MONKEYKNUCkLER was to NFH as Spock was to his evil, bearded doppelganger in that one Star Trek episode.
When this self described “flower duo” weren’t writing thrash songs, Benji and Rob were peering into the inviting glow of Cool Edit 96, gleaming through a CRT monitor at Rob’s parent’s house; feverishly handcrafting beats to accompany a flurry of ring-modded synthesizer and the occasional, misplaced guitar melody.
From here you see the birth of their solo projects Pink Panzer, Kitty Kadoogal, and Bornpilot. What these two could do with antiquated, single-track recording software and some junk samples they found around the internet was truly awe inspiring. In fact, they inspired me to pursue Welcome Wizard (or Welcome Fetus, as it was known at the time).
The majority of the songs were constructed by cutting and pasting together WAV files before passing them through whatever rudimentary effects Cool Edit offered. It was painstaking, sometimes terrible, but always impressive.
Rob was an excellent noise musician. I have frequently found myself turning off his albums mid way due to some emotional reaction generated by the sound. The emotion was usually fear, induced either through a wall of Merzbow-esque speaker destruction, or by a lonely, minimalist repetition of foreign sounds that went on so long my mind began to wander a plane of a far away planet, alone in the cold darkness.
In contrast, Benji always had pop sensibility and brought a bit of IDM to the table. The beats were usually constructed in a drum machine and (seriously) deconstructed by hand, producing an almost humorous rhythm to what I always interpreted as a malicious intent to harm. The seamless conjunction of these two distinct approaches have always kept MONKEYKNUCkLER near to my heart, and the shoulder where I have tattooed the cover of their first album.
To sum it up, I don’t feel safe listening to MONKEYKNUCkLER.
This anthology was never officially released. The first three songs were released on cassette. The rest were recovered from some hard drive by Benji, years later. None of it is normalized so you might notice your ears bleeding after listening to it on headphones.