05 November 2009

Proton Kinoun – Apeiron

i actually had several other releases 'in the queue' to write about on this blog, but a new release came to my attention today that is so stunning that i absolutely had to write about it. 'Apeiron' is a new release on Omnitropic, a brand-new ambient and downtempo sublabel of Ektoplazm, who have quickly become one of my favorite new netlabels, as i mentioned previously.
Apeiron, by danish producer Proton Kinoun (aka Kasper Weensgaard), is a breathtaking flight into deep space-- massive slabs of star-dusted ambience, rich, deep, infinitely expanding, and occasionally punctuated by pulsating fractal rhythmic energy. if there was a perfect soundtrack for flying through white-hot, star-forming nebulae, this would be it. an absolute must-have for all fans of organic soundscapes and immersive spacemusic.

23 October 2009

The Lights Galaxia - Global EP

a very nice ep came to my inbox a little while ago- global ep by The Lights Galaxia, with production support by Carl Sagan's Ghost who i featured earlier. this release marks the first output from the new netlabel Luxus-Arctica records International, and if this release is any indication, they are off to an very good start.
soft, melodic, and melancholic-- moody guitar and rhodes melodies glide over evolving soundscapes and subdued clicking rhythmic pulses. atmospheric, expansive and 'global' yet intimate and introspective at the same time. beautifully evocative music for autumn.
for a slightly more wordy and very amusing review, head on over to Catching the Waves, who were nice enough to plug this blog as well!

23 September 2009

Frequent Sync - Familiar Fields

this morning a massive fog rolled in on the city, so i decided to go out and take some photos, as i am wont to do in the event of unusual or photogenic weather. my soundtrack while photographing the moisture-soaked trees and river was 'Familiar Fields' by Frequent Sync, a collaborative duo between Darren Harper, who's album Time Forgotten i previously featured, and Jacob Newman, who also has a release on Earth Mantra. this album perfectly evokes the otherworldly atmosphere of a landscape obscured in fog. elongated tones and a nearly motionless pace distort time and space in a most pleasantly disorienting way.
the album is published by the seedsound netlabel in high-quality mp3 and streaming, and is also available in lossless flac format on the artist's own website captured space.
UPDATE: the photos i took while listening to Familiar Fields (including the one above) can bee seen here on my flickr page

02 September 2009

Darren Harper - Time Forgotten

Time Forgotten is a new release on Earth Mantra, one of my favorite destinations for creative commons ambient music.
floating weightless ambience-- long expansive washes of luminous tones-- distant echoes of the natural world, all mixed to perfection. deep and rich, yet minimal in approach-- ideal music for sleep, meditation, or escaping the third dimension for a time.

23 August 2009

Brioskj - Mirror

full-length idm LPs are somewhat of a rarity in the netaudio world, but for those craving a little more than the usual 20-30 minutes of idm goodness, Mirror by Brioskj, the most recent commercial release from Kahvi is a very highly recommended purchase. 59 minutes of the finest kahvi-style ambient idm: beautiful sunny synth melodies, refreshing chillout atmospheres, light fluttering beats, and plenty of "that extra sparkle that Kahvi is famous for." perfect positive moods for bright summer weather.
the album is currently available on iTunes, emusic, Amazon and Rhapsody.

04 August 2009

ManMadeMan – Children Of The Light

one of my favorite netlabel discoveries recently is Ektoplazm. they have just about everything i look for in a netlabel-- a simple but distinctive website design, a nice variety of sounds while staying centered on a specific genre (in this case, psytrance), high-quality production values and professional mastering, a reasonable release schedule, plus lossless flac and wav downloads.
one release which i particularly enjoyed recently is Children Of The Light by ManMadeMan. the style is based in Ektoplazm's signature trippy psytrance sound, but also ventures into downtempo, ambient and chillout atmospheres. pulsing synths and beats are deftly combined with reverberated pianos and voices for a thrilling, mind-bending journey. music which is equally at home on the dacefloor, in the lounge, or in your headphones.

