Released as part of an innovative UK-NL cultural exchange, “Bend Or Break” is a bubbling broth of influences and styles designed to break down barriers and push the limits.
Written in direct reaction to the endless stream of grim statistics, toxic information and barbed opinion that engulfed us as 2020 unfolded, “Bend Or Break” is a track that finds George van Wetering unplugging himself from the media mainframe and urging a revolution of free and independent thinking.
As George says:
“The inspiration for the song came when I stopped reading the forwarded articles from my whatsapp contacts, messages about the number of covid deaths, the IQ of Trump, about how efficiently they respond to the pandemic in Southeast Asia and how stupid the Netherlands is… I longed for a time when we were talking about things with common sense and our common stance about that we do not need to explain, rationalize, or quote someone else, or know everything. When all the information comes to you and supposedly refers to experts, how do you still think independently?”
Based on a series of online conversations Monokino had last year, “Bend Or Break” tells the story of someone who becomes consumed by the never-ending torrent of news and misinformation, and ultimately has their outlook on life warped in the process.
“Bend or Break is about a friend who says all year round how bad things are in the world and with humanity and with himself but at the end of the year says that 2020 has never been such a good year for him personally.” says George. When faced with conflicting opinions and clashes of personality, sometimes “it’s easier to oppose it and to let go of some friendships” he adds.
Underpinned by George’s distinctive Thom Yorke-esque falsetto, “Bend Or Break” is a record that defies convention at every turn. Amorphous and mercurial, its snaking rhythms wind around low-slung latino hooks that refuse to be pinned-down. Atonal chords stretch into wiry solos that burn bright, then disconnect.
Esoteric of sound and erudite of concept, “Bend Or Break” is an exploration of fake news and hard truths. It’s a record that dares defy the norm to challenge, stimulate and electrify in equal measures.
Monokino is the alias for Dutch composer George van Wetering. Hailed as “a free spirit that finds harmony with disparate elements and a pattern without a formula” Monokino’s uniquely odd-ball pop has already struck a chord with audiences across the globe. Seeing his music released by labels including Konkurrent (NL), Zip Records (USA/NL) and major Chinese record company Modern Sky, albums such as ‘Human Error’ and ‘Fake Virtue’ launched Monokino into five consecutive tours of China and North America; visiting landmark festivals from China’s Strawberry Festival to the US’s South by Southwest along the way.
Working with legendary producer Tony Visconti and Kristeen Young (on “New Kid”), plus fellow Dutch artist/producer Jacco Gardner during his career, Monokino has a reputation as a keen collaborator; a trait he also brings to his latest release: “Bend Or Break”.
Backed by the Dutch Embassy’s ‘Connecting North Sea Neighbours’ project in the UK, Monokino and British musician Danny McGuire are looking to build bridges between their nations by releasing an exciting single each in a unique musical exchange.
Having planned a joint NL & UK tour for the winter of 2020 prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, Monokino and McGuire were likely allies for this collaborative project. As the live music scene across Europe shut down last year, the artists found themselves having conversations and ideas about how to express their experience of what was going on. Encouraging each other to independently produce a piece of music reflective of their current experience, out of the ether appeared “Bend or Break” and “A Scottish Meditation On Feeling Better”, by Monokino and Danny respectively.
Intending to up-end the negative emotions and stresses caused by the virus, together the two songs represent a celebration of creativity, collaboration and shared culture as two nations and two artists come together against the odds.
“A SCOTTISH MEDITATION ON FEELING BETTER” IS RELEASED 5th FEBRUARY 2021
“BEND OR BREAK” BY MONOKINO IS RELEASED 29th JANUARY 2021
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