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ROBERT HENKE

Progressive Electronic • Germany


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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

Robert Henke official website

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Buy ROBERT HENKE Music


Layering BuddhaLayering Buddha
Imbalance Computer 2006
Audio CD$59.99
$22.00 (used)
Indigo TransformIndigo Transform
Imbalance Computer 2009
Audio CD$137.40
$642.21 (used)
Atom / DocumentAtom / Document
Imbalance Computer 2009
Audio CD$87.46
$14.99 (used)
Piercing Music by ROBERT HENKE (2003-09-09)Piercing Music by ROBERT HENKE (2003-09-09)
Imbalance Computer
Audio CD$62.98
Atom/Document by Robert Henke (2009-01-20)Atom/Document by Robert Henke (2009-01-20)
Imbalance
Audio CD$116.38
Layering Buddha by Henke, Robert (2006-11-07)Layering Buddha by Henke, Robert (2006-11-07)
Imbalance Computer
Audio CD$96.58
Layering Buddha [Vinyl]Layering Buddha [Vinyl]
EP · Limited Edition · Single
Imbalance Computer 2006
Vinyl$67.05
$26.23 (used)
Signal to NoiseSignal to Noise
Imbalance Computer 2004
Audio CD$78.67
$53.97 (used)
Piercing MusicPiercing Music
Remastered
Imbalance Computer 2003
Audio CD$19.99
$18.99 (used)

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ROBERT HENKE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Piercing Music
1994
4.00 | 1 ratings
Signal to Noise
2004
3.98 | 3 ratings
Layering Buddha
2006
2.00 | 2 ratings
Atom/Document
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
Indigo_Transform
2009

ROBERT HENKE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Layering Buddha (Live 2007)
2007

ROBERT HENKE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ROBERT HENKE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Floating point
1997

ROBERT HENKE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ROBERT HENKE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Piercing Music by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Piercing Music
Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars A one track, slow evolving, highly polished, low-keyed, electronic enviroment, set to oncoming and ongoing waterdrops' aleatoric rhythm patterns, in the tone of seldom "musical sounding" electronics in favour of processed and sound-engineered minimal noise colors, release.

"Piercing Music" is anything but piercing, kind of a joke, considering his later quiet piercing experiments, but anyway this kind of clears thoughts about its content. Even more, it has a distant dream memory like human touch, which is both attractive and unsettling. Not dreamy as in fairy tales, dream like as in dreams.

Too good and original to rate easily 4 or 5 stars, too low-keyed and non-mainstream to become, well, mainstream.

Anyway, once mentioned, this release is good news for those who do enjoy the P.E. "sub-genre" or better yet for those who enjoy early-Electronic Music.

****4 PA stars.

 Signal to Noise by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Signal to Noise
Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Perfectly threaded, composed and structured, subtle and poetic ethereal tranformations, in slow paced motion.

Robert Henke has some favorite works among the electronic music fans outside the exclusively progressive tagging needed here in PA. This 2004 release "Signal to Noise" is one of those works.

No wonder why. As soon as its full/empty dronescapings begin the air transforms itself into a different shade of transparency, as his hypnotic crumbs lead and invite those, eager to listen, to his private garden of transmuting delights. An aural place where beauty has no shame and of course no vanity. Where dark is dark without over worked "obscure/bad boy" pretentions.

No wonder why I keep on looking for new electronic music when I , between hits and hundred misses, find out such an attractive electronic/drone release.

Three independent tracks, wrapped into an earth/cosmos two way transmission concept, each one stripped down to their minimal structures but openly wide in depth, direction and creativity.

****4 PA stars.

 Atom/Document by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Atom/Document
Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I entered this release with a biased prejudice to find out, as usual, that it is not that healthy to do so.

Anyway, without any twist or turns, this Robert Henke's "Atom/Document", 2008, is far from being trash, if anything, it is uneven.

A performace combining sound and vision and as any soundtrack release, one has come to terms with this limitation of half the picture. In this trying to approach different styles, maybe due to the unseen, as such, visuals in fact some sections are not that good.

Pros-

What works out, works out great, to the point of bringing imaginary and personal visuals derived of the music, thus it in fact has a very depictive sonic nature. The music composition in general is intelligent and as such attractive. I did enjoy its changing electronic moods and its melancholic piano sections.

Cons-

The electronic dance/trance like moments are very weak and in this flaw rests for me the real deal breaker of this release. What could have turned out as a great breaking point, like a Robert Henke's REAL "hard core/dance/trance/meditations", stays quiet short of doing so.

Besides that everything is quiet fine.

***3.5 PA stars.

 Indigo_Transform by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2009
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Indigo_Transform
Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars An intriguing free form, structured fully yet constructed on ethereal bases adding mystery and beauty to his symphonic/drone/noise experiments.

Indigo_Transform, 2009, a one track, one hour album is focused on the less is more teachings without losing intensity in doing so. Therefore the real deal, besides its enticing atmosphere, is how a minimal use of structures, if well assembled, can create such a magnificent sense of depth moving towards a greater aural void.

But, as mentioned, this is all achieved with precise music composition which in its complex simplicity and slow paced nature, never stops delivering seductive surprises adding a subtle dramatic mood to its flawless flowing transition.

Topping and leading these floating structures, I can not help to mention, the ambiguous and deep bottom bass which appears now and then to repeat an ominous 3 and finally 5 note riff, as it wraps the whole body of work into a single concept.

*****5 full PA stars.

 Layering Buddha by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.98 | 3 ratings

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Layering Buddha
Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Polished, creative and resourceful as electronic music composer Robert Henke´s musical language is, it enriches itself between symphonic like structures, deep, yet minimal "Cosmic" atmospheres and field like recordings.

"Layering Buddha", 2006, a 10 tracks release, sets and compresses his music worlds into solid unities which rely mostly in its attractive, focused and detailed, yet abstract, perfectly threaded symphonic/drone like music composition.

To explain this work in some music genre's terms, besides its electronic symphonic nature it is relevant to mention a close connection to Brian Eno's "Discreet Music" (1975), but nevertheless this taken as a reference not a comparison due to the fact that this work has a unique personality which certainly holds no discretion, opposite to that, it is subtly explosive or piercing even menacing, more than once.

Hypnotic, intense, rich, vivid, very well written , performed and recorded.

****4.5 PA stars.

 Atom/Document by HENKE, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Atom/Document
Robert Henke Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

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
3.98 | 3 ratings

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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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