"One of the most intriguing, unpredictable, and ENJOYABLE recording acts in ambient music"
            - Bill Binkelman, Wind & Wire

"Skeel's tendencies to jam are an intriguing counterpoint to Mark G.E.'s methodical experimentation"
            - Jason Kiel, Shepherd Express


cyberCHUMP is an electro-organic duo that explores aural soundscapes of rhythm and moment.  Subterrainian atmospherics give way to driving space melodies.  At once a mix of science beats, ambient texture and cinematic themes.  The duo works mostly separately at a distance from one another, to come together occasionally to finalize their work.  Their music is guided by very little discussion as they seek to evoke a place, time or mood, utilizing the studio as an instrument. 

Jim Skeel: High & Low looped guitars, keyboards, bass, samples, manipulations
Mark G. E.: Altered keyboards, five-string fretless bass, guitar, treated accordian, samples, machines

Flutter and Flow (2013)

by Paul Foster of Echoes and Dust

When we slow sound down, what happens? 

Well, we know it lowers the pitch of the sound, we also know that it dulls the tone and timbre, as it's operating in a totally different frequency range than originally. This often imbues music with a totally different quality than previously: bright and upbeat music becomes prosaic, melancholy and otherworldly. 

This was an area explored by composers who used tape-manipulation and, later, samplers to exploit the changes which time and pitch exerts on sound.

Rather than make this technique the whole of their music, Cyberchump have utilized bespoke software to re-pitch and stretch their own tracks from the past, to create backings for new compositions. 

Just so you know, Cyberchump are Mark G.E. and Jim Skeel. They work apart, only meeting up to mix and finalise their music. On their website, I count 10 previous releases, not including Flutter & Flow. So, quite prolific, then. They're experimental, conceptual and, as it turns out, compulsively listenable.

Ok, so what about the music? Well, several boxes are ticked. This is a duo whose influences aren't necessarily apparent, but I'd guess they're pretty eclectic and esoteric. There are touches of Another Green World-era Eno in places on 'Sign By Night', but this is fairly fleeting as deep Cooder-esque blues guitar and mellow mid-pitch bass punctuate the emerging soundscape. This is 'ambient', but not in a new-agey, self-indulgent and inwardly reflective way. It is ambient in that it's relatively sedate music which conjures some mildly dark and cinematic imagery. Picture music, in fact.

Later, in 'Neon', we get treated to some odd little timbres and dissonance. Dark and gradually escalating space-rock that broods and flows (and occasionally flutters).

There is a danger that the music becomes unfocused and lacking in structure with this type of project however, it is eminently melodic also. Little tuneful sequences and riffs pop in and out of the noise, tying the tracks together. In possibly the darkest and seemingly most formless track on the album, 'Dark Machine Language', a beatless drone and machine noises bring to mind sci-fi scenarios, as well as Martin Hannett's 'Lift Recordings' for Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures sessions.

The album concludes with the euphoric pads of 'When Time Was No Time', made more foreboding-sounding by an eastern bass melody and slowly opening filters. It develops into an awesome swathe of chiming guitar and deep drone.

A simple conclusion for you, dear reader: How to summarise this album? Dark, melodic, contemplative, cinematic, experimental, headphone-filling. Therefore, it pushes all my buttons.


Tom B of Bad Sounds Magazine:

Cyberchump call themselves an electro-organic duo and seem to have released records for quite some time. What’s a bit different about this two piece is that they live in separate cities in the United States creating most music over the internet. A more common thing these days yes, but a far cry from the days of sending reel to reel back and forth for months to create music.

Flutter and Flow is ambient music created from “sweet spots” in 30 minute stretched out pieces created by “audio stretch software” which are then cut down to pop music length.

In a kind of a “jam until it works” creationist style. Luckily, cutting it down from 30 minutes leads to less monotony.

What we are left with are seven ambient pieces (clocking in at only 47 minutes), that seem to flow rather nicely. This Bad Sounds writer can’t pretend to know a lot about this kind of ambient electro, but there is some quality here. I could imagine this music accompanying, dark suspense tv, nature shows, or dark strange gothic bars. Its quite possibly been played in several organic food and/or holistic stores around the states as well. With words like “Destination”, “Travel Time” and “Manipulation of Time and Mind” written on the cd, Cyberchump seem to want to take you for a spiritual journey into the unknown wilderness. Sounds like hippie bullshit right? Well, it doesn’t really come across as that.

Basically it’s nice background music for most people. For fans of ambient music, it might be more interesting. I generally don’t have time for 5+ minute songs (with the AA meetings and all). I’d be more into it with less guitar and more beats; still it’s worth a listen.

Favorite track: the more upbeat title track “Flutter and Flow”


Oliver Arditi:

Cyberchump, according to their website, ‘is an electro-organic duo that explores aural soundscapes of rhythm and moment’. While my rarely dormant inner pedant is keen to learn what other kinds of soundscape might exist, this gives a fair sense of the textures to be heard on Flutter And Flow. The music is far from ambient; it has a strong skeletal structure, but it is clearly directed at the exploration of atmosphere, rather than the articulation of narrative, or the erotic power of groove. There are plenty of signs of instrumental agency remaining in the music, which risks an audience focus on the self-expressive aspects of performance as against the evocative characteristics of the sound, but the payoff is a human and organic feel, where broadly ambient approaches to music-making can sometimes feel impersonal and detached. These are human-made moods and places that the soundscapes evoke, carved out by a cumulative, collaborative process of composition. Although they don’t specify where they obtained the source files, Cyberchump explain on their Bandcamp page that  these tracks are built around timestretched audio, to which each of the musicians added their contributions, passing the work back and forth until both felt it met the criteria for completion. Those contributions include electro-acoustic materials generated by various instruments, synthesis, field recordings, and the results of various forms of processing applied to those sources; at times it is clear that a bass or a guitar is playing, and at others it’s anyone’s guess what’s making the sounds in play. It is also explained that each musician recorded their parts with the intention of responding dynamically to the other’s work, in a sort of delayed response jam session; there is certainly an improvisational vibe to the music, an open feel, a sense of possibility rather than one of compositional closure. The music evokes a sense of place, but it is, unusually, a social space that its tones and textures delineate.

