Recently, Resident Advisor posted a rather scathing review of Monoloc’s new album Drift, accompanied by a disheartening 2.5 star review. I felt that this album deserved more credit, and so I thought I’d rant on that topic for a quick second.
First thing’s first: Yes, this album flirts with pop music. But that’s cool. Monoloc is experimenting with expanding the techno aesthetic into pop music. In my opinion, it doesn’t work perfectly, but that’s OK. It works well enough to be enjoyed by most techno people.
What bothers me is that the RA review gives the impression that album was an attempt to use tried-and-true pop/rock methods to forge an uncreative but commercially successful release. I entirely disagree with this. Monoloc is a techno artist exploring a combination of genres in a couple of the tracks, and then also including some pure techno as a foundation. If anything, we should be applauding him for trying something like this. It’s not like he was mediocre at making techno and so he decided to cheese it up with vocals in order to be successful – Monoloc was a respected techno producer to begin with.
Finally, and most importantly, the tracks on the album that are “pure” techno stand above the quality of most successful techno releases. They are compelling, mysterious, and dark. Would I give this album a 5 star rating? Nope. But I think 2.5 is way too low.