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Messages - doombient

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[...] I've been thinking about albums like Time Machines by Coil and I'm wondering if a lot of that was done with bass synths.

If I recall correctly, it was EMS Synthi A/AKS/VCS-3 in the first place, plus a good deal of Thighp.'s Synton Fenix(es) and ARP 2600 thrown in. This, plus a lot of looping and processing.


Good news for all afficionados of out-dated and clumsy media (like myself, for instance):

synchronize or die will be released on double-12" vinyl in a lovely gatefold sleeve on 19th February 2018. Presales have opened, you can order your copy directly from

Please bear in mind that the two different pressing will be limited editions of 100 copies and 250 copies respectively (particularly the 100 copies of the orange splatter version with additional gimmick will be gone quickly, I suppose), so please make sure you order your copy in time. 

I will also have a limited number of albums in stock which I will make available through my Bandcamp slot as soon as I have packing materials etc. to ship vinyl around the world (which is completely new to me). You might as well want to get in touch with me directly but please wait until I have the vinyl in stock myself -- I cannot reserve anything for anybody without knowing anything about quantities.

The album originally was to be mastered by Eroc but Andreas Bäcker, owner of Adansonia, was so pleased with my own mastering that he took this as the basis for the lacquer cut. The bit of vinyl mastering that was required (adjusting bass levels and some stereo stuff) was done by Dirk Jan Müller of Cosmic Ground fame.

Thanks for reading and spreading the happy news,


In order to make ordering multiple items (particularly when getting stuff by both ['ramp] and Parsick) more convenient and cost-effective, there now is the dedicated webshop which features my own back catalogue as well as the one of ['ramp].

To celebrate the official opening (woo-hoo!), I have made two download albums available:

caverna larvarum by ['ramp]:

drones and shimmers by stephen parsick:

Some years ago, these two recordings were available for a time when Iapetus and MusicZeit were collaborating. Those albums disappeared in around 2010 after their co-operation had ceased. I remastered them and added a bonus track or two (when I found one, that is).

Thanks for listening, sharing, and for your support, of course.


PS: Later this month there is some fairly exciting news -- or not -- to come... stay tuned.

Happy New Year all!

I'd like to thank all those who supported my work last year and whose contributions have helped me to raise the funds required for the next ['ramp] album which will be released in May. More info to follow when it's about time... I believe it will be a cracker but that's only me, of course.

In order to feature the entire back catalogue on one single page (and give you an idea of how my music has evolved over the years) I have opened a shop on Bandcamp as well:

I will release some more music from the back catalogue in course of the year so please drop by regularly.

You can, of course, also use the other slots for ['ramp] and Parsick that you're already accustomed to :).

Thanks for your time and your attention,


On 12th December, synchronize or die will be featured on Progscape Radio:

Tune in, turn on, drop out (or something...).


cold storage, the final rehearsal of the concert performed at Oberhausen Gasometer in November 2007 has now been made available as a FLAC download again:

It used to be around for some time when Iapetus were looking after my digital albums but it has been offline since our collaboration ceased in 2012.

If you're into glacial dark ambient, I think you might want to give it a try.

Thanks for listening, and thank you very much for your generosity and support,


In case you have missed the broadcast, you can find a free download of the radio feature here:



German radio DJ Ecki Stieg of the famous Grenzwellen programme will be featuring my work in his next show on 25th October between 9pm and midnight (EST):

Of course, the interview will be held in German (which might sound a little funny in places).

Thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!


PS: There is also a fundraiser going to help Grenzwellen to remain an independent source of information. You can donate here, if you wish:

Thank you for your support.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Some ['ramp] and Parsick news
« on: September 11, 2017, 01:33:30 PM »
I don't know whether it has been mentioned yet but, last month, Chuck van Zyl conducted an interview with me. You can find it here:

I hope you won't find it all too daft.

Thanks for reading,


Hi all,

after five years of silence, I am delighted to present ['ramp]'s tenth release to you: synchronize or die. In order to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ramp's first-ever live concert in 1997 and celebrate twenty years of unsolicited noise, the album will be released officially on 29th august 2017:

Those past twenty years were busy not only in terms of musical adventures: artistically and personally, some more or less desired changes took place, and here and there some obstacles and new challenges had to be dealt with – not only on a musical level.

