Monolink Hones Raw Emotionality on his Latest Album, “Under Darkening Skies”

We find out more about the German artist’s eagerly awaited sophomore album, Under Darkening Skies — out now via Embassy One.

6 min
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Jun 16, 2021
Cameron Holbrook

Berlin-based producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Steffen Linck, better known as Monolink, is one of the most unique and sought-after live acts in electronic music. A true pioneering talent with a sound that connects with the heart and mind, Monolink’s masterful skills on the guitar, emotional vocal work, and thrusting electronic arrangements have captured the imagination of dance floor fanatics worldwide.

His 2018 debut album Amniotic saw the classically trained artist explode onto the scene, carving out a reputation as one of the most dynamic performing artists on the melodic techno circuit with performances at Burning Man, Envision Festival, Lightning In A Bottle, and more.

Created in the depths and solitude of the covid pandemic, Monolink has now released his highly-anticipated sophomore album Under Darkening Skiesa complex and reflective 12-track journey that is out now via Embassy One, Ultra Records, and Sweat It Out. Listen below, and read on for our interview.

Back in July of 2020, Monolink first premiered his hit LP single “Otherside” during a remarkable Beatport livestream performance atop the iconic Berlin TV Tower, which you can watch here.

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Thanks for joining us! How were your recent trips to Mexico and Egypt?

It took me some time to get used to being around people again to be honest, but then it felt really good. After such a long time of only being in the studio, I had almost forgotten what it’s like and how much an audience can feedback into the music. Highlights were the vibes of the people: everybody had been waiting for these moments.

How did you approach the songwriting for Under Darkening Skies this past year? How did the creative process behind this album differ from the studio/writing process for your 2018 album, Amniotic?

This album was a lot about getting into my old self of actually writing the song before producing it. I come from a singer-songwriter background, so I have a lot of material to work with. I carry a notebook around with me most of the time to write down ideas, and that’s also how Under Darkening Skies came about. Amniotic also had a few songs like that on it, but many of them actually derived from beat sketches. This one is more of a mix now. It’s more about contrasts and trying different production techniques.

The theme behind your debut LP Amniotic revolved around topics like birth, home, and has an overall warmth to it. When writing the lyrics for your new album, what are some of the themes Under Darkening Skies focuses on?

I find it hard to interpret my own lyrics, and I don’t really want to tell people what they’re supposed to be about. I actually really appreciate how the same song can create very different emotions and ideas among listeners. I guess Under Darkening Skies is more a look to the outside than the inside, although it might very well be the opposite.

You tapped Mind Against, Gui Boratto, and Vintage Culture to remix one of your first singles from the album, “The Prey.” Can we expect to hear more remixes around your album down the line?

Yes, and there are a few more really great remixes coming up. I always find it exciting to listen to my music re-interpreted by different artists and friends. It’s almost like what I said about lyrics: everybody sees and hears a completely different world around them, and a new remix is like a story of what they hear in my music.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

I love playing and being at festivals, so I have my fingers crossed I can catch a few of them. At the moment, things seem to be looking good. I guess the sound experience is what I really appreciate there, clear sound with no reflections on a big system.