This record is very special to the Monkeytown office.
Label head Gernot Bronsert stated recently: „It is very seldom that we receive a demo from a nearly unknown artist, that we sign right away for a 3 album deal.“
And indeed this is very seldom, maybe it is even a very first for the label and shows how strongly we believe in Alex Banks' vision.
His soundscapes are very emotional, but at the same time energetic and driving. Their intricate sound design and delicate layering make them seem new every time you play them.
The studied musician and multi-instrumentalist knows very well how to combine the complex and the pleasing, like his musical peers Nicolas Jaar, Jon Hopkins, Moderat or Bonobo. His well trained ear and his countless nights out as an enthusiastic clubgoer, make this album a feast for music lovers and dancefloor steppers alike.
In the making of "Illuminate" Alex has used his enormous synth library, stuffed with such mythical instruments as a Moog voyager, a SH 101 and an MS 10 (just to name a few), to its extent. The outcome is a beautiful album that might even be able to unite techno and dubstep lovers in their ever ongoing 4/4 versus breakbeat debate. But it would be very one sided to lean on the technical expertise that has led to "Illuminate", there is also the unique vocal talent of Elizabeth Bernholz. Her voice lends the fragility of a Beth Gibbons paired with Björk´s otherworldly phrasing to the album´s first single „All You Could Do“ as well as to the album opener „Silent Embrace“ and the more balladeske shuffle of „ A Matter Of Time“. These songs have the potential to cross over into radio land without sounding "mainstream" in any way.
1 - Silent Embrace feat. Elizabeth Bernholz
2 - Solar
3 - All You Could Do feat. Elizabeth Bernholz
4 - Initiate
5 - Lights
6 - Phosphorus
7 - A Matter of Time feat. Elizabeth Bernholz
8 - Sheya
9 - Hush
10 - Unknown