Presenting ‘Monotonik Vol.1: The Early (MP3) Years’

mtkearlyyearsAs you may know from reading my blog previously, I used to run a ‘net.label’ – in fact, one of the first and more formative Internet music labels – called Monotonik (aka Mono/Mono211 – here’s the entry) from 1996 to 2009.

In 1999, when we started putting out .MP3 releases of melodic, mellow electronica up online for free, bandwidth was still relatively limited. The idea of downloading (let alone streaming!) entire albums was a little mind-boggling.

But nearly 15 years later, however, there’s plenty of room on the Internet for full streaming & downloadable albums. So I’m starting a series of album re-issues, compiling the best of Monotonik in sequential order with fixed ID3 tags and easy listenability (and a Creative Commons license.)

The first of these is called, somewhat sensibly, ‘Monotonik Vol.1: The Early Years‘, and it’s available now on the Internet Archive for streaming and downloading. (If you dig it, the entire .MP3 catalog of the label is also up for free stream and download.)

Past the cut, there’s an embedded stream of the entire album (press play and hear the whole thing), and below that, there’s the description of the release:

“In the late ’90s, Monotonik – an online free to download ‘net.label’ founded in 1996 and largely releasing .MOD ‘tracker’ files made in Amiga and PC formats, expanded to release in a brand new format – the MP3.

Drawing from artists worldwide linked by the Internet, and influenced by the rise of melodic, downtempo electronics from labels like Warp, Rephlex, and FAX, this first  compilation picks some of the best releases originally available via Monotonik in 1999 and 2000.

Spanning classic early Monotonik artists like Finnish ambient-electronics artist Lackluster (aka Distance), Australian electronica pioneers like Thug, Super Science, and Pretty Boy Cross Over, plus British stars of earlier Mono releases such as Hoffman and Vim!, the entire 19-track compilation whirs and hums with a quiet sinewave beauty that belies its increasing age.

This is the first in a series of compilation spanning the entire catalog of Monotonik, all Creative Commons licensed and free to download and stream.”

4 thoughts on “Presenting ‘Monotonik Vol.1: The Early (MP3) Years’”

  1. Thanks for making this music freely available. I noticed that it’s only 128 bit rate. Do you happen to have better quality versions?

  2. Hey guys – I’m afraid these are the only copies of the MP3s we still have, and in most cases, were the only copies I ever received. (In other words, we don’t have higher bitrates.) Boo.

  3. Hah wow, just accidentally stumbled upon this post (came via and remembered how I actually had some of the mp3s from the Monotonik netlabel. I think I got them via the Aminet and even listened to them on my Amiga, who had a bit of a hard time keeping up with the mp3 compression. But it worked kind of. 😀

    Well, just a nice nostalgia flashback. Thanks!

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