Music Review: MonkeyRobot – The MonkeyRobot EP

monkeyrobot ep

Genre: Electro-funk / Nu-disco / Indie

Region: Brussels, Belgium

Artists’ Website: MonkeyRobot’s website

Label: Bastard Jazz

Release Date: November 6, 2012

MonkeyRobot’s synth-laden, electro-funk experimentations are utterly engaging. The debut EP from the Brussels-based duo of beatmakers monkeyrobot liveEric P and Luigi is an imaginative, genre-defying bridge between the past and future of soulful, keyboard-driven electronic music. There are no fillers – each song is a different story, yet stamped by MonkeyRobot’s characteristic sound.

For those aware of the duo’s background might not be surprised by the quality of the music. Their successful, ongoing project with Pierre Anckaert Trio titled 74 Miles Away is a proof as well as their past releases under the Infinitskills moniker (Polarized EP in 2009, NonstopBeatBuilders EP in 2005) and production credits in Baloji’s Hotel Impala among others.

Their steady progress as beatsmiths is fully imprinted on the EP. “Brick Stomach” starts off with clouds of synths where rhythmic patterns gradually unfold featuring a steady four-on-the-floor drum kick. Synths keep on innovating in and out of the track as a creative friction of nostalgic neon colours and new low-end centered novelty. This outpour of melodic thickness can sedate anybody in the dancefloor.

Nostalgia versus innovation is centrepiece, especially on the synth work. “Northern Light” is a snippet of disco loaded with tons of bleepy spaced-out effects and a driving, oldschool bassline while “Rose Gris” is maybe the EP’s most playful track. A throbbing, syncopated beat accomodates MonkeyRobot’s synth acrobatics which are on full display: fuzzy bleeps, warping melodies, multi-monkeyrobot wooden logolayering. The EP’s closer is also a compelling composition that evolves between trip-hop, acid jazz and breaks where bassy synths and jazzy keys sail over an impressive (poly-)rhythm.

MonkeyRobot’s EP may appeal to a wide range of music aficionados, especially now that melodic, synth-drenched bass music is coming into prominence (check Opiuo, LV, Psymbionic, Luisterwaar, Mr. Chombee and other nu-disco, glitch-hop, skweee, melodic bass artists). With a string of quality outputs MonkeyRobot are establishing themselves as talented combo of music producers.

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Other exciting sounds at Freegan Kolektiva;

  1. Fulgeance: Sonic and visual meltdown
  2. Mr. Gagun – 11:11 Remixed
  3. Opiuo – Butternut Slap Part 3
  4. Captain Planet – Mystery Trip Vol. 1
  5. AfroQBen – Liquid Gold
  6. LV – Sebenza

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