Monnom Black is undisputedly one of the most influential techno labels operating in Europe over the course of the last decade. As Dax J’s powerhouse label celebrates ten years in existence we pick some of the most influential tracks from the imprint.
Dax J‘s Monnom Black label has been home to some of techno’s biggest dancefloor hit’s within the last decade, and the imprint has also been responsible for moulding various artists careers as well as catapulting rave inspired techno back into fashion. Monnom Black‘s 90’s inspired sound captures an assortment of fundamental techno flavours, lending influence from celebrated labels such as R&S, Basic Channel, Drumcode, Intec & more. Dax Heddon‘s vision of modern day techno is steeped in his deep love for the genre’s ability to transform itself into somewhat contradictory sounds, yet it finds a unifying denominator that brews these conflicting aromas into a profound mix of deep-seated rhythmic bliss.
Set the scene, it’s 2013 you’re sat in your mam’s sitting room monotonously gazing into your ghastly iPhone 5-C while Love Hate play’s in the background, you’ve one eye on Nidge’s next move & the other on Youtube as you scroll through the latest techno releases. You patiently wait for the next release on Downwards or Klockworks & in the mean time aimlessly trawl through a sea of bland minimal techno that you are frankly growing to despise. You spot a new remix from Mark Broom, at last something decent.. you hope. Broom’s remixing for some bloke called Dax J, cool name.. let’s check it. It’s funky, euphoric, sounds a little 90’s & most importantly it packs a punch.. I’ll have that. The labels Monnom Black, must keep an eye out for that in the future. 10 years down the line & that first EP on Monnom Black is still felt throughout dancefloors across the globe and Dax’s hedonistic vision for warehouse inspired techno has modified the trajectory of contemporary techno, in other words, bangin’.
Ahead of Dax J’s return to Dublin next week at Index we reflect on some of Monnom Black’s most authoritative tracks within the last ten years.
Kaelan – Darkpole [MONNOM002]
Kicking off the list with a name you might not be overly familiar with as Jamaican born DJ & producer Kaelan features on Monnom Black’s second ever release. A four track EP accompanied by a remix from NX1 displayed a modern take on dub techno, a divergent and somewhat adventurous sound for 2013. ‘Darkpole‘ takes centre stage on the record injecting a healthy dose of dubby swing into the EP.
Dax J – Protect The Prophecy [MONNOM007]
‘Protect The Prophecy’ was one of the most popular tracks from Dax’s debut LP ‘Shades of Black’ in 2015. The album was an introduction to what we now know as the Dax J sound. ‘Protect The Prophecy’ is a gritty take on 90’s loop driven techno, that leans on menacing industrial techno yet its simplistic groove makes it easy on the ear.
Stranger – Highest Sense [MONNOM008]
Enter, Mitchel Polderman. Stranger‘s debut EP on Monnom Black came just a year after his debut on his new imprint Self Reflektion & it was clear rave techno was back in a big way. ‘Highest Sense’ is still doing the rounds on dancefloors to this day, and it’s catchy vocal and nasty bass are instantly recognisable. This was a real turning point in a new techno movement.
Dax J – The Invisible Man [MONNOM008]
We’ve hit the golden era for Monnom Black & at this point everything that Dax was putting out was an instant hit. ‘The Invisible Man EP’ remains one of Dax’s most celebrated releases to this date with a number of tracks including ‘Wir Leben Für Die Nacht’ & ‘Surrender’ becoming hugely popular at the time, however ‘The Invisible Man‘s’ sinister groove remains untouched as Dax perfectly soundtracked the apocalypse.
Remco Beekwilder – LSD [MONNOM010]
The EP that changed it all for Remco Beekwilder. ‘Monnom 010’ is a bonafide rave techno classic that shook warehouses acroos the globe in 2017. The four track EP is laced with bone shattering techno from start to finish as ‘LSD‘, ‘Concrete Jungle‘, ‘Rave Mood‘ & ‘Human Mind’ captured a ravey moment in techno history. LSD’s alarming synth work, sinister vocal hook make and crushing bass drum make the perfect cocktail of sounds for the perfect ravey tool.
I Hate Models – She Said Fuck People I Have Drugs [MONNOM011]
New French producer I Hate Models arrives onto Monnom Black with his second ever EP and this seems like a statement of intent. Rave is back & industrial techno is surging into warehouses across Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris and more. I Hate Models cathartic brand of hardened techno crosses borders between trance, ambient, techno and more. ‘She Said Fuck People I Have Drugs’ was a spaced-out trip through hard edged techno that acted as a firm introduction to I Hate Models.
Dax J – Offending Public Morality [MONNOM014]
‘Offending Public Morality’ was the star of the show from Dax’s second album. The album itself showed Dax flexing various influences from his early years in the UK’s jungle scene to deconstructed techno interludes and mind-bending acid trips. The title track ‘Offending Public Morality’ is a no fucks given ode to 90’s techno as Dax leans on eerie synth lines and relentless percussion grooves alongside a vocal sample from British film Babylon which feeds back into Dax’s jungle and dub influences.
Raffaele Attanasio – Gundam [MONNOM017]
Monnom Black regular Raffaele Attanasio steps up on the labels mega VA ‘The World Of Monnom Black’ in 2018 which features some of technos most in demand producers at the time including; Stranger, Drax, AIROD, UVB, I Hate Models, Tommy Holohan and more. Raffaele Attanasio’s track ‘Gundam’ quickly became one of the most popular offerings on the release as the Italian producer captured the Monnom Black sound perfectly, presenting a high octane churning synth focused weapon.
Thomas P. Heckmann – Body Music (EBM 3) [MONNOM013]
It’s no secret that Thomas P. Heckmann is an inspiration to Dax J, so when the opportunity arises to release a triple vinyl from the Trope boss, you take it. This is probably Heckmann’s most acclaimed body of work since the 90’s as the German producer explores EBM and techno across 14 tracks. ‘Body Music’ perfectly describes Thomas’s vision and style of music making it the lead track from the album. Pulsating synth lines and slamming drum grooves make a track that is firmly dedicated to the floor.
LDS – Organic Computer Awareness [MONNOM023]
Our story concludes in a similar vain to where we began as Dax exhibits his love for forward thinking dub techno as he releases a dynamic look into dub focussed grooves from Luca Daniel Schwarz otherwise known as LDS. A six track EP that focuses on slick and stealthy gyrating grooves from LDS as he puts a modern stamp on dub techno. ‘Organic Computer Awareness’ is pacey introspective techno at t’s very finest.
You can purchase tickets to Dax J at Index HERE.