15 July 2009

hiddenplace music mix 6: Rudy Adrian special

Download mp3 (160kbps, 85MB)

i try to always let the artists know when i feature their music on one of my mixes. when i wrote to New Zealand musician Rudy Adrian that i had featured one of his tracks on my macrocosm mix, he offered to put together a special selection of tracks for my mix series. i've thoroughly enjoyed everything i've heard from Mr Adrian, so i readily agreed. the resulting mix of tracks, taken from a few of his earlier albums, is a blend of soft organic sounds as heard on Desert Realms, well as some more rhythmic, sequencer-based spacemusic. and as a special bonus, Rudy included an exclusive live in-studio improvisation to end the mix. definitely a treat for all fans of synth-based ambient music!


(00:18) Sub Antarctica from SubAntarctica
(11:57) Kinetic Flow from Kinetic Flow
(31:10) Turquoise from Kinetic Flow
(41:33) Le Songe Du Singe from Kinetic Flow
(54:57) Happy Memories from Kinetic Flow
(59:47) Ancestral Legacy from MoonWater
(63:49) greeting/introduction from Rudy Adrian
(66:30) "Unique track"

photo: Smails Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand by S. M. Stewert

28 June 2009

Ten and Tracer - Tsotsitaal

Ten and Tracer is a very prolific netaudio artist with releases on labels such as 8bitpeoples, Zymogen, Archipel, and Rope Swing Cities, as well as numerous remixes. most of his work so far comes from the experimental idm realm - heavily processed bitcrushed glitches and brittle, fractured beats. on hit latest commercial album, he has altered his style quite dramatically, the glitchy clicks and cuts are dissolved into layers of soft pink noise and nestled deeply in a luxurious couch of smooth minimal drones. lovely “opium-ambient-bliss” for unexplored realms of consciousness.
the album is available for free MP3 download (donations welcome!), as well as uncompressed download or cd for a very reasonable price. if you purchase a physical copy of the album, you can choose between several "special editions" which include a book of artwork also created by the artist.

15 June 2009

Phillip Wilkerson and Tange - Ege Denizi

i have to admit, the pedal steel guitar is not one of my favorite instruments- the twangy sound often used in country music can really grate on my nerves. but the instrument can also be very effectively used in ambient and atmospheric music, providing subtle textures or smooth and ghostly leads. Gordon Macmillian's contributions to Ege Denizi are a wonderful example of the masterfully subtle use of steel guitar-- the gliding amorphous melodies and swelling textures are couched in Phillip Wilkerson's luminous pads, soothing atmospherics and occasional rhythmic elements. as noted by the earth mantra staff, an immensely beautiful, delicate and transcendent release.

25 May 2009

Carl Sagan's Ghost - Behind Clouds

according to the composer, the album behind clouds is designed to be listened be listened to as one piece, looped over and over with no real beginning or ending. no mater how you listen to it, the music is beautifully detailed yet subtle and understated- ambient sounds for deep thoughts.

21 May 2009


one of my favorite apps for the ipod touch lately has been the AmbiScience series from Tesla Software. these apps play loops of ambient music which can be combined with various brainwave entrainment sounds, including settings for increased alertness, meditation, and deep sleep (i definitely recommend reading up on brainwave entrainment if youre not familiar with it already, its really fascinating). the apps work great as a sleep aid, and a timer is included which will shut down the app after a certain time. even without the entrainment options, the ambient loops are very enjoyable to listen to, well-produced and usually long enough so that the loop is not immediately noticeable. the Pure Sleep and Brain Power editions feature more organic sounds somewhat in the style of Steve Roach or Michael Stearns, and Androids Odyssey naturally has a more electronic, classic sequencer spacemusic feel.
and as an added bonus, An Android's Odyssey is free at the iTunes store for the next few days. definitely recommended for fans of ambient music who own an iPhone or iPod touch!

Offsets - Circular Drift

a new release from the distance recordings netlabel, Circular Drift is composed of soft suspended drones, quiet guitar loops, subtle percussion and processed field recordings which dissolve into gentle breezes of blissful ambient tones. perfect music for a rainy spring morning, a warm afternoon of daydreaming or a lazy evening with the window open, the music seamlessly melding with the sounds of the outdoors.

09 May 2009

Planet Boelex & Lisa's Antenna - Little world [remastered]

my favorite release of 2008 has just been tweaked and professionally remastered, giving it an even more lush and refined sound. a perfect excuse to re-visit this stunningly beautiful album of ambient dream pop.
for more information, visit the official press release on the soft phase label page, or planet boelex's myspace blog entry.

