|©1999 Imbalance Computer Music
For the record, the actual Gobi desert is located in northwestern China and southern Mongolia, covering an area of approximately a half million square miles. It is the fifth largest desert in the world. This perhaps explains why it rates a single thirty-six minute ambient track from the German electronic outfit Monolake.
Gobi. The Desert EP is a fairly unstructured, wandering track of minimal ambient sounds, designed for late night headphone music. The sparse usage of sounds, clicks and neo-percussion effects creates an atmosphere of expansiveness and distance. No doubt this is essentially what Monolake was striving for, although none of the sounds suggest much in the way of climate, which happens to be a cold one, according to the dubious source Wikipedia. I wonder if any of the self-annoited editors over there have actually spent any time in the Gobi Desert? I have a feeling that most of them rarely leave the confines of their computer rooms. On the same note, it's hard to say if the members of Monolake (a duo during the time this was recorded) have actually visited. Regardless of that, they effectively do take listeners on a journey with Gobi. The Desert EP. It rises above being mere factory-at-night ambience while still retaining a very minimalistic approach. If your budget is limited, allow this enjoyable EP to act as a proxy travel agent.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 03/2009