FACTmag

The 40 Best Reissues of 2012

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01: MONOTON
MONOTONPRODUKT07
(DESIRE)

Successful reissues often triumph on account of scale – exhaustive labours of love stuffed with extras, or chunky artefacts with glitzy linings. Sometimes timing wins the day, with a forgotten gem gaining ur-text status depending on whichever noun is being cannily bolted before the word ‘-wave’ that year. On occasion, though, a reissue simply returns a neglected record of cultural significance to public view. Reissuing of this sort isn’t an exercise in repackaging or revisionism – it’s basic philanthropy.

Monoton’s Monotonprodukt07 isn’t just a case in point – casting an eye down this year’s reissue schedule, it’s the case in point. Originally issued in a limited run of 500, Konrad Becker’s 1982 LP has had currency in rarified electronic circles for decades. It took a series of CD reissues (in 2003 and 2009 respectively), plus the online efforts of bloggers and enthusiasts, to return the disc to a largely unwitting public. Desire’s long-awaited vinyl reissue completes Monotonprodukt07‘s long, slow crawl towards classic status.

The music itself still has the unmistakable aura of a classic. It’s a bleak, startling, solitary work, tilting from viscous dark ambient (‘Soundsequence’) to proto-dub-techno (‘Root Of 1 = 1′) to parallel-dimension krautrock (‘Fire’). Diverse without ever losing focus, it’s as rich and enveloping a record as you’ll hear all year. Thirty years on, Monotonprodukt07 doesn’t just stand up – it stands alone.

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