05 May 2009

Polar Lights - Platforma EP

More stylishly polished music from electronicalabel.ru-- the Platforma EP occupies a pleasant space between minimal tech house, chillout and idm moods. subtle grooves, smooth atmospheres and glittering clicks n cuts. perfect for a warm, relaxed spring afternoon.

26 April 2009

Heath Yonaites - Clouds of Six Directions

imagine if some artists from Windham Hill got together and formed an Explosions in the Sky cover band. it probably wouldnt sound much like Clouds of Six Directions, but for this fantastic album, audio and visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, writer, and New Mexico resident Heath Yonaites creates epic, emotional and brilliantly original acoustic instrumental music which defies genre descriptions. soaring and cinematic as the desert vistas of the american west yet delicate, intimate and lyrical.

17 April 2009

Bernard Reeb - Lumina magica

on Lumina magica , french artist Bernard Reeb creates a really excellent album of pure ambient electronic spacemusic in the grand european tradition: deep, blissful, expansive and transporting. the album is available for free mp3 download on both the « les Cristaux Liquident » netlabel website and the artists personal site. and if you wish to support the artist, this album (and several others) are also available for purchase as lossless FLAC downloads from musiczeit .

11 April 2009

Musikmesse 2009

last weekend, agents from hiddenplace music had the good fortune of visiting Musikmesse 2009 in Frankfurt, Germany- the world's largest trade fair for all things music-related. its quite impossible to see everything in one day, but i was able to shoot some photos and videos during the event, including a bit of @thomasraukamp performing a live set of netaudio minimal techno.

10 April 2009

Saine - Clockwork

finnish producer Saine makes some of the most chilled out instrumental hiphop and downtempo music you can imagine. he already put out several tracks on the recently re-opened Tokyo Dawn, and this year he released his second full-length commercial album. as a promo for the new LP, he also put out the excelent Clockwork EP for free download.
stylistically, the ep is similar to his earlier work on TD but now the music has become even more refined and polished. hushed atmospheres, resonant jazz samples and restrained turntable beats make up a supremely classy mood. appropriate purchase links & samples for the full-length albums can be found on his website.

29 March 2009

The Circular Ruins - Retrospective 2009

on an earlier post, i featured an album by Anthony Paul Kerby, aka Nunc Sans. he also produces music under the name The Circular Ruins, and he recently released a free retrospective of tracks from several of his albums under that name. the music is deep hypnotic ambient spacemusic with subdued rhythmic elements. although compiled from albums spanning over several years, the compilation maintains a strong artistic vision and aesthetic. it should be noted that one track features offthesky, a favorite artist of hiddenplace music who will no doubt be well known by many of my readers. in all, this retrospective serves as an excellent introduction to the artist, as well as a thoroughly enjoyable album in its own right.

Tracing Arcs - Fin

put out on the excellent Dusted Wax Kingdom netlabel, Fin by Tracing Arcs is quiet, atmospheric and subtle-- a smoky voice and smooth, flowing jazz textures. a fresh, original sound and top-quality production. in short, simply one of the best triphop albums i've heard in a long time.

via Free Albums Galore

21 March 2009

hiddenplace music mix 5: macrocosm

Download mp3 (160kbps, 63MB)

a mix of a few of my favorite deep, spacious ambient tracks from 2008. warm synth waves by Altus, icy winter environments from Shiftless, spaced-out piano by Ben Woods, stunning vocal-based headphone candy by Tertium Auris, spectral desert ambience by Rudy Adrian...

