others. His album 'Layering Buddha' received an honorary mention at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2007.