The time-stretched audio backgrounds against which these seven compositions are articulated may or may not have been subject to some additional processing; all I know is that they have been edited, short sections selected for their usefulness as a setting for all the subsequent creativity. These short sections are predominantly soft-edged, tonal drones, lacking hard attacks and resembling synthesizer pads in most particulars. Against these backdrops of aural colour various elements do their thing. There is percussion, which is occasionally rapid-fire, as in the partially submerged drum ’n’ bass rhythmic stylings of ‘Flutter And Flow’, but which mostly adopts a tribal feel, with solid, cyclical grooves and tempi that evoke a human heartbeat. There is bass, sometimes decorating the soundscape, and sometimes grooving hard, but always deep-toned, earthy and grounded. There is electric guitar, which sometimes produces drones and washes of sound, and sometimes hard, distinct notes. There are keyboards, which given the vast range of sounds they can produce and the potential of processing to warp them are practically impossible to isolate or distinguish; there are a wide variety of synth-like sounds, and also many other sounds that might be from field-recordings (such are credited on the CD inlay), but could as easily be artifacts of the time-stretched source audio, or might have been elicited from any of the other sources by audio processing. What is common to all of these pieces is that the background audio washes, together with the other environmental sounding sonic elements, create a sense of a space or medium in which all the more hard-edged elements are immersed.

It could be some kind of amniotic fluid; it has the liquid feeling common to much ambient music, but the human musicians that are clearly creating the other sounds are not drowning in it. Instead it seems to nurture and support them. Perhaps it’s a cave: a large, reverberant space, enclosing and limiting, but also protecting and enabling. There is a curious combination of limitless vistas and a sort of claustrophobia. Affectively, it is an enveloping and gently invigorating atmosphere, but symbolically it seems to me to speak of a social context. The music is trance-inducing, and it has a powerful ritual, tribal feeling. What seems most remarkable to me is that, although it has been made in a technologically contrived and solitary (if collaborative) manner, it has an unmistakeable sense of communality. This partly springs from the associations of aspects of its language, the percussion rhythms that would be at home beside a festival campfire (or supporting the trans-cultural musical utterances of Afro-Celt Sound System), the trancey colours that might not sound out of place in space rock, or some kinds of New Age music. But both musicians are clearly creative enough to transcend the associations of their materials and to generate a language of their own; the sense of communal music making springs largely, to my ears, from the interactive and responsive approach they have been so careful to nurture and preserve throughout the process of composition and production. This is a music without a distinct sense of the individual; there is a strong sense of the particular, creative subject, but as a component of a greater whole. The music feels like the utterance of a group, the common ground between a range of artistic sensibilities, or the aural equivalent of a sense of social cohesion. It’s not the soundtrack to domestic life, or necessarily, on the other hand, to party-time, but it evokes a sense of coming together for some broad, transcendent purpose. The striking combination of grounded bass and ethereal soundscape speaks of the natural world, of roots connected to leaves, and of people seeking their apotheosis in some kind of union therewith. Two men made this, not simultaneously but separately, in what they refer to as the Alpha and Omega Chump Labs; but it sounds for all the world as though a whole clan of hippies made it in a moment of spontaneous ritual out in the woods somewhere. Flutter And Flow offers the listener a beguiling and immersive experience, an energising and confirmational atmosphere of colour, connectedness and exceptional beauty.



Inveterate sound-tweakers Cyberchump (aka Jim Skeel and Mark G.E.) are also apparently avid recyclers. For their new release, Flutter and Flow, the duo took existing tracks, used the PaulStretch software program to pull them out to 30 minutes, then listened for “sweet spots”–rhythmic passages that sounded ideal to jam over. The result is a seven-track, 45-minute psychedelic groove replete with wailing guitar, easy downtempo beats, and wavering washes of sound out to hypnoptize you. One of the things that immediately catches my attention is the abundance of thick, meaty bass lines courtesy of Eberhage. It’s a hefty anchor of sound, heavy on the funk, and I can’t get enough of it. I quite like it strolling its way through the title track, accompanied by a heart-pounding rush of glitchy percussion and Skeel’s guitar, or its casual lope as it anchors “When Time Was No Time.”  Skeel’s leads are another obvious attraction, alternating between gorgeously drawn-out howls and wails and fiery slashes of rock-soaked guitar joy. He fires it up on the deepest groove here, the 12-minute “China Dreaming.” It’s got something of a Berlin feel to it, roaring along on a steady low-end sequencer riff in a toe-tapping time signature. Analog-synth whooshes shoot through the backdrop. A rewinding-tape sound makes for a funky break early on. In among all this, the guitars (may I assume they’re from both of the gentlemen?) launch sustained chords and soulful riffs in equal measure. This track, particularly, is signature Cyberchump.

I like the concept at work on Flutter and Flow, and Skeel and Eberhage make it more than just a curious little experiment. The extended sound-beds give everything a floaty edge and retain hints of their melodic origins, so they are also, in a slow-motion kind of way, dynamic. The improv’d jams have an ear-pleasing rawness to them and never lose their way. Blend all that with the easy cool that pervades these tracks, and Flutter and Flow quickly locks itself into a repeat-play slot. An excellent release from Cyberchump. They just keep getting better.

News have it that the US-american band outfit CyberCHUMP has released a new album a few months ago on which they keep exploring the realms of Deep Listening Music and Ambient, following their very own path of experimentation and - most importantly - keep always keen and hungry in terms of musical progress. This means, referring to their latest longplay work named "Flutter And Flow", that they're fusing Electronica and Ambient spheres referring to space as what might be named as overall audio topic not only due to the album cover artwork with some Dub-references and the use of trippy, psychedelic Kraut- and ArtRock guitars, creating a calm but still thrilling sound architecture that even turns into a feverish Glambient vision with the use of ancient drum rhythms in "Neon" and trips out advanced dancefloors with the all embracing AmbientDub waves of "China Dreaming". Recommended. 


Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2013 features 48 minutes of quirky electronic music.

Cyberchump is: Jim Skeel (on warm guitar, keyboards, field recordings, loops, time stretching and other manipulations) and Mark G.E. (on bass, angular guitar, keyboard, accordion, weird sound generator and loops). They are joined on certain tracks by: Jeanne Marie Vielleux (on voice) and J. Karl Bogartte (on Uilleann pipes).Quirky electronics, striking guitar, and agile e-perc produces a selection of lively electronic tunes.The first track allows strong guitar and ponderous bass to usher in accompanying rhythms, at which point the guitar notes begin to bend amid a fog of droning keyboards.In the next piece snappy e-perc and twirling tonalities conspire with dreamy keyboards, until strident guitar enters the mix to boost everything skywards.Followed by a song in which cranking gears and spinning wheels are attended by thumping beats. Eventually, piercing electronics emerge to flourish and provide a stage for guitar sustains.Track four offers a chorus of bell-tones and deeper drones in tandem with some tribal rhythms, leading to the sneaky rise of a treated voice dogged by shrill effects and a bass rumble. Some guitar embellishment appears s things all sloosh together.A shorter piece, track five pursues a realm of gritty mechanical devices. The clanking is punctuated by sweeping clouds and guitar notes of a penetrating nature.The next piece (the longest on the album, at nearly 13 minutes) features piercing tones trying to drown out a thumping impact that swiftly expands into a complex tempo of blooping beats. Additional electronic threads seep into the mix, thickening everything until a twangy guitar can offer a slithery melody. Some regal keyboards strike in the background, lending the flow a certain nobility.For the final song, a more somber attitude is adopted, as guitars grind out spiraling chords and a pensive bassline winds through a nest of extended keyboard tones.A satisfying excursion into a realm of weirdness, where melodies are crafted from edgy sounds.


