Rel.: 01/17/2005

Format: CD

No matter what I attempt to write about Monika, it's simply not good enough. The label has been very close to my heart for quite some time, but one of their many charms is the fact that the very nature of the label tends to transcend categorization. Where to start when attempting to describe an utterly compelling and thoroughly nourishing retrospective, from a label that has not only proven to be an absolute favorite with each and every unpredictable release, but that has consistently offered reassurances that music is a celebration of the many different pleasures in both life and art? The sheer passionate diversity of the artists Monika has chosen to champion over the years is nothing less than inspirational, sharing a mutually bold vision of unequaled integrity and character. Sure, such words may seem boastful, but it's the truth. It's given me great satisfaction to share the experience of Monika, but if there is any justice, "Monika Force" will open wider doors to an even larger audience. It's somewhat puzzling why a greater number of discernable music lovers haven't already discovered the timeless treasures of such a brilliant label, but the uncompromising commitment that Monika has consistently demonstrated is an indisputable testament that rewards are within the reach of open-minds seeking exceptional music that lies off the beaten path. Uplifting and tender, playful or subdued, mysterious yet insightful, gracious while adventurous, flirtatious, mesmerizing, soothing, etc., the wide range of moods and texture varies greatly, but no matter the direction taken, each artist manages to caress the soul and fortify the spirit. Like an exquisite feast of many different courses, each release is a delightfully satisfying experience, leaving one eager for more. As with an excellent wine worthy of the feast, the label has managed to age and mature gracefully, becoming all the more desirable and robust over time. Monika disposes with all preconceptions and refuses to adhere to any conventions, marketing gimmicks or trends in sound; it's simply about beautiful music created by distinctive artists who are not burdened by the effort to fit into any particular genre, category or package.. It's about rejoicing in creative expression, embracing the moment and sharing eternal love. I can wholeheartedly admit that I'm a better person for having shared the many splendors of Monika. Arthur Nalis (Forced Exposure)

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