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‘On The Up’ feature 002

“It’s all recorded straight out of two MPC’s as I would play live. There is no compression, external FX or mastering. I really wanted to do a mix that gives your listeners an idea of my live set but inevitably when mixing in the studio you lose some of the spontaneity you would have in front of a crowd. So with that in mind, I think it is pretty close” – Monoak

Monoak is Johnny Oakley, a music producer from Ireland based in London. An artist engrossed in his work and somewhat of a perfectionist, he is able to tell tales through his output and take the listener on a journey into something truly special. Monoak is currently working on material that spans everything from his distinctive brand of deep and gritty techno, brooding skittered ambient electro, right through to crunchy garage tinged dubs.

Having played at a number of festivals in 2013, making his UK live debut at Plex Basement sessions in June and playing his Berlin debut in November, Monoak continues to add to his already heavy weight live set, which is not to be missed!

– How long have you been making music, and what equipment do you use?

I have been making music in various forms since I was 13. Having studied music I moved onto learning more about the electronic side of music and sound engineering. I started making music with software and computers but gradually moved onto the hardware side of things. I always use an MPC1000 when making tunes, its great for making beats up quick and also sounds huge when playing my live set. I also use an Arturia Minibrute, Roland MKS-50 and Dave Smith Tetra.

– What is the set up for your live set?

The set-up tends to be two MPCs and whatever synth I can carry with me to the gig. I don’t use computers or software.

– Do you DJ as well? How different do your live set and DJ sets sound?

No, I only do a live set of my own music but In order to keep it fresh I’m constantly changing bits around, adding stuff and generally messing about live. I have a lot of respect for DJ’s though and how much new music they bring to the scene through relentless searching and record buying.

– Which labels, artists and parties are you most into at the moment?

I recently played my UK debut for ‘Plex’ which was great, those guys know how to put on a good night and also ‘Colony’ in Corsica studios, another night in London not to be missed. Some of the labels I listen to are 3024, Swamp 81, 50 weapons and Hessle Audio. I particularly like artists like Bambonou, Addison groove and 2562.

Q&A taken from [ ]


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  3. 01. Monoak - Amay
  4. 02. Monoak - Sync Sequence 1
  5. 03. Monoak - Trickster
  6. 04. Monoak - When
  7. 05. Monoak - Resolute
  8. 06. Monoak - Distract
  9. 07. Monoak - Swinger
  10. 08. Monoak - Ready Dem
  11. 09. Kawn - I.K.5
  12. 10. Monoak - Tim
  13. 11. Kawn - Knock Knock
  14. 12. Kawn - Jam Hot