Our Wizards of Earth (2008)

Milwaukee's Cyberchump - consisting mainly of Mark G.E. and his compagnon Jim Skeel plus a bunch of guest musicians contributing parts to this album - are back with a new album due to be released on august 12th, which is quite different compared to their Ambient / Deep Listening-flavored "Sankhara" released in 2006. With "Our Wizards Of Earth" they explore a terrain to be described as more epic, more spaced out and for sure more organic than their last longplay work - although they tend to work more loop-orientated as they've come to a play, record, loop and re-play structure when they've been recording recently the whole album and its songs sound more like played in one go by a real band like all the great Kraut- and Psychedelic Rock outfits of the 70s did, first of all to mention Pink Floyd, but also the likes of Magma or Popul Vuh to name but a few whose fans might be touched by this one that refers to those times but still is not playing the copycattin' game here. But also fans of the so-called Cosmic movement are recommended to check out "Our Wizards Of Earth", which is not necessarily dancefloor focused but still contains some dance-compatible parts that mostly are connected to what often is wrongly named as World Music, a term usually used when there is some eastern or ethnic percussion like tabla involved and harmonies seem to refer to other notation systems than our common western. But don't get me wrong, this is no kitschy music for down-nested, more esoteric moms but an album for those who like a deeper listening experience than the usual that provides new aspects even to those who've been following Cyberchump for a while as it is their first long-player to feature vocals in at least some of their new tracks although both of the main protagonists have used their voices in other bands than their own outfit.


Dave Lurhssen - Shepherd Express

Milwaukee’s Cyberchump is an electronic duo crafting wonderful melodic soundscapes. Drawing from a wide palette of instruments and influences, Cyberchump summons Pink Floyd in a mellow moment, ambient chill room electronica, moody low-key art rock, whoosing spacey sounds of Krautwerk, Near Eastern strains and echoes of psychedelia. Our Wizards of Earth works as an album rather than a series of disparate numbers; the music flows from track to track in a running sonic stream.


Sonic Curiosity

Cyberchump is: Jim Skeel (on guitars, keyboards, loops, voice, laptop and manipulations) and Mark G.E. (on keyboards, bass, loops, voice, guitar, laptop and tweaks), with contributions by Hafiza Capehart on flute, James Finlayson on hand drums, David D. Gupta on Indian tablas, Tim Higgins on drum kit, Jason Loveall on violin, Neal Rops on chump sample harvesting, and Jeanne Marie Vielleux on voice.

An electronic sensibility dominates this music, infusing the rock undercurrent with a dreamy disposition that softens the percussion, lends the guitars an astral flavor, and transports the vocals to a mystical realm.

The electronics appear in textural layers, sidereal effects and serpentine keyboard riffs, the latter establishing an eerie tableau for the tunes.

The percussion is steadfast, durable and well integrated to the music, supporting with beats that do not disrupt the music’s overall ethereal character.

Guitars provide snarling embellishment, sometimes in a spacey mode, other times indulging in a growling moodiness that evokes a portentous darkness.

Vocals are present in several tracks, presented in an echoing fashion that enhances that mystical quality, as if the lyrics are communicating dire secrets that are risky to share.

The guest instruments tend to flesh out the tuneage’s sound with ethnic seasoning.

These compositions are a crafty blend of ambience and soft rock. While the instruments strive to boost the music into a substantial state, the general motif of the music maintains an atmospheric mien that makes these tunes stand out from conventional rock fare.



ReGrooved (2010)

Jamie Lee Rake - Shepherd Express

The Milwaukee/Kansas City aural sculptors (as Cyberchump calls itself) decided to remix the electro-acoustic amalgamations of their first two CDs. Enter Milwaukee laptop music-maker Janzyk. The collaboration birthed a collection of eccentric ambient and intelligent dance tracks—or, rather, beat-driven tracks. Their danceability isn't a forced quality, but one that allows ReGrooved to work on the disco floor or in the chill-out lounge with roughly equal success.


The duo known as Cyberchump has always had a certain chameleon-like sense of identity. They’ve dabbled in IDM with thick beats, they’ve quieted things down to a meditative flow, they’ve strapped on guitars to revel in their prog-rock roots. After years of inventive reinvention, Jim Skeel and Mark G.E. had a chance to let someone else figure out who Cyberchump is, so they naturally took it. They handed tracks from their first two albums over to “laptop tweaker” Janzyk, and the result is ReGrooved, a club-friendly, funk-laden joyride that neatly (and wisely) retains at its core the smart synth-and-guitar blend that is signature Cyberchump.

The source albums came before my initial introduction to Cyberchump (2004’s Scientists in the Trees) so I can’t cogently comment on what Janzyk did re: the originals. What I can say is that it’s an early Saturday morning as I write this review and three tracks in it’s all I can do not to get up and start dancing around the kitchen. This is potent stuff, beat-wise, and packed with lots of extra ear candy that make it a pleasure to drop into. Highlights for me include the smoky, sort of John Klemmer-ish sax that writhes through the bass-thick “Space is the Case,” and the punchy dancefloor attack of “Love Offering.” By contrast, Janzyk slows things down with “Dreams Groove,” a sparse track that rides largely on a cool backbeat and occasional chordbursts of guitar. This one takes its time, doesn’t cram in any excess sound, and comes off as one of the slickest tracks here. ReGrooved is a disc that really shines in a shuffle, pulling an immediate energy into any flow. It’s just plain fun to listen to, track after track, and quite nicely put together. In outsourcing their latest incarnation, the lads of Cyberchump chose wisely.


Their Moment of Perfect Happiness (2011)

Milwaukee’s Mark G.E. and long-dis- tance collaborator Jim Skeel record together under the name Cyberchump. Playing with electronic tex- tures on their latest CD, the two-disc Their Moment of Perfect Happiness, the prolific duo makes music in which the humanity isn’t lost amid the technology. The clang- ing, trippy beats and synth melodies sound rough-hewn and artisanal as they travel across lively instrumental techno-pop, moody soundscapes, ambient journeys and even the deep echoes of dub. Cyberchump employs instruments old and new, including kalimba, tape loops and laptop, in a bracing collection. —David Luhrssen


from Hypnogogue

The gentlemen of Cyberchump know that your musical mood tends to fluctuate. That’s why their new release, Their Moment of Perfect Happiness, gives you two discs–one for those times when you need it uptempo and loud and another for your darker, more contemplative moments. The first disc, the upbeat one, is also for those of you who, like me, are suckers for a sexy, thick and chunky dose of window-rattling bass. With heavy dub influence entwined with ripping prog-rock guitar, this disc wastes no time in getting its funk on. “Every1” wah-wahs its way into your face and gets you moving while guitarist Jim Skeel unleashes a stinging swarm of notes. From there, he and Mark G.E. refuse to relinquish their hold. “Learning to Breathe,” which is so pleasantly trippy it should be called “Learning to Inhale,” offers harmonics pinging over a reggae bass line amid a butterfly stampede of electronics. And really, how can you miss with a track called “Interstellar Dub Station Freakout”? This one solidifies the duo’s dub cred, complete with scratchy guitar, a beat you can’t refuse and perfectly executed drops where the sudden silence just echoes through your head. The lads pull a nice tonal switch with “In Tension,” curving the flow into a Middle Eastern groove. Familiar territory for them, it must be said, and they hit it neatly here.