(00:22) Altus - Subspherical [Macro]
(03:39) Altus - Wood Grain [Macro]
(06:50) Shiftless - Icicles [ap3002]
(09:10) Coax - Quiet Minds reprise [ap3002]
(11:22) El Zoológico - Nada [pj002]
(12:58) Ben Woods - Realms of Detachment [OWL-33]
(19:12) Tertium Auris - Vox Auris I - III [DHS0040]
(38:21) The Dandelion Council - The Face of the Mountain [ah028]
(39:52) Rudy Adrian - Desert Realms
(47:34) Tone Ghost Ether - Gamelan Moon Landing [earman051]

12 March 2009

Inna Breeze - Stairway to Heaven

i'm always quite pleased to discover a netaudio release that stands out from the usual electronica and experimental music. the ironically named russian netlabel top40 has already set a precedent of releasing live performances of works by modern classical composers such as Steve Reich and George Crumb. yet even among such distinctive releases, Stairway to Heaven stands out as the first symphony in their catalogue (and most likely the first new symphony to be released on a netlabel).
this amazing work, performed live by a full orchestra with organ, is a melodic and lyrical symphonic tone poem stylistically rooted in the program music of the romantic era, the americana jazz influences of the early 20th century and even modern film scores. brilliantly composed, performed and recorded, Stairway to Heaven is a must-hear for fans of classical music and film soundtracks (btw- the piece certainly has nothing musically to do with the Led Zepplin song of the same name! in the words of the composer, "In my youth I, of course, heard the beautiful Led Zeppelin's song of the same name. But «Stairway to Heaven» is dedicated not to this song nor my youth. I'm implying the different, almost literal meaning to this words nowadays: it's an ascension. The ascension of a whole life. We are all moving «there», one way or another...")

10 March 2009


i recently discovered a very interesting ambient music project through a few of my followers on twitter. english producer ambienteer (@ambienteer) creates electronic sound studies every day and posts them on his blog as a sort of sound diary. the style ranges from deep spacious soundscapes to glitchy processed microsound. collections are also posted every 10 days for easy downloading.

05 March 2009

Renzu - Across the Threshold

well-sequenced beats and synths, plenty of atmospheric reverb and a few japanese-flavored voice and instrument samples make up an excellent downtempo idm LP from the (apparently) videogame and anime-obsessed 3d animator Renzu. rhythmic and groovy yet smooth and chilled. more detailed info on the artist and tracks, as well as some very nice CG artwork, are available on the release page at bumpfoot netlabel.

11 February 2009

Imachi Akira - Lycoris radiata EP

i have mentioned that quiet ambient music is very fitting to the cold dark days of winter. i have also discovered that sometimes other styles of music are equally appropriate for those rare sunnier winter days when the sun glitters off the snow and ice. the Lycoris radiata EP put out on the electronica netlabel certainly evokes such and atomsphere.
Imachi Akira skillfully blends a myriad of sounds and styles into a beautifully cohesive whole. icy ambient atmospheres, subtle filtered idm-esque rhythms, dubby echoes, acoustic jazz guitar, delicate piano malodies and airy field recordings blend together to form a perfect soundtrack to a beautiful winter's day spend in a snow-covered valley, on the shores of a frozen river bed or walking on a glacier.

03 February 2009

Kit Watkins & Tone Ghost Ether

during its heyday (ie when it was still free), mp3.com was a perfect gateway to explore new styles of music. i found a lot of great artists there, many of whom i still listen to today. one artist i found at that time was Kit Watkins. Mr Watkins has been recording music since the 70s- from playing in the progressive jazz/rock band Happy the Man, to his own solo work, to his ambient improvisational group Tone Ghost Ether. his multi-instrumental solo albums explore jazz and world music-inspired ambient sounds and textures, with a uniquely positive and peaceful vibe. a distinctive element in Kit's music is his expressive use of the wind synth, which gives his melodies and leads a flowing, lyrical quality not easily achieved with keyboards and sequencers.
i was quite glad to notice that he recently re-released many of his older works as high quality mp3 downloads on the netlabel Earth Mantra. one standout in this collection is certainly his live performance at the ambient music festival The Gathering, including the longform postlude piece Music for the End. Mr Watkins puts on a stunning multi-instrumental performance, making excellent use of extended loops to create live overdubs and rich instrumental textures. other standouts include the two-disc meditative drone album Thought Tones, as well as the soft, luminous sounds of Condor Sail Curves and the world music-flavored Guard Lock Skin, both from his side project Tone Ghost Ether. endlessly deep and luxurious textures for spacefans...

