Apart from the ambient "1984" and dubby "Endless Winter" that bookend the album—and which live up to Zahn's self-fulfilling prophecy by being pretty mediocre—everything here vibrates with a kinetic energy that would cause carnage in one of Zahn's sets. The influence of his adopted home of Berlin can be felt in tracks like "Fire In The Sky," although the spit and polish he gives his beats owes more to the minimal sound that dominated Watergate circa 2006 than the heavier style currently reigning at Berghain. The disembodied voices and pounding drums of "Miss You" recall the tribal house sound plied by the likes of John Creamer and Stephane K a decade ago. But the backbone of Monoliths is the hard and loopy techno style favoured by Drumcode boss (and longtime Zahn supporter) Adam Beyer.
From the moment "District Of Light" reaches full velocity with its shout of "bring the lights down!," it's like you're being powered forward with the force of a speeding train. And just like a train, Monoliths seems stuck on one straight route. It will sound all well and good when you're locked in on the dance floor, but by the time you reach the searing warehouse roller "Insatiable Hunger," you're probably beginning to flag at home. On nearly every tune the hi-hats arrive with all the regularity of a train timetable, and soon begin to feel about as exciting as the experience of reading one.
In the 16 years he's been making EPs for the likes of Drumcode, CLR and his own Enemy imprint, Zahn has demonstrated himself to be a solid if unspectacular producer. That goes for his debut album as well. Anyone acquainted with 12-inches like 2009's Sky Is Falling will know exactly what to expect here. After all, Zahn wouldn't be the first fundamentalist who doesn't seem too keen on the idea of evolution.