Monolake's music falls into a strange place between club culture and art culture.
The Berlin-based minimal techno outfit's soundscapes are intrinsically linked to both worlds, the rhythms drawing inspiration from dance music but the techniques and attitude referencing the world of electro-acoustic music.
"Early Monolake live performances were more or less improvisations with drum machines and FX," explains Robert Henke, the main man behind the project. "Later on, I wanted to be able to reproduce existing tracks, so I focused more on finding ways to diffuse and recontextualize them via processing and mixing, which is pretty much a musique concrète, or classical computer music, approach.
"Now I am in the process of creating a completely new live situation that has to do with the use of new software (Ableton's Live) that will bring back some more improvisational aspects."
Since Monolake's beginnings in 1995, Henke and Gerhard Behles have been writing their own software in order to make their music.
At one point in Monolake's past Henke wouldn't even admit to being a musician, so much was the music dependent on programming.
"I wanted to distinguish between a 'classical' player who can read a score and can play basically everything, and people like me who are skilled in using computers.
"Now I think this is stupid. I am a musician -- I play computers and controllers. This is why some people, including me, spend so much time thinking of the perfect studio environment. The studio is the instrument. I write my own instruments, and I choose carefully which ones I buy because I want to 'play' with them.
"For me, music can only occur if I can create a relationship with my instruments. That's another aspect of writing your own programs. Technology defines art defines technology."
Early releases on Chain Reaction garnered Monolake attention as influential glitch house figures. Eventually, they went on to start a software company, Ableton, and Behles withdrew from Monolake to spend more time building the company.
"Gerhard and I have always been interested in writing software, so the connection is obvious. The psychological aspect of giving people not only music but also tools they can use to create music is sometimes a bit strange.
"Currently, I am developing some nice plug-ins for Ableton's Live software. I use these for my music, but after they're released everyone can just take them.
"Sometimes I think I should do more music, but writing software is so much fun, and why not share the results?"
By sharing his sounds and methods with his fans, Henke narrows the gap between himself and his audience. Other specific Monolake-developed applications can be downloaded from www.monolake.de, and a Monolake sound library can be bought for Native Instruments.
As enamoured as he is with technology, don't expect Henke to be a cheerleader for sampling.
"Sampling in itself is very boring. In reality even the most repetitive acoustic events do not repeat exactly, but a sampler does. Synthesis is much more satisfying for me, because you can make much more vivid sound."