The second disc is interesting for its linear movement from beat-based pieces that carry the energy of the first disc, down into misty ambient flows. Along the way the route passes through some intense, if not sinister-sounding, places. There’s a lot of minimalist construction here; simple phrasings and unchanging beats drive pieces like “Darling Don’t” (which, I have to tell you, can be a little creepy at times while also being a steady groove) and “Dread.” But in the almost unmoving constancy of these tracks, G.E. and Skeel manage to infuse a lot of activity and plenty of ear candy. These pared-back riffs manage to be no less infectious than the straightforward pieces on the first disc, which speaks volumes for the power of restraint. The last 20 minutes, beginning with “Floating” and on through the superb quiet wash of “In the Time of Gone,” find Cyberchump smoothing things out, calming the beats a little further and just letting the glide take over. Muted guitar notes hum their way through “Floating”; “Wind in Sleep” has a lullaby quality to it and a sense of easy patience. It’s spacious and in no hurry. Wind chimes ring quietly, pushed by a synthesizer breeze. “In the Time of Gone” is a classic ambient piece, all drones and pads edging toward the close of the disc. A truly beautiful piece, thoughtful and calm.

Cyberchump manage to do what they set out to with this disc. The one proudly stamped “Loud” excels when played loud. It’s been the soundtrack of many a morning commute since I received it. It’s feel-good dub that just seeps into your soul. Disc two takes up residence in your darker psychic spaces, churns up some stuff and talks to you about it, then hushes the conversation to let you think and leaves you alone with your thoughts. An excellent release from Cyberchump; probably my favorite of theirs so far.

Our statewise friends named Cyberchump a.k.a. Mark GE and Jim Skeel have done it again and released a new album named "Their Moment Of Perfect Happiness" via their very own Internal Combustion-imprint. Well, not an album exactly but a double album - that means two full hours to be spent in your personal armchair listening to deep, slightly playful Ambient, some decent partly Dub-influenced Downbeats and other warm and embracing musical wizzardry that makes you feel at home like a baby feels at home in its mothers womb. As you can guess from this description - we do like "Their Moment Of Perfect Happiness", not only for being classy but for fusing floating classic Ambient with some live elements which hasn't been done for quite a while now. Provide a copy to Ambient gods like Mixmaster Morris and I'll be they'll playing tunes like "Interstellar Dub Station Freakout" forever. Fully recommended!

George Bass from Coke Machine Glow on Ocean Wrecking

It’s only natural that a duo should halve honours on a double album, and ambient noodlers Cyberchump have done just that, cutting Their Moment of Perfect Happiness right down the middle. The first half: playful electronica, friendly clicks. The second: hangover tunes; barely audible drone tracks that you could put yourself in suspended animation to. Mark G.E. and Jim Skeel seem to be preparing themselves for the ultimate night out, giving equal time to both optimism and recovery. It’s conscientiousness like this that drove Gary Langan, founder of Art of Noise, to describe their debut Dreams Groove as “one of 88 albums you must hear.”

Both Skeel and G.E. use the dark tracks to soon produce jewels like “Ocean Wrecking,” written to highlight marine noise pollution for the 2009 Hydrophonia festival. However, the Rainbow Warrior vibes end there: “Wrecking” is designed to scare any noise polluters swiftly back to shore, descended from the same drone horror as Xela’s The Dead Sea (2006). Featuring gull caws, plucked strings, and everything else you’d expect of a sea shanty, there’s about a minute of calm before the sea sucks back, petering out into black mud. Dolphins scream while guitars float in a tide pool, tangled with squid and contemplating revenge. It’s an original, unnerving sound—not as engaging as, say, a Drew Barrymore family film about the plight of innocent sea life, but a neat way of repelling pirates if you didn’t pack an RPG-7.


Sonic Curiosity

Cyberchump is: Jim Skeel (on processed electric and Ebow guitars. synthesizers, processed kalimba and bass, laptop, field recordings, loops and other manipulations), and Mark G.E. (on 5-string fretless bass, long guitar, synthesizer, weird sound generator, multiple configured effects, things that shouldn't be plugged into one another, laptop, loops and voice). Additional voices on one track are provided by: Theresa Ala Mode and Alexander M.E.

Contemporary electronics is given a multi-genre bump, resulting in tuneage of a highly intriguing nature.

The electronics are versatile and slick, blending atmospheric texturals with lead synthesizers in a fashion that produces a tight flow of inventive music. Haunting auralscapes provide mysterious clouds which roil and seethe in the background, while additional electronics generate lavish riffs of particularly stimulating attraction.

Keyboards initiate a majority of the electronics, spawning a flurry of ambrosial riffs that unfurl with stately grace--only to be warped by other instruments into passages that defy classification.

Guitars provide a tasteful twang that fuses space attributes with an assortment of alternate styles, ranging from country to jazz to rock to experimental. These diverse approaches achieve a unique presence that defies expectations and burrows into the listener's psyche with rewarding results.

Percussion is featured and contributes locomotion of an engaging variety. The rhythms alternate from raspy jazz riffs to peppy techno tempos to sparse garage beats.

Basslines rumble throughout, establishing more than just foundational support. At times the bass stands in as a lead instrument with dazzling consequence.

These compositions are too varied to be covered by a single description. While contemporary electronics is the main motif, the songs accumulate diverse influence like a rogue magnet tumbling through a machinist shop, picking up manifold mediums and applying them with inventive abandon. Cyberchump succeed in molding everything into a glorious union that sparkles with infectious charisma. The tunes are snappy (when they're supposed to be) and mesmerizing (when the intention is more sober), but either way the songs maintain a steadfast degree of handsome zest.

