Monolake is among the most acclaimed artists associated with the Berlin-based Basic Channel/Chain Reaction label group, run by Moritz Maurizio von Oswald and home to such champions of minimalist austerity as Vainqueur, Substance, and (initially) Porter Ricks. Consisting of Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles, the group have recorded just under a dozen singles for the Chain Reaction and Din labels, as well as a full-length CD, HongKong, released by CR in 1997. Monolakes music sits at the intersection between abstract computer music and the more dance-derived techno redux of their CR labelmates. Behles studied formally at Utrechts Institute of Sonology (a noted fount of electronic experimentation formed in the late 60s by Stan Tempelaars and Gottfried Michael Koenig). Behles and Henke met at Berlins Technical University, where Behles taught and Henke was studying sound engineering for film. Monolake formed somewhat by accident, when a first round of collaborative improvising in the studio led to a handful of tracks from which their first single, Cyan, was soon pressed. A number of follow-up releases appeared in 1995 and 1996, with the best of these eventually joining new material on the 1997 CD release, HongKong, an important release both for Chain Reaction (its widely considered the labels finest) and Monolake (whose previously vinyl-only 12-inches reached a somewhat small, specialist audience). The full-length Interstate followed in 1999, along with the EP Gobi: The Desert. Gravity was issued in early 2001.
In addition to his work with Behles, Henke is a mastering engineer for Maurizios Dubplates & Mastering (the D&M inscription can be found on the run-out groove of many a European techno release), and also operates the Imbalance Computer Music label, home to the more experimental reaches of Chain Reaction and Basic Channel artists such as Andi Mellweg (of Porter Ricks), Wieland Samolak, and Henke himself.