Monolyth & Cobalt :: Sub + Rosa (Unknown Tone)

Monolyth & Cobalt invites you over the threshold and guides you by the hand through a suite of many chambers, each with one, curving wall, rendered white but weathered nicotine yellow.

Monolyth & Cobalt :: Sub + Rosa (Unknown Tone)

Monolyth & Cobalt invites you over the threshold and guides you by the hand through a suite of many chambers, each with one, curving wall, rendered white but weathered nicotine yellow. Marshaling an array of unlisted instruments, acoustic and electronic sounds osmose into one another. The air of Sub + Rosa (which together, literally means “beneath the rose,” and figurative stands for “just between us”) is turbid with Levantine ambient ennui. Tilting toward trippy, scarlet fleece changes hue, crimson ball sinks from view as he counts off a rosary of glitches, and tosses into the vapor Iberian flavored guitar and fat-bottomed paisley oud. The final track, extended far longer than its predecessors, is a sundown raga drone that peters out as the first, then second, and third stars become visible in the night sky.

Mathias Van Eecloo, who is Monolyth & Cobalt, also sits at the hub of a vast network of like minds as head of Eilean Rec., and together with the good folks at Unknown Tone gathered an impressive roster of contributors for the accompanying “Remixes and Reworks” disc. Rather  than extemporize (with the bold exception of Aaron Martin´s cello), each remixer seems to have chosen an instrument or sound on which to focus, to respond emotionally with kind ears rather than philosophically with critical faculties. Moods are evoked—Sima Kim’s open grin, Darren Harper’s midwinter lonesome, Porya Hatami’s ecclesiastic avian sanctuary, Ieva’s incoming fog, Machinefabriek’s infinite spacefloat, OfftheSky’s muffled industrial ruin.

The groupthink of the remixes and visionary accomplishment of the main piece cohere with rare and satisfying unity.

Sub + Rosa is available on Unknown Tone.

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