Cyclic Selects: Broken Chip


Martyn Palmer is a musician and sound artist living in Australia working under the alias of Broken Chip. He uses synthesizers and found sound/field recordings, which are often looped to make gorgeous ambient experimental music. He’s released his music on Flaming Pines (UK), Feral Media (AU), King Deluxe (CA) and A Future Without (UK). His most recent work is A Lullaby While Darkness Creeps, a beautiful suite of gentle electronic ambience that’s he’s issued himself via Bandcamp. We were quite captivated by the stillness and peaceful nature of his sounds that feel so intangibly linked to his natural environment. We had a chat with him last year where he spoke of the sights, sounds and smells of the natural environment of his home in The Blue Mountains recharging his creative spirit. You can check that out here. With the release of A Lullaby While Darkness Creeps we took the opportunity to delve a little deeper and ask him about the music that moves him.

Celer – Climbing Formation
I believe in the significance of taking it slow and creating a dedicated moment for extended listening. To carve out a sacred space for that prolonged auditory journey for which “Climbing Formation” by Celer is perfect. A serene and ethereal ambient experience. The album’s delicate and meticulously layered soundscapes create a soothing sonic journey. The composition’s patience and minimalism allow for a sense of timelessness, making it a perfect choice for relaxation and introspection.

Portishead – Third
Melancholia, it’s like a shadow that lingers in the corners of your mind. It’s that feeling of quiet, brooding sadness that can wash over you on a rainy day or when you’re lost in thought. Don’t fight the melancholia. Instead, let it be your companion for a while. A great soundtrack for these moments is Portishead’s “Third.” It is characterised by its dark, haunting, and often unsettling atmosphere.

Tim Hecker – Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again
“Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again” marked the beginning of Tim Hecker’s career as a prominent figure in the ambient and experimental music scenes. This album is like a trip through the ether, with the music in a perpetual state of flux and transformation. It’s got that paradoxical vibe, simultaneously lulling you into serenity while haunting your soul. And then, you’ve got the distortion and static thrown in for that gritty, nail-biting tension. This clash of opposites, it’s the unmistakable stamp of Hecker’s sound.

Black To Comm – Alphabet 1968
I’m drawn to music that often feels dreamlike and surreal and that can evoke a sense of nostalgia. Something that takes me on a journey through a sonic landscape that is both eerie and beautiful. “Alphabet 1968” from Black To Comm is perfect at doing this. It’s an experimental masterpiece that offers a mind-bending journey through sonic mazes, weaving together intricate elements to craft music that alternates between moments of tranquility and chaos, often within the same track.

Grouper – AIA Alien Observer
Groupers music is spiritual and therapeutic. I find myself nearly always falling into an almost trance-like state when listening to her songs. The emotional sincerity and candidness in her music can be emotionally intense at times. Liz’s ethereal vocals, layered harmonies, and delicate guitar work creates music that feels like an exploration of the subconscious. “AIA: Alien Observer” is the second part of a two-part release. The music on this album evokes a sense of detachment and observation, as if the listener is an alien observer gazing upon an unfamiliar world.

Suzanne Ciani – Flowers Of Evil (1969)
Ciani’s ‘Flowers of Evil’ is an electronic interpretation and adaptation of Baudelaire’s work, ‘Les Fleurs du mal’ (The Flowers of Evil), capturing the soul of his writings through electronic music. This album was recorded 50 years prior to its release in 2019, which makes it a time capsule of sorts. I was amazed at the quality of Ciani’s work and how she pushed the boundaries of what was possible with the technology available in the late 1960s. A truly remarkable pioneer and artist that constantly inspires me.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Betrayed In The Octagon
I was on a train, traveling to work one morning back in 2008 (I think), when I first heard this album. It sounded so familiar and yet so innovative. The familiar quality was coming from the Juno synth that OPN used (Juno 60), which I had at the time. The innovative aspect comes from Lopatin’s mastery of sound manipulation and his unique ability to create sounds. Looking back, this album has been a huge influence on me in the way I made music for quite sometime.

Federico Durand – Jardín de invierno
When I first discovered Federico Durand’s music, I was like a kid in a candy store, listening to every single piece of music I could find. The emotion that he conjures up in each track is magical. When listening to ‘Jardín de invierno’ (Winter Garden), I get a strong sense of interconnectedness, unity with the universe, and a deep feeling of oneness with the world and everything in it. Fed is a master in creating sonic moods and one of my favorite artists.

Boards of Canada – Geogaddi
My closest friend came around to my house with a copy of Geogaddi he’d purchased for me from Redeye Records. He had a hunch that I’d appreciate it. We placed it on the turntable, hit play, and I immediately developed a deep fondness for its warm analog tones, nostalgic melodies, and intricate drum programming. This record is veiled in enigma, exploring themes of nature and mysticism. Whenever I spin this album, I’m transported back to that exact moment when I first encountered it. It’s undeniably an exceptional piece of work.

A Lullaby While Darkness Creeps is out now. You can find it here.


About Author

Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.