While the tracks on the first disc are imbued with an energetic temperament, the music on disc 2 is moodier, a darker slice of ambience. Haunting tones are accompanied by spooky percussives, lending a portentous to the tuneage.


from Forest on Starstreams

Cyberchump is Featured Artist on Startsreams - They say, "We share in the headtrip of the duo Mark G.E & Jim Skeel aka Cyberchump, with their curiously titled double CD, Their Moment of Perfect Happiness. It's available on their Internal Combustion record label. Disc 1's groovey psy-tronica nestles well with Disc 2's cinematic stillness. It's for sure, like totally, trippy!"


Sankhara (2006)

Another new artist to me is cyberCHUMP – the duo Mark G.E and Jim Skeel. They describe Sankhara as a collection of tone poems, and aural sculpture; and indeed it is. To achieve their sound a lot of sources are used from treated guitars and keyboards to Uilleann pipes and digeridoo, plus a voice. It's a rather abstract work and sonically clever because often the sources aren't obvious to the listener - even the voice is used very subtly.

The overall feel of the album is set in the first track “Anticipation (Something Out There)”. Humming drones create a backdrop over which resonant flutey refrains add to the pensive atmosphere. A variety of washes and almost melodic sounds fill out the soundfield.

An exemplar of the cyberCHUMP sound can be found on the longest track “Lay Your Head”. Warm tones like embers from a fire form a subtly shifting background in a way reminiscent of an Exuviae track called “Silencia”. Against this plucked guitar, gentle tinkles that echo off to the distance, and bass notes all go to create a slightly spooky yet calming mood.

Most of the time the mood just about stays on the vaguely unsettling side of things. The album rarely becomes dark per se, instead it tends to hint and look toward those aspects rather than forges ahead to explore them. What also works for me is how a mystery is hidden by the music, indeed the piece “Tremor” with its ghostly teasing melody, brief use of voice and rhythm, and spooky effects hints at all kinds of things without revealing them.

Sankhara is a pleasing and intriguing work from an artist I'll be looking out for in the future. It should have plenty of appeal to those who like amorphous ambience with little in the way rhythmic structures.



Secrets to Tell You (2005)
It's always a treat to see a new cyberCHUMP album, another transmission from a project that melt different sources and styles into a unique and exotic mixture. Jim Skeel (guitars, keyboards, loops, samples, manipulations) and Mark G.E. (bass guitars, keyboards, loops, samples, background voice) form the core of cyberCHUMP. On this outing they are assisted by Jason Loveall (violin), Jason Todd (saxophone), Jeanne Marie Viellux (lead voice), Theresa Ala Mode (background voice), and Neal Rops (sample harvesting). Very capable musicians, they have also sampled previous cyberCHUMP works to further enhance the vision of this recording.

The album begins with the soft launch of "Plateaux", swirling mystery with bass guitar pluckings, drones and cricket glitch. "Lighten" follows, a soft chiming melody with dark organic rustlings underneath and power drones coming in later. The beats arrive in track 3, "The Atmosphere Next Door", nice synth, tasteful guitar, and heavenly vocals over chugging trip hop rhythms. "Healing Time " is next, swirling keyboards and soloing guitar dancing with metronomic hi-hat sounds and percussion. The fifth track, "Among The Islands" features a tribal rhythm section, keyboards, and rock guitar building repeated crescendos. Ambient jazz fusion describes the blend of guitar, percussion, keys and drum loops in "Boogie Caravan". Next is "Tango", downtempo ambient funk anchors a Middle Eastern melody with some smooth violin. The title track "Secrets To Tell You" has chiming bell like synths dancing over an electro rhythm with some svelte, whispery female background vocals and soloing guitar. The ninth track "Achu" is a robotic jewelry box mutating into a shuffling rhythm with synths and electro bass. "Spanish Funk" is next, a loping fusion riddim with synths, violin and buried male vocals. The album finishes with "Yearning", dubby bass anchoring grainy pulses, drum sticks, samples and keyboards.

This is an album that cuts across many genres, and the variety of sounds and textures makes for exciting listening. Not content to repeat safe formulas, cyberCHUMP is about exploring and fusing different elements. It sounds like the musicians had a lot of fun making this, and that positive energy is felt by the listener! Recommended, especially to lovers of fusion and rhythmic ambient, this is a great addition to any ambient music collection!

            - Dodds Wiley on

As your digits fidget to open cyberCHUMP's fifth collection of ambient music, Secrets to Tell You, you'll notice the statement on the disc reading, "Somehow a travelogue." Milwaukee's Mark G.E. and Kansas City's Jim Skeel, the duo behind cyberCHUMP, attempt to prove that ambient can not only create an environment, but also shuffle you through it. The album begins on a calming note, with the prolonged opening, "Plateaux." At the same time the sound of a skipping record needle beckons you to sleep, the motion starts: A feverish dream with dark riddles and eerie mutations of man and machine that could only take place in the intense stages of REM sleep, plus a dramatic avant-garde score coated with textures that give winks to Eno, Bowie and Tangerine Dream.

Skeel's tendencies to jam are an intriguing counterpoint to Mark G.E.'s methodical experimentation and provide an emotionally rewarding payoff, but the album's low point, "Among the Islands," seems inappropriate given the record's otherwise ultramodern feel. The song has value as a piece of '90s new-age instrumental nostalgia straight out of the video Beyond the Mind's Eye. Since listening to the music was the best part of watching that long-forgotten chestnut anyway, this small misstep can be forgiven.

            - Jason Keil : The Shepherd Express

Secrets to Tell You Liner Notes by Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire
Music critics all look for different things in judging the recordings they receive for review. Some of us value originality above all else, while others prize recording technique, musical talent, or artistic vision. However, imagination in the service of poorly recorded music results in sloppy zaniness, while meticulous engineering and production of mediocre "safe" music is like vanilla ice cream without any toppings (or even a cone)! Raw talent can only go so far if the artist has no vision other than to stay on tune, and an overly ambitious idea without the chops to back it up ends up in a brave but totally inadequate if not unlistenable mess. Pity us poor critics the most, though, when we are confronted by a combination of ALL the above traits. We are left to scratching our heads, reaching for thesauri, and retreating to our copies of Lester Bangs anthologies for literary inspiration!<

This now leads us to Jim Skeel and Mark G.E., the brains, brawn, guts, and spirit behind cyberCHUMP, one of the most intriguing, unpredictable, and (most gratifying to yours truly) ENJOYABLE recording acts in ambient music. With the music of cyberCHUMP, (whether it be the globe-hopping fusion funk of Inner Grooves, the sample-fest of electronica on Dreams Groove, the smooth flowing ambient soundworlds of Abstract Air or the mind-blowing genre-smashing bravado of my personal fave, Scientists in the Trees) these two guys throw the listener more curves than a Cy Young award winner on his best day. Yet, their tongues are frequently tucked neatly in their cheeks, so you can count on a "nudge nudge wink wink" attitude to surface now and then, as well as some deliciously subversive musical elements. However, they can also steer straight-ahead and craft wonderful ambient music too, which is where Abstract Air shines brightest. Skeel and G.E. are the definitive renaissance men when it comes to integrating musical explorations into an accessible framework in such a way that the timid are comforted with "just enough" accessibility while the courageous are rewarded with idiosyncratic moments galore.

