It’s been a long trip. The calming hum inside your hyperbolic chamber is finally beginning to subside and the titanium door slowly opens, allowing the sterile synthetic air to filter out while pressurized air fills the vacuum…
Cinemascope by Monolake is an eerily hypnotic album that is the perfect companion when emerging from a hazy fog. Monolake combines the starkness of fellow mood-makers Boards of Canada (but without the gooey sweetness and spliff-friendly vibes) with the near-cyborg qualities of Autechre, avoiding the duo’s obsession with metallic-based noise that’s void of melody or structure.
The album’s centerpiece, “Ionized,” is an eleven-minute moody and mysterious journey similar to the sensations one experiences while zooming through the inner depths of a black hole, with clipped beats and swirling airlocks of sound sliding by. “Remoteable” is a great companion piece with its polyrhythmic percussion, off-kilter melodies, seemingly random crispy scratches, crusty clinks, and filtered funk bass.
“Cut” is one of the few missteps of Cinemascope, with its chaotic beat programming and frantic, intense synthesized textures, but other tracks such as the cerebral “Alpenrausch” help to stave off the boredom.
When the final track, “Indigo,” unfolds ever so gently with its soothing droplets of cyborg blood, whooshing oxygen atoms, and crisp, crackly beats, it’s time to head back to the hyperbolic chamber for another year. But what a year it will be.