Cliff Child – Einn


Though Cliff Child may sound like one person’s name, it’s actually two: Iceland’s Sjorn Björnsson (creating the sounds) and Robjn (producing the tracks and creating the artwork).

In anticipation of the first, self-titled, album to be released this summer, they offer their first 6-track EP ‘Einn’ as a free download. Find it on SoundCloud.

Or, if you prefer, get it from their weblog at
This weblog also contains some fascinating videos to go with the sound…(of which “The Middle” is my absolute favourite!).

Steve Brand – Circular Scriptures

Circular Scriptures is the very first (and until now: only) release of a brand new label: Relaxed Machinery, a label owned by John Koch-Northrup (previously a co-owner of AtmoWorks), claiming that “all artists receive 100% of their release”.

That fact alone sounds like a good enough reason to track down this album on one of the major download outlets or get it as CDR from the Hypnos store.

Brian Eno’s Generative Apps


Because I was stupid enough to leave my beloved Cowon D2 MP3-player in the train (and no one was honest enough to return it), I had to decide about a new MP3 player. 
I am definitely not an Apple fan (for reasons I will not elaborate here), but I was tempted to go for the (G3 32 Gb) iPod Touch, simply because of all the extras it has to offer besides the simple MP3 function.

The first app to go for was Brian Eno’s “Bloom” – only to discover that Bloom was recently followed up by Trope, also created by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers.
A third offspring of this generative music applications is “Air“, containing the vocal samples of Sandra O’Neill.
The good news: obtaining all three of these apps will not even cost you EUR10 ($13)!

All three of these programs are very simple to use, but incredibly effective in its ambient beauty: start it, create a mood, tap the screen for generative seeds and then just let the composition flow…

[R]ecyclopedia [R]emix

Let me begin with a warning: this mix is quite unlike the previous ones!
Though there are quite a lot ‘ambient moments’ to enjoy, it cannot be qualified as ‘ambient music mix’ because it contains a lot of other musical elements too.

This mix was created especially for Frans Friederich – a dutch musician currently working on a megalomaniac project he started in 1997: Recyclopedia.
One single full CD for each letter in the alphabet.
26 CD’s recycling and rewriting musical history associatively…!

Frans Friederich’s musical history shows a variety of styles: he played in jazz-, ska-, and big-bands, but also in experimental acts like Dull Schicksal and Trespassers W.  This musical diversity is also heard on the Recyclopedia albums: it’s a musical roller coaster ride with Friederich himself joining the musical extremes in his own personal style.

In 2009, Friederich completed the Recyclopedia Qalbum – which contains beautiful ambient music created together with soundscape artist Robert Kroos. 
(So, by now, about 65% of this project is finished – with this average output the entire Recyclopedia will be completed around 2017!)

When I started this Recyclopedia mix, I originally wanted to focus on the many ambient music pieces throughout the series, creating an ambient mix and leaving out all other music. But the nature of the project decided otherwise.

Kyle Bobby Dunn – A Young Person’s Guide to

KBD cover

When it comes to ‘classical droning’, Stars of the Lid are the reference point. While there’s some debate whether their music is Brilliant or Boring, they simply prove good music can be both.

Comparisions always are a bit risky – as music deserves to be judged by itself, not by comparision.
To me, ‘A Young Person’s Guide to Kyle Bobby Dunn‘, the new double CD by the Canadian composer Kyle Bobby Dunn (now residing in New York), has the same touching quality as most of Stars of the Lid’s music, that’s why I had to mention them.

Bjarni Gunnarsson – Safn

Recently, someone told me that it’s virtually impossible to get an ambient music album released, while on the other hand labels fall over each other in their enthousiasm to release a new noise title. 
(Note we’re talking about physical releases here, not about netlabels!)

To be honest, I can’t say I’m much of a noise addict. There’s hardly any good opportunity to play it at home (without tough family protests),  and I was not particularly enjoying most ‘noise-for-noise sake’ live performances I’ve seen.

But on this recent release, Bjarni Gunnarsson (born 1980, in Iceland as you can probably guess by his name), explores both ambient and noise music at the same time – crossing the borders with a stunning result.

Subversion Guest Mix

Not long ago, Muttley’s “Isolate” mix was published on Ambientblog as a guest mix.
Muttley’s own Subversion weblog hosts a lot of his mixes, as well as the 15 Minutes of Fame series. 

The SubVersion 15 Minutes of Fame format dictates that any mix should contain no more than 10 tracks and last no longer than 40 minutes. That’s an average of 4 minutes per track.
So, when asked to do a guest mix for this weblog, I had to change my usual approach.

In the ‘collage’ mix format I mostly use, 4 minutes is about the maximum time any included sample gets played – usually far more tracks overlay at any single instance.
So I had to restrict myself in that matter, to create a ‘mixtape’ mix format for this particular issue.

Parks – [hidden]

Though most of the ambient music albums (unsurprisingly) will appeal to ambient music devotees only, every now and then an album appears that transcends the genre border and also appeals to a more ‘pop’ oriented public – without explicitly becoming pop music. Parks’ new album “Hidden”, is such an album. 
Parks is Igor Bystrov from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has been creating music since 1990 as ‘Project Parks’, releasing seven titles until now of which “Umber” (2001) is best known since it has been re-released by Infraction records in 2007. Before starting Parks he studied music, playing the trombone (and) participating in a jazz orchestra. 
“Hidden” shows all details of an ambient classic. Bystrow is not only building his atmospheres from layered sounds, but adds some very strong melodies to them, and some sparse rhythms. With the exceptions of September.Koivisto (5’54”), all tracks on Hidden are all between 8 – 10 minutes long, and take their time to develop. The ‘pop ambient’ feel is even stronger on the three tracks containing vocals (apparently female, but since there’s no reference to the singer in the liner notes I would not be very surprised is it turned out to be Igor’s own voice). 
Opinions may differ about the vocals, however, depending on your taste. The whispering vocal parts add a melancholic dimension, but personally I find the vocal parts a bit too unstable to be impressive. That’s why I definitely prefer the instrumental tracks. 
From his somewhat enigmatig biographical notes on myspace,, I learn that Igor is looking for the sound he heard in his dreams, the sounds “that sounded always around when it was possible to catch silence”. With its dreamy atmosphere, ‘Hidden’ clearly succeeds in catching this atmosphere. So it is especially fitting that the album finally concludes with the longest track, called “Perfect Silence”.
Hidden is released by Infraction records (INFX048)

Parks [hidden]

Though most of the ambient music albums (unsurprisingly) will appeal to ambient music devotees only, every now and then an album appears that transcends the genre borders and also appeals to a more ‘pop’ oriented public – without explicitly becoming ‘pop music’.
Parks‘ new album, called “[hidden], is one of those albums. 

Parks is Igor Bystrov from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has been creating music since 1990 as ‘Project Parks’, releasing seven titles until now, of which “Umber” (2001) is relatively well-known since it has been re-released by Infraction Records in 2007.

“[hidden]” shows all signs of becoming an ambient classic. That is, if it can become wider known of course.