So, now they have released what is arguably their most diverse work yet, namely the CD you hold in your muddy little paws, Secrets to Tell You. The CD kicks off with the subtly scratchy sublime floating caresses and pinging echoes of "Plateaux" (reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Meddle) and then heads into mysterious territory on "Lighten" with its cyber-lounge opening which transforms into a miasmic whirlpool of drones and textures. cyberCHUMP fans (would they be called CHUMPETTES?) who are wondering "Hey, where are the beats?" need wait no longer than track three, "The Atmosphere Next Door" wherein glitch beats meld with electric guitar, Jason Todd's sultry saxophone and the voice talent of Jeanne Marie Vielleux yielding a neon-tinted 2 am whisky glow awash in futuristic textures. "Healing Time" explores that lush beautiful electronica exemplified by fellow ambient artists Crown Invisible and Dome (from the Cursor Club consortium), as waves of synths ebb and flow underneath gracefully chattering beats. Of course, Skeel and G.E. are just warming up, and soon head off into familiarly bizarre rhythm fests like the playful "Boogie Caravan (Stratosphere Mix)" with an explosive eruption of trap drum loops in the latter half of the song. The title track pulses and twinkles and whirrs and buzzes with more electronic sounds and effects than you'll ever be able to keep in focus, which is the point, right? "Spanish Funk" finds a perfect midtempo groove, plants its happy feet, and then proceeds to rip up the place, thanks to Jason Loveall's flights of fancy on his violin, soaring and dipping over the bed of percolating rhythms.

Oh hell, there's plenty more pleasant musical mayhem awaiting you on Secrets to Tell You, but there's no sense in my going on further. CHUMPETTES know what's in store and you rookies will just have to earn your stripes by playing this until your synapses fire in time with the beats, buoyed along by layer upon layer of flowing electronic melodies. Prepare to be dazzled but not dazed. After all, cyberCHUMP are not out to scare you. Maybe shake up your timid narrow view of ambient music a bit, but that's a good thing, yes? No, in fact, it's bloody brilliant. Dive in and enjoy, pilgrims!

            - Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire 4/05

Scientists in the Trees (2004) - Wind & Wire Top Ambient Release of 2004
"One of the most rewarding aspects (yet arduous tasks) of being a music reviewer is reviewing music which is innovative, creative, and difficult to describe using ordinary methods. Such is the case with this, the latest release from the duo cyberCHUMP (Jim Skeel and Mark G.E.). Trying to sum up this brilliant and highly infectious recording, I found myself stymied at every attempt: Funky rhythms meet cinematic melodies? Kinetic cyber-organic beats meet catchy refrains? Crisscrossing drum kits meet swirling tonalities? Constantly shape-shifting micro-sonic landscapes that fluctuate between whimsical, haunting, trippy and intelligent?

As they say in Minnesota, "Whatever!" Scientists in the Trees is a party and a half, a CD comprised of ten selections that never wear out their welcome even after numerous playings. Drum loops, snippets of melody on assorted real and sampled instruments, electronic textures, memorable refrains, cascading rhythms, and adventurous turns onto unexpected pathways, each one of the ten tracks offers the listener something new to delve into and explore.

"Signals" blends sonar-bleeps, trap kit drums, hand percussion and electronic beats, swirling synths, and a plaintive undercurrent of sparse piano, all of it added a layer at a time and building into a nice alchemical infusion of rhythm and slightly foreboding melodies. "Pressure Tactic" adds some scratch noise effects to echoed chimes, bass beats, and glitch textures, anchored by trap kit drum loops (lots of the rhythms on this recording are based on real drum kit sounds) and buoyed by flowing tones. The title track is one of my favorites, opening with an Asian-flavored tubular bell reverberating over a pleasant drone, morphing into a bouncy jazz/funky trip-out piece, via great cymbal rhythms, a truly inspired electric bass riff, cascading synth bells, and beautiful underlying floating chords. "Sarin" (the next song) drastically changes the mood from the previous light-hearted piece to one of somber and menacing slow tempo scratch effects, electronic swirls, booming bass rhythms, and eerie upper register church organ chords and what sound like shakuhachi flute samples. That even this quasi-experimental tune still carries an element of accessibility is a testament to G.E. and Skeel. "River of Doubt" reverses field and traipses over into pounding tom-tom led beats, soaring electric guitar lead lines, a percolating bass line, and furious tribal rhythms that erupt and then submerge beneath a gentle miasma of amorphous textures and bloops and bleeps, only to reemerge now and then, amidst much drama and forceful drumming. Things get slow and quiet down with "Presidents from Another Planet" a funkified bit of dissonant textures, snappy snares, heavy bottom stand-up bass, kinetic cyber-beats, and coming from almost out of nowhere, a delta blues acoustic guitar riff!

By now, you can understand why this is a confounding and almost irritatingly complex recording to review in concrete terms. These tracks are so continuous in their evolving characteristics, so unusual in how they mash genes together in creative ways, and yet so professionally accomplished that my brain gets tired just contemplating finishing this review. Suffice to say that Scientists in the Trees will delight you if you are open to music that breaks rules while still retaining a strong hold on accessible melodies, catchy rhythms, and a blend of high tech futurism and back-to-basics instrumentation (the drum kit loops are fantastic, conducive to all manner of ass-shakin', foot-tappin', and general body movement). Never too slick, never too "out there," never crossing over to outright pretension nor wandering over to "safe" territory, this is music that will challenge you even while it entertains your "inner child" that only wants to have a funky old time (the CD itself is imprinted with the following: "Lay Between Speaker System and Crank it Up!"I'd heed that advice, if I were you!Highly recommended!"

             - Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire

When we last heard from our intrepid ambient music explorers Jim Skeel and Mark G.E., known as cyberCHUMP, they were making deep ambient music of a haunting, mostly beatless nature. Things have changed however, and this release brings a lot of beats to the party and gets things moving in a lively fashion.

Track 1, "Signals" has a percolating beat with a beeping pulse and a recurring piano figure, topped off with some nice synth work. It's a great opening track. "Pressure Tactic" follows, a jagged drumkit rhythm with some layered effects and a recurring middle eastern melody fragment. The third track, "Helium Device" starts with bell like tones and synth, as a jazzy fusion rhythm emerges to push things along. Next is "Scientists In The Trees" , a pulsing beat with a very cool jazz rock electrobass, with guitar floating on top and some wild jungle vocals. "Sarin" is fifth, creepy layers of synth and effects, with some panning beats. Tribal drums and sweeping effects begin "River Of Doubt", which slips into still heavier beat territory with guitar sounds and synth bass. The seventh track "Presidents From Another Planet" has a skittering beat that changes up, with some bluesy acoustic guitar and flute sounds. "Vulcan's Forge" follows, with gently distorted, glitchy rhythms and recurring tympani with some horns. Next is "Glimmer" a start/stop rhythm with strings, percussion, snare drum, bagpipe sounds joining in. The tenth and final track, "The Charmer" has futuristic beats, percussion, guitar, deep bass, and Andean pipe sounds swirling in a dervish dance.