25 January 2009

solipsistic NATION guest mix

for part 1 of my own 'best of 2008' series, i did another guest mix for one of my favorite podcasts, solipsistic NATION. the mix features tracks from some of my favorite chilled ambient/idm netaudio releases which came out in 2008. full track listing plus links to download all the tracks are available on solipsisticnation.com

as a special bonus for my blog readers, check out michael hoffmann's band comfort zone's myspace site for a video of their live performance in mannheim, germany which i mentioned in the show. for on-the-go listening, you can also check out another live performance which they put up for free download here.

22 January 2009

hiddenplace music mix 4: lessening

Download mp3 (160kbps, 81MB)
*this mix is currently unavailable for download. contact me if you want to hear it!

i almost didnt post this mix because the VOs ended up a bit noisy & i forgot to mention a couple things, but i decided to put it up anyway because the music really deserves to be heard and i didnt want to keep delaying it.
i actually put together this mix and Pontchartrain at the same time; there was simply too much good music to fit into just one mix. but this is definitely not the 'b-sides' mix, its more of a continuation of the same mood and atmosphere as the previous mix-- dark, quiet, and intensely thoughtful music for the colder days of winter...

(00:16) L'Altra - Sleepless Night
(05:45) Nanang Tatang - On Me Forever
(10:14) Mar - Patience
(15:49) Weigl/Hoffmann - Country Lane [apl048]
(22:43) Caroline - Sunrise
(26:32) immanu el - Panda [The Silent Ballet vol. 5]
(33:75) A Northern Chorus - This Open Heart
(42:06) Barzin - Past All Concerns
(47:56) stockfinster. - two great lines of light
(52:55) Cibelle - Phoenix
(58:46) Elysian Fields - Narcosmicoma
(64:09) Gregor Samsa - Lessening

21 January 2009

The American Dollar - A Memory Stream

on my evening commute home on the day of the inauguration of the next US president, it only seemed appropriate to listen to some music by an american band. i found that i have surprisingly little american music in my collection, but thankfully i had loaded my mp3 player with the 2008 album "A Memory Stream" by NY band The American Dollar. this was actually a reader submission- the band sent me the album out of a the blue a few months ago and asked me what i thought of it.
i was really blown away by their work; it is a shining example of cinematic, electronica-tinged instrumental postrock. the duo fuses processed drums, spacious keyboards and powerful organ swells with electric guitar and bass, creating deep sonic textures while maintaining the passion and energy of a live band. the swirling soundscapes build and swell, punctuated by glitchy beats, breathing and expanding into crashing guitars and soaring leads: precisely constructed symphonies for a new era.
unlike most of the music i feature on hiddenplace music, this album is not available for free download, but this excellent music is absolutely worth purchasing- The Memory Stream is most certainly on my "best of 2008" list.

17 January 2009

sleepmakeswaves - In Today Already Walks Tomorrow

although its only a few weeks in, 2009 has already provided an impressive list of very promising new music. one of the first releases i downloaded this year was "In Today Already Walks Tomorrow"by by australian band sleepmakeswaves on the Lost Children netlabel. they already put out a fantastic two-song demo and since then i have been looking forward to hearing what this band would do next.
on "In Today..." they continue the epic keyboard-infused postrock sound they established in the demo but this time the production values have been upped significantly, adding even more dynamic complex song structures and a more sharp and polished sound. in the true postrock tradition where the songs have pretentiously long poetic titles, the moods vary from breathlessly quiet contemplative guitar harmonies to blistering explosions of sound. one standout track is certainly "One Day You Will Teach Me To Let Go Of My Fears" which was featured on the demo. this time they have expanded the song to new heights- a tense driving rhythm punctuated by heavy guitars slowly builds into a rapturous climax of soraing violins and crashing cymbals.
this excellently produced ep is an absolute must-have for any connoisseur of the finest epic, cinematic postrock.

06 January 2009

sleepy town manufacture - Hello & Goodbye EP

russian collective sleepy town manufacture's classic ep 'latatoo' on monotonik was probably one of the first netaudio, indeed one of the first ambient electronic releases that i really fell in love with, and i still count it among my all-time favorite eps.
stm has been releasing music sporadically since then but has not put out a solo ep in quite some time. with 'hello and goodbye' stm returns to monotonik with a beautifully produced ep of classy ambient idm. precisely sequenced percussion, soft, spacious synths, sparkling textures, and a gorgeous 7-minute environmental ambient closing track-- what more could you ask?