Photo by Kierstin Castro
One-man drone outfit Monochromacy is expanding. Esteban Flores, the sole performer behind Monochromacy, began 2017 with a two-person collaboration featuring Brian Ivan on electronic percussion and keyboards. For their performance on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Kava Lounge, Monochromacy will feature Ariel Iribe on drums and electronics. This represents a big change in Monochromacy’s sonic approach, and in a phone interview, Flores says that he was ready to make some changes.
“Lately I’ve been wanting to expand the sound more,” he says. “I’ve been playing drone and ambient for seven years now, and I’d been working on devolving the sound and doing shows where I was essentially playing the same chord for 20 minutes. Now I want to do the opposite, and focus more on songwriting. And to do that I wanted to add more rhythm, adding layers of sound, with programmed and live drums.”
So far, there is no permanent change to Monochromacy’s lineup. Ivan and Iribe aren’t permanent members of the band, just part-time collaborators. However, Flores says that he intends to continue to work with new people going forward, which will allow the project to keep evolving over time.
“I didn’t want to pull people away from their own projects,” he says. “I’m sort of just bringing friends in from outside bands. I have a few people in mind that I would like to work with after this. I’m just kind of inviting people to put their own spin on the music.”
Flores’ ultimate goal is to record a full-length album with a cast of collaborators, which would result in something potentially much different than the recordings he has released to date. That’s still in the planning phases, but for now, he says that working with new people has revitalized his approach.
“It’s been really good. It’s helping me relearn songwriting and musicianship,” he says. “But there’s still a lot of room for improvisation and experimentation.”