This was the very reason why I decided to pull all plugs after the 2012 concert performance at Bochum Planetarium and the subsequent album release astral disaster: I simply realized I was running out of stamina and steam as the past ten years had taken their toll on me. Rather than carrying on, releasing half-baked albums just for the sake of it, I decided to have a sabbatical for an indefinite period of time, to recover from the strain and to focus on new musical visions.

synchronize or die is the result of this sabbatical. I decided to elaborate on the technique I had discovered for creating complex sequencer tracks and multi-layered rhythmical patterns, without employing computers running audio software: making use of some old-fashioned synchronizers from the 1980s, I recorded multiple layers of sequences onto a digital eight-track recorder, using a clicktrack to tie in additional sequencers while overdubbing or mixing down to stereo. This is the reason why the trusty old Friendchip SRC units adorn the album sleeve.

Most of the tracks were created on my own in the seclusion of my dachgeschoss recording space (were the future is being made, today), with one notable exception: Torque was created in collaboration with fellow synthesiser enthusiast Axel Jungkunst who helped me out with his massive modular synthesiser rig and additional sequencer backings which resulted in one of ['ramp]'s most accessible titles of all time – whatever that means.

I am taking orders now through stephen at parsick dot com (and through bandcamp from 29th august onwards). If you would like to have the album along with the digital download, please wait until 29th August.

The albums ordered after 20th august will start shipping after 11th september 2017 so please bear this in mind when ordering. Direct orders through me will include a free download code for one exclusive track.

Thank you for your support,


Hi all,

just to let you know that I've finally decided to make ['ramp]'s steel and steam album available as a digital download (FLAC) through Bandcamp:

As some of you may remember, half of the tracks was recorded in collaboration with Mark Shreeve of Redshift so you might want to call this a ['ramp]-meets-Redshift album to some extent.

I guess it's about time to set out to London again. Oh well, some day...

Thank you for your Support,


Hi all,

in order to celebrate ['ramp]'s 21st anniversary this month (for some reason I believe in the magic of three times seven...) I decided to make the first two albums available as digital downloads.

"nodular" was released in 1998, and you might have guessed already what the pun in the title is referring to. It's heavily sequencer-based music firmly rooted in what is commonly called "Berlin School" -- I still am amazed at the sequencing in the title track, and it's almost twenty years old:

"frozen radios" was the second album by ['ramp], released in 2000. It carries on where "nodular" left off. If at all, it's even edgier and rawer in its approach to sequencing and sound design:

Many people still have fond memories of the main sequencer rig crashing halfway through the concert where "damage / dissolution" was recorded... that was fun, if not for me.

More is to come, stay tuned.

Enjoy, and thanks for purchasing,


Hi all,

it's shameless self-promotion season again, apologies for that ;).

I've uploaded the CDR Version of my 2010 limited-edition album permafrost as a digital download album on Bandcamp:

It was recorded between February and March 2010 during an exceptionally cold winter; many field recordings used on this album have to do with ice in some way or other. For example, I close-miked a frozen pond to record the crackle of ice, tree trunks and rocks tossed onto the surface of a frozen lake (which the local police found a bit, well... interesting), and of ice floes grinding against each other on a frozen canal. As a contrast, I also recorded the sound of fire which was used very prominently in Part Four of the album. These recordings were processed in the studio and combined with textural sound from various analogue and digital synthesisers.

There is a 3 1/2-hour version of this album as well which I might upload eventually but for the time being, I am happy to treat you to the album-length rendition of permafrost.

Thanks for listening and, of course, for your support.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: TC Electronics' reverbs
« on: April 08, 2017, 03:17:40 AM »
[...] I'm sure they're great and worthwhile if I was in a surf rock band but not for an ambient musician who might only use one a little bit here and there. [...]