Throughout this disc Jim and Mark put forth some strong, innovative arrangements and some masterful playing. The surprising combinations of instruments and sophisticated rhythms create an intoxicating blend. These guys are very good at what they do! Enough said, the play button needs to be hit again.

            - Dodds Wiley at

"A blurb on the back of this CD refers to the music as "aural sculpting meets the beat," but that doesn't quite come close to describing this infectious blend of funky grooves, downtempo luster, and a playfully experimental sensibility. cyberChump (secret identities: Jim Skeel and Mark G.E.) know the value of a body-bouncing bass line and how to blend it with floating melodics for a smooth ride--check out the CD's title track, a fine example of a perfect sonic cocktail. They also know when to darken things up, as with the grim "Helium Device" and "Vulcan's Forge," or to slam the listener with solid drum 'n bass, as in the excellently assaultive "River of Doubt," one of the highlights of this very good CD.

Scientists also slips in plenty of interesting rogue sounds, from a twangy slide guitar to nearly buried jazzy horns making brief-but-effective cameo appearances in the midst of pure electronica. Each track is expertly crafted, with sound-layers existing in perfect symbiosis, and the flow from one track to the next is flawless. Perfect for up-front listening or an unobtrusive ambient experience."

             - Hypnagogue

"From the opening bleeps, minimalist techno may spring to mind, but jumping to conclusions can be the inappropriate thing to do as this instrumental develops into quite a melodic outing that has a decent beat with drums. "Signals" contain the notations that are just short of being totally melodic and therefore remain within the contemporary regime. It blooms when the speakers are allowed sufficient power to do justice to the bass. A complete change of tempo is to be found on "Pressure Tactic" where slightly distorted sounds flick between the speakers and the drums are recorded with excellent clarity. It is certainly an interesting track as there is a lot to take in on the first listening session, but you're hooked instantly. The gongs announce the arrival of "Helium Device" onto which precisely controlled feedback and lo-fi drums are included. The drums do change into a top-heavy sound with distortion and the haunting melody has a slightly unsettling edge to it. The title track consists of a very powerful bass line, easy listening acoustic guitar sections and strange noises all contributing to a great instrumental. Another brilliant track is "Presidents from Another Planet" with its distinctive modified sound of something vaguely similar to opening a gate along with the rolling bass notes all contributing a very intriguing instrumental that has many musical twist and turns. Described on the sleeve as aural sculpting meets the beats is a very fair account of this marvelous CD by Jim Skeel and Mark G.E." (Brooky)


Abstract Air (2003)
"The approach to atmosphere on this album is very refreshing and intriguing. The combination with different elements and instruments lifts the overall strength of the album to a higher level, and the repetitive and thematic structure on tracks like 'Amniotic World' is strong and focused. Excellent album."

            - VidnaObmana

It is a wonderful cd! "The Kursk Suite" is a phenomenal set dedicated to the Russian submarine. Highly recommended!

            - Jim Brenholts - Ambient Visions

Flowing in on a glistening sea of fizziness, The Darkest Hour/Dawning (14:19) spreads across a vaporous expanse, with assorted timbres of rarefied guitar and voice occasionally seeping into its gauzey everdrone. Ripples, tinkles and twirls, oh my... the translucent waveforms of Overlook perform soft, slow-motion acrobatics in the sky.

A potentially morbid theme is rendered in feathery abstractions as three-part The Kursk Suite submerges for nearly 20 minutes of hazily ringing spirals; Amnionic World glows amid a rhythm of softly thumping blurts, subsequent The Infinite Now goes into deeper and darker, yet still-ethereal waters. Elastic streamers and low pulsations color Requiem for the Kursk (4:32) with more beauty than sadness.

The last of seven, the title track billows in sublimely gentle cloudmotions, steaming with pretty tonal whiffs, and closing the 56-minute disc with nearly 11 minutes of stunningly sweet stuff!

A beguiling detour from cyberCHUMP's "normal" more-overt output. Just-right amounts of tonality and ephemera make Abstract Air appropriate for superbly soft listening

            - AmbiEntrance

This is the third outing for this duo, but the delightful ambient themes are a departure from their normal Electro sound. Mark G E and Jim Skeel have put together a 7 track CD with a difference. Three of the pieces form the Kursk Suite, which graphically displays in the aural sense the tragedy surrounding the sinking of the Russian Submarine. The opening track, The Darkest Hour/Dawning naturally starts very quietly with the gentle stirring of the deep-water chasms, which gives a distinct feeling of isolation. Overlook is more upbeat with short notes that resemble sonar blips, but does not sound like them. The slow moving moody theme portrays an underlying powerful theme. The first of the suite is entitled Amniotic World with deep notes and loud chord structures to imply the mighty almost regal and certainly untouchable nature of this mysterious product of creation. The middle section is much quieter and again more traditionally ambient and perhaps remaining bold on the outside, but with a vulnerable section. I could easily become engrossed listenening to The Infinite Now on a pair of headphones in a dimly lit room. The finale of the suite is Requiem For The Kirsk and contains solemn themes. Calling was recorded back in 1985 and so it's interesting to note that there's no sign of a dated sound. The use of vocal sounds to enhance the mood is alluring. The very mellow title track is one of those rich textured pieces that are a true delight to listen to when you're feeling knackered. Although this is an ambient product, the textures and sound layering produce a dark and very moody feel. This is no lightweight trip into happy melodic tunes for kiddies, but rather a mature, thoughtful and ultimately pleasing album for grown ups.

            - Modern Dance

cyberCHUMP is the vessel of Mark G.E. and Jim Skeel and this cd is a collection of "experiments in aural sculpture". Spooky synths ebb and flow on top of a low rumbling drone announcing the beginning of this disc. Far off noises and distant chiming guitar add to the feeling of "The Darkest Hour/Dawning". This track captures that time of night when one's perceptions strain to comprehend, as darkness gives way to the light of a new day. Next is "Overlook" where guitar and synth weave and churn with each other,with electronic percussion and some far off saxophone. The next three tracks form "The Kursk Suite". Repetitive bass tones form an engine like presence as drones swirl with layers of synth in "The Amniotic World". Very immersive.In the fourth track,"The Infinate Now",a melancholy bass guitar wanders as metallic wind sounds and mournful synths drift in and out. Next is "Requiem For The Kursk", a gentle, haunting melodic figure with a soaring guitar above a low drone. This three song suite is a fabulous work. "Calling" has wordless chant vocals with a jagged guitar and some splintered keyboard sounds all colliding with each other in a very intriguing composition. "Abstact Air" closes the album,with gentle contemplative keyboards and a wistful synth melody,underpinned by some tasteful, minimal bass guitar. A feeling of peace and transcendence prevails. cyberCHUMP have fashioned a remarkable, first rate work. The quality of the compositions is strong,sound quality is excellent,and the sequencing of tracks is perfect. This disc is a real gem and fans of darker ambient should definitely seek it out.

