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Robert Henke biography
In parallel of publishing a vast catalogue of technoid, passable electronic inventions (under the name Monolake), the German artist Robert Henke released in solo a few inspired drone based electronic albums in the tradition of floating and effervescent spacious soundscapes from Brian Eno and micro-electronic innovations from Fennesz or Sakamoto. The result provides two beautiful, fragile albums:
- "Signal to noise" (2004), composed for the Yamaha SY77 synth instrument. It is said to be largely inspired by the Joshua Tree national park in California.
- "Layering Buddha" (2006), magnificent progressive ambient studies for electronic loops and continuous sound forms.

Similar artists: Brian Eno, Rosy Parlane, Biosphere

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Atom / DocumentAtom / Document
Imbalance Computer 2009
Audio CD$42.41
$14.99 (used)
Layering BuddhaLayering Buddha
Imbalance Computer 2006
Audio CD$59.99
$32.15 (used)
Piercing MusicPiercing Music
Imbalance Computer 2003
Audio CD$19.99
$18.99 (used)
Atom / Document by ROBERT HENKE (2009-01-20)Atom / Document by ROBERT HENKE (2009-01-20)
Imbalance Computer
Audio CD$106.12
Piercing Music by ROBERT HENKE (2003-09-09)Piercing Music by ROBERT HENKE (2003-09-09)
Imbalance Computer
Audio CD$62.98
Signal to Noise by Robert HenkeSignal to Noise by Robert Henke
Audio CD$175.10
Layering Buddha by Henke, Robert (2006-11-07)Layering Buddha by Henke, Robert (2006-11-07)
Imbalance Computer
Audio CD$96.58
Indigo TransformIndigo Transform
Imbalance Computer 2009
Audio CD$112.35
$49.95 (used)
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ROBERT HENKE discography

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ROBERT HENKE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Signal to Noise
3.95 | 2 ratings
Layering Buddha
1.00 | 1 ratings

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Floating point

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Atom/Document by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2008
1.00 | 1 ratings

Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

— First review of this album —
1 stars "Performance for a matrix of 64 illuminated gas balloons and sound

A room is filled with deep, evolving noises from a four-channel sound system. An eight-by-eight array of white, self-illuminated spheres floats in space like the atoms of a complex molecule. Through variable positioning and illumination of each atom, a dynamic display sculpture comes into being, composed of physical objects, patterns of light, and synchronous rhythmic and textural sonic events. Change, sound, and movement converge into a larger form.

The height of each helium balloon is adjusted with a computer-controlled cable winch, whilst the internal illumination is accomplished using dimmable super-bright LEDs, creating a pixel in a warped 8x8 spatial matrix."

This is what meets you when approaching this record.... It originally started out as an idea inside the head of sound conceptualist Christopher Bauder, who has a history of turning ordinary items into sound- producing sculptures. Featured within the gatefold sleeve - as well as on Henke's internet home Monolake, this 'explanation' hovers like the very helium balloons incorporated into the show. In short: this album came into fruition after an artsy installation, where Henke delivered the music to a giant spectacle with all of these white balloons, LED lights and a very ingenious way of matching them all together - so as the music and the theatrics felt inter-weaved, interconnected - to give the audience that special modern and highly esoteric urban experience.

Tell you the truth, I would have loved to see this thing in a live setting - even more so, attended this event with a couple of beautiful art chicks that jump at anything with balloons in it - all slick and dressed up with my sole tie around my neck together with my yellow Bono glasses and a bottle of absinthe down my trousers.

Yet somehow when you approach this work, and yes here I choose the word 'work' - as it clearly demonstrates a will to be acknowledged as a piece of modern art, -this work feels stagnant and helplessly uninteresting based on the sounds themselves. Most of it circles around without purpose or direction in the now famous glitch style, which basically means electronic music made up of cut off television signals and other malfunctioning electronic equipment. Now, don't get me wrong - I happen to love glitch when it's done right - or let me rephrase that: when it's done interestingly. Atom/Document though feels like sitting behind a sofa with no view - listening to a guy changing channels on his television that only shows abrupt white noise. The only real musical elements that break through this contrived and hazy thicket are snippets of electronic percussive splashes that sound like chiming bicycle bells or a guy tapping his finger ring on a piano string. Lastly you've got the mellow piano segments that are as droopy and sad as a grey afternoon's pouring rain, but more than anything do these remind me of those 'realistic' advertisements for big banks telling you about the right way to spend money...

Maybe this album should have stayed in its original form, which is that multimedia art installation that I opened my review with? I don't know really, because I am no judge - and all I do is listen to music and subsequently try to describe the voyage. A lot of well respected electronic music writers have praised this thing - commended it for its dense atmospheres and conceptual vision. Frankly, I think they may have bought into the art house thing a little too much, because listened to without all the flashing white balloons, this thing is the musical equivalent of licking a newly cleaned window.

 Layering Buddha by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.95 | 2 ratings

Layering Buddha
Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Absolutely gorgeous and "transcendant" dronescapings from this German electronic musician. Avoid his band (Monolake) and go directly to his solo works; his cinematic, sonic electronic excursions can be associated to Brian Eno's contemplations and Klaus Schulze's dark isolation. Each track provides a luminous electronic hypnosis for synth equipements and electronic effects. The choice, selection of sounds gives wonderful aesthetic and "physical" droning textures, always delivering a meditative, "visceral" listening. All pieces are flowing in suspension, in an eerie, sometime creepy ambience. "Layer 001" is a spaced out electronic composition with really "moody", "glacial" elements. Same thing for "Layer 002" with its massive devastating spherical drones. Some compositions feature metaphoric, amplified sounds taken from the nature ("Layer 007"). Clouds of sustained drones also remind me some minimalist experimentations by pioneers as Phill Niblock... Haunting, "kosmische" world of sounds! A must for spacey-kraut lovers and those who are captivated by agitated, immersive drones.
Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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