I wouldn't call Brian Eno "surf rock" but he did use a Roland RE-501 Chorus Echo in conjunction with a Lexicon 224. This is what made "Plateaux of Mirrors" and "The Pearl" so lush-sounding.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: TC Electronics' reverbs
« on: April 02, 2017, 01:00:02 PM »
There is plenty of them around. The problem is, most of them are "vintage" and thus fairly pricey.

The Sound Workshop 242 is a classic stereo spring reverb, a bit like the Klark Teknik DN 50 (which is also stereo). Both are 19" rackmounts. Fostex, D&R, Tapco, Quad/Eight, Masterroom, Vesta Fire, Furman, and Korg also made rackmounts.

The Great British Spring is a stereo device but fairly awkward to carry around (let alone place in the studio). Shipping one of these could be a real challenge.

The king of springs would be the AKG BX-20 but this one has become extremely expensive recently, as well as its smaller siblings, the BX-25(E), BX-15, or BX-10. I would not spend a fortune on a BX-5. Too limited for the price it fetches.

For guitar and instant Dick Dale the Lafayette Reverb is interesting (marketed under different brand names), as well as the Schaller Reverb. These two are mono.

Vermona RetroVerb is one of the more contemporary (and affordable) offerings. Ekdahl Moisturizer probably is a bit too hip and correspondingly more expensive.

My personal favourite would be a BBD echo, combined with a spring reverb (e. g. Evans/Electra EP-250). This, or a Roland RE-201/301/501/555. Sweet tone.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: TC Electronics' reverbs
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:03:07 PM »
You might want to give a decent spring reverb a try instead.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: TC Electronics' reverbs
« on: April 02, 2017, 11:08:35 AM »
Depends on what you are looking for. I've always found TC reverbs to be on the clinical and cold side -- which can be a good thing if you want contrast in your mixes. If it's your only reverb, it might be a tad too sterile. The long-discontinued Behringer V-Verb is rumoured to have been modelled on the TC 3000/4000, and, in fact, the reverbs tend to be on the clear but cold side. Which is nice, if only for contrasts.

But that's only me, of course. I could never warm up to the fabled TC 1210 Chorus Flanger either. Had two of them, sold them both (but always kept at least one Roland Dimension D).

Never liked (or used) reverb stompboxes -- I'm not really into this sort of gimmickry either.


Hi all,

after the rather fierce doombient.two album I am happy to announce the release of the third limited-edition doombient album, kalte sterne ("cold stars") as a digital download:

Recorded live in concert at Bochum Planetarium on 24th February 2007 and originally released in a limited production run of 100 copies back in 2008, it was to become the final recording of the original line-up of ['ramp]. On the same night, the official release of ceasing to exist was celebrated, and it comes to no surprise that doombient.three is the most tranquil and peaceful recording of the trilogy. If you are fond of cinematic deep-space music with a colder and somewhat darker edge to it, you might like this one. 

Thanks for listening and, of course, for your support,


[...] Too much choice can be paralyzing.  [...]

It makes people docile -- and hope for someone to make all the important choices for them because the world has become a tad too complicated.


Alright, here we go, here comes the nasty bit:

doombient.two probably is the most radical album in ['ramp]'s repertoire (well, that's my take on it anyway). It was recorded during a one-off festival which really went out of control due to the organizer being very ambitious but inexperienced, and the personnel he had asked to help him being totally inept. The FOH mixer, for instance, had never heard of "stereo", and in order to cope with clipping he tweaked the EQ controls rather than lowering input gain.

This left me not only with a ruined live recording but also with an audience that really felt annoyed by the sheer amount of noise and aggressiveness ['ramp] presented right from the start. In fact, ['ramp] managed to empty the hall in less than 20 minutes. I believe that this concert put off quite a lot of people who still believe that ['ramp] is rubbish, fifteen years on.

To this day, I sometimes can't stand the emotional intensity of the recording as it was not only recorded under really extreme personal and existential circumstances, it also marked the beginning of the end of ['ramp] as a duo.

Be prepared that this is not exactly for the inexperienced listener or for the faint at heart.

Thanks for listening, and -- as always -- thank you for your support,


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