            - Dodds Wiley on

Something tells me this recording slipped underneath everyone's radar screen as one of the top drifting ambient/spacemusic releases of 2003. From the duo also known as cyberCHUMP (Mark G.E. and Jim Skeel), who usually are ablaze with kinetic energy and fusion elements galore, Abstract Air presents seven selections of smooth ebbing and flowing ambience, sometimes neutral in mood, seldom what I would call dark, and usually exhibiting a warmth that is uncommon in this type of music, as well as some characteristic quirks (which are the hallmark of their alter ego cyberCHUMP).

Take "The Infinite Now" for example. Buried deep within the haunting drones and reverberating tones are a laid back thumping bass and what sounds like mystical wooden flutes. The washes, textures and drones alone make this an excellent drifting soundscape. The addition of the other two elements elevates it into something magical. I imagined myself walking through a fog-shrouded forest, bathed in diffuse light and not the least bit afraid but keenly aware of my insignificance in the cathedral of trees.

Abstract Air has plenty to offer in the way of slowly developing ambient and spacemusic. Rhythms are, for the most part, noticeably absent except those that derive from things like the pinging tones in "Requiem for the Kursk" (by the way, that track, "The Infinite Now" and "Amniotic World" are all parts of what is labeled "The Kursk Suite"). "Requiem..." combines the aforementioned tones with long drawn out processed electric guitar and a gently throbbing drone underneath everything else. One of the best cuts is the closing title track, which also appeared on the excellent Spiralight Recordings compilation Ambienism Volume 1. Sounding more than a little like Harold Budd, a warm and friendly series of notes played on what sounds like a Fender Rhodes electric piano repeats over and over against a gently floating wash along with sustained bass notes. The track is about ten minutes long and, later on, other musical elements are brought into play, but mostly just doing yeoman's duty as decorative touches (such as some beautiful flute work towards the end). In contrast to the enveloping warmth of the title song, the CD opens with "The Darkest Hour/Dawning" which, while darker than other pieces here, is still not intimidating or scary, being more along the lines of the deep space music from Michael Bentley (i.e. whooshing textures, humming drones, and ebbing and flowing synth chords, as well as some rustling effects now and then). At fourteen-plus minutes, placing this selection first is a bold move, but I would expect nothing less from Mark G.E. and Jim Skeel. This song does contain some percussion, by the way, but its muted and you'd need headphones to pick it out, I think. Later in the track's development, electric guitar and synth chorales take over as the main ingredients for awhile. Things get a bit intense and loud eventually, but the overall feeling is still not overbearing. In fact, the amalgam of drones and chorales reminded me a bit of Ligeti's music from 2001 at times. It had that same sense of grandeur without going over the top (no doubt, these moments in the song are meant to convey the "dawning" of the title).

Other songs include the desolate but not forbidding "Overlook" (love the twinkling tones later in the cut), "Amniotic World" (which has a fluid, if not viscous, sound and a beathing-like rhythm to its repeating tones and washes) and "Calling" (far and away the most abstract piece here, consisting of assorted wordless vocals, skittering noises that pan left to right and kalimba samples that repeat in the background). With its darker-tinted character, the piece reminded of Jeff Greinke's In Another Place to some degree, although Greinke's music evolved more than this does. "Calling" is probably the only cut I would consider weak on the album, and even then it suffers more simply by comparison to the other selections here.

For whatever reason, the huddled masses of drifting ambient and spacemusic lovers seem to have missed this recording when it came out. I'd urge them to seek it out now. It's a first-class collection of excursions into slowly shifting and repetitive musical worlds that retains a human sense of warmth and friendliness without crossing over into being "pretty." Exercising an uncanny sense of restraint, G.E. and Skeel display their talent for painting in subtle soft colors that evoke a sense of well-being even when the predominant nature of the music itself is emotionally neutral, if not even a bit dark. Highly recommended.

            - Bill Binkelman @ Wind and Wire

Inner Grooves (2002)
Jim Skeel and Mark G.E. get together to play with a bunch of friends; it sounds like they had a blast with the jam-sessions of Inner Grooves... Sprawling, guitar-led excursion DistortoGroove heads into smoother vibes of faux-ethno-influenced Desert Keys, still quite bouncy in its demeanor. A misty entry into Space is the Case turns prog-jazzy as spattered cymbals, radiant sax streams, cool bass and more, smoothly jam. Spirited rhythms stomp through a dreamworld of musical styles as The Orbulon takes the sci-fi road to a rocking good time.

Blurting out buzzy streams of retro-movie horns as well as lounge-o-tronic vibes, and glaring surf guitars, warm We mixes and matches instrumental types with playful abandon and skill. Eloquently sawed strings add a sensual, semi-symphonic wang to Reflecting Pool, while Inner Core is marked by a murkier cyclone of sweetly somber swirls.

             - AmbiEntrance

Dreams Groove (2000)
Cyberchump: Dreams Groove (Internal Combustion - 2000) (8.2/10) Dreams Groove contains a lot of both... I want... brainwashing is just one of the messages conveyed through wacky samples in NerveNut, a jammin' slab of electro. Quietly pattering tribal beats lead into Drums in Sleep to be joined by swaying bass lines and hypnotizing guitar duets. Backed by beats and static-blasted radio voices, transcendentally serpentine bass and guitar weave through Stalking (3:09), heading into tropical territories.

The Force offers some jangly, rockin' fun; in this track and others, borrowed samples appear, often to amusing effect. Soft freeform soundstreams flow through Crystalize (7:35), buoyed by big lolling bass waves peppered by hyperactive cymbalism.

Besides the panoramic guitar-meets-electronics tune-scapes and clever musicianship therein, you've got to give Jim Skeel (High & Low Guitars, Samples, Loops, Machines, Manipulations, Keyboards) and Mark G.E. (Keyboards, Monster Bass Keyboards, Accordian, Theremin, Machines, Noises, Voice) some credit just for possessing the cojones to name their project Cyberchump!

             - AmbiEntrance

"Funky Experimental Electronica"

             - Milwaukee Orbit, Issue Six August 2000

S-Mail: Internal Combustion . PO Box 11947 Milwaukee . WI . 53211 . USA