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The best kept secret in music


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Name Names (2007)
EP: BoyfriendGirlfriend (July 2006)


Feeling a bit camera shy



In a small room, curtains drawn, in the ghetto side of Brooklyn, Eric
Monse wakes up. He sits down in front of a computer screen and turns on
mixing boards, synthesizers and drum machines. His black headphones
clamp to his head as he listens to a file he downloads through the

1800 miles away, in Denver, Colorado, Shane Etter is turning off his
synthesizers for the evening. He has just finished composing the file
Eric is listening to. The file contains a song: music, vocals,
recordings, and midi information. Eric and Shane have already sent
multiple variations of this file back and forth to each other in their
collaboration, changing and crafting the song.

The file, you could say, is Boyfriendgirlfriend.

With each new song, Boyfriendgirlfriend grows in its complexity as well
as its tension. The tension between Shane and Eric's styles arise from
palpable differences. Their esthetics stem from having as diverse
backgrounds as two electronic music producers could possibly have.

In 1986, Shane got his first synthesizer. He was 12 years old. From
there he began a never ending quest and quickly found his passion
collecting rare and definitive synths. By age 20, he had amassed such a
awe inspiring collection that his small apartment could no longer
contain them all, so he began selling them and trading up for more older
better faster.

Somewhere along the way, this passion for synth swapping and deft
maneuvering piqued his curiosity and he began programming digital synths
to emulate the old analogs in his enviable collection. Hour after hour
he would tweak his Kurzweil and mangle sounds into unheard of territory.
A friend suggested he start selling his sounds, and Shane soon found a
wealth of potential customers through the newly discovered "internet".
Before long he had people from all over the world subscribing to his
monthly sounds. It was now 1996, and things looked promising. He
collected subscribers like he collected vintage analog synthesizers; he
soon had over 200. His third subscriber was Eric Monse.

It is not surprising Eric met Shane over ten years ago; what is
surprising is that he didn't meet Shane sooner.

Swept up in the sonic styles of the industrial and rave sound of the
90's, Eric sucked up every bit of knowledge from every person out there
making music with a synthesizer. He sat in front if his machines for 4
to 8 hours at a stretch, forgoing eat and sleep to perfect his sound and
consummate his love for synthetic beats.

But his love for electronic music was constantly strained by his desire
to perform live and interact with an audience. In his desire to play to
crowds he taught himself to DJ and worked with performance art groups.
In 1999 and 2001, he toured Europe and Asia with Germany's Post Theater
performance art group, starring in solo electronic music based
performances. Under the moniker Breastfed, he released his first solo
album in 2000, which was featured on MTV's Real World show. He began
playing acoustic drums in indie rock bands.

By 2003, each respective producer had honed their chops and had emerged
at the top of their games. Shane too had begun playing drums and evolved
as main producer and drummer for the punk hardcore band Bomb Congress
and producer for the ominous female vocalist-led phenom known as E-Lab.
Sharing a mutual affinity for remixes, Eric and Shane would occasionally
trade songs via mp3 from each others projects, giving positive and
negative feedback, but the line into true collaboration had never been

Then one morning Shane received an email from Eric with a link to a wav
file (a recording of a capella vocals) and lyrics. No other note was
provided, but no explanation was necessary. Almost in sequence 24 hours
later, Eric got an email with a link to a new file. This file was only
music. Eric sung over this music and sent it back with accompanying
lyrics. Shane likewise sent back new versions of two new songs,
inspired from this ping pong back and forth, and from there, the process
began to take shape. Each person would hear what the other had done the
night before, and that would inspire new songs and new vocals. These
files were completely untethered until the final moment, where vocals
and music finally marched in lock-step together. Over 40 songs were
generated in this furious creative output session that lasted only 26