Various Artists – Monika Werkstatt
Ah, the power of collective creativity! Artists usually work alone except in group improvisational scenarios but here are the results of time spent eating, walking and making music in one environment, as individuals for the good of the whole project. Perhaps each artist was inspired simply by the existence of others in close proximity, spurring each other on, psychically – who knows. With no overt political objective, Monika Werkstatt emerges as defiantly political against notions of lonely artistic struggle in a commercial world and, of course, the dominant image of women in music, that of sexual objectification and self-exploitation. The highlights are too numerous to mention and it would be unfair to choose any in this context, not that the sum is greater than it’s parts for there are many worthwhile individual components. Easily one of the Albums of the Year, as if that accolade matters since Monika Werkstatt denies egotistical competitiveness in the name of communal expression. Outstanding.