Contemplative music blog launched in 2010, built on a lifetime of music obsession.
Welcome to Monolith Cocktail
MC is an honest and personal account spanning a polygenesis myriad of new music, seminal classics and re-releases. With our ever-growing ambitions, we’re also now taking requests for book reviews and hope to expand into many other areas of critique and comment over the next year.
Completely biased to our own opinion (sophisticated and esteemed, if we may say so), informative and descriptive and held to no one else’s account. MC sometimes reflects the zeitgeist, at others, just the opposite. Originally a platform for the pontifications and musings of me, Dominic Valvona, the blog has grown to include contributions from a number of sagacious contributors. Covering, perhaps, the most eclectic range of genres/artists/bands anywhere, the current team features my good self, Franco-Turkish novelist and cultural writer Ayfer Simms and leading hip-hop and electronic music critic Matt Oliver.
Here you’ll find:
Our Daily Bread
A daily post of reviews, news pieces, playlists and live reports.
Tickling Our Fancy
Perhaps the most eclectic roundup of new music reviews anywhere; tickling our fancy is a regular post of some of the more interesting, obscure and essential new releases, which has become both highly popular and influential.
Here each artist gets their own page, all related articles in one handy place. There you can also find my behomoth A German Music Odyssey – it’s how MC started, 30 chapters detailing my appreciation of the key bands that fall under and around the ‘krautrock’ moniker.
Rapture & Verse
Matt Oliver’s (of Clash) unmissable monthly roundup of all the best hip-hop tracks, albums, videos, mixtapes and gossip.
The Monolith Cocktail Social
Our regular choice of tracks from our DJ sessions and dream radio show.
How it started
Founded by Dominic Valvona, MC is based on (almost) four decades of art and music. I’ve DJ’ed, played in bands, written and recorded music for…well, always. And I worked for five years as one half of the music/sound production company, the Trick Noise Makers. I’ve also shown my artwork in 40 plus exhibitions over the years – The Monolith Cocktail figurehead is from my War Cabinet painting series.
I’ve regularly contributed in the past and helped edit God Is In The TV, I’ve also written contributions for The Recommender, Brighton Source, Vessel and Fault. And now work as a freelance writer/researcher; with projects for a number of bands/artists (Seb Reynolds) and labels (Analog Africa) in recent years. I’m currently (2017) trying to get a film script about the life of the inimitable Russian general Kutuzov made, and if I can get past the procrastination, hope to start my first novel.
Regular posts go up here on wordpress, you can also find us here:
Like us on www.facebook.com/monolithcocktail
Follow us on twitter @MonolithBlogger
See us on instagram.com/monolithcocktail
Listen to us on Spotify http://open.spotify.com/user/dominicvalvona
& Don’t forget to tell your friends!
Artists, labels and PR’s. Got a release you think we’d like? Or a project, perhaps a book? Get in touch email@example.com
Though we will consider any format and appreciate that due to costs and time it can’t always be viable, we always consider physical copies, either on CD or vinyl, above digital streams. This won’t however necessarily guarantee a review. Please email us for an address.
Contribute or collaborate
Monolith Cocktail is always looking for guest contributions and new collaborations. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular contributors, already featured on the Monolith Cocktail apart from myself, Dominic Valvona, include:
Unable to kick the reviewing habit for what is now the best part of fifteen years, Matt Oliver has gone from messing around with music-related courseworks and DIY hip-hop sites to pass time in sixth form and university, to writing for/putting out of business a glut of magazine review sections and features pages in both the UK and the US. A minor hip-hop freak in junior school, he has interviewed some serious names in the fields of both hip-hop and dance music – from Grandmaster Flash to Iggy Azalea – and as part of what is now a glorified hobby (seriously, every magazine he used to turn up at bit the dust within weeks), can also be found penning those little bits of track info you find on Beatport and Soundcloud, or the notes that used to come with your promo CD in the post. He’s currently giving the twitter thing a go, so follow him at @brimupnorth.
‘I grew up in a suburban green village 40 kilometers south of Paris, dreaming about far away horizons. One of my earlier dreams was to become a kind of Agatha Christie travelling on the Tran Siberian railway, and to write novels while exploring the meaning of my life. At the first “reasonable” chance I moved to Ireland where I spend six years, got the blues with the weather and decided to finally take THAT famous train ride. I spent one year travelling on that side of the world and finally arrived in Japan to visit my sister (a songwriter who moved there to study Aikido) not knowing that I would stay there another six years. I got married and had a baby before deciding to attempt life in Turkey where my family is originally from. I now live in my great-grandmother’s house’s soil in Üsküdar-old Scrutari.
As for becoming an Agatha Christie, after writing all the bad literature that I could, crawling under piles and piles of cringing words, I finally ended up finishing a novel that I feel confident with, published in my own blog (about five readers) and planning to send to French publishers as soon as I finish the last draft. About music: At University I went to all the concerts that I could (many!) and had a photocopied fanzine which brought me to a big correspondence with many underground bands all over Europe. I am not a specialist by any means, but I am pleased to find myself in this sphere and pleased to discover a lot of new bands and sounds thanks to Monolith Cocktail and be able to talk about the ones that I like, love, adore…in a non-specialist way.’
MC is influenced by the fanzine work of Greg Shaw (Bomp!), Lester Bangs, Hunter S Thompson, Tom Wolfe and a general misty-eyed appreciation of the late 60s/70s Rolling Stone and Melody Maker.
We try not to slate or attack any artists here, so what we cover can be assumed to be on a good footing. We don’t tend to cover the commercial side of music as it gets plenty of coverage already without us adding to it. Besides you can find all the mediocre nonsense at Q or NME.
We don’t use a ratings system. It’s a lazy way for writers and readers to make a snap decision.
One last thanks to the graphic design, created for free by the lovely David Lowbridge. If anyone who reads this is bothered enough, the painting masthead is by me.