Tape the sound

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Late autumn summary in photos (2017)

I was invited on Facebook by Per-Helge Berg, to a photo challenge with 7 pictures, one a day, to show my life. When this happened I was sort of in really creative modus, and wanted to do picture´s about this. All my interests, was to be announced this week. I was actually working on all of them. (And relaxing with my gf cat) So I am quite satisfied with this 7 pictures, that tells a lot about my life. Here they are. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Richard Gürtler on my EP "The Labyrinth"

Review of "The Labyrinth" EP-CD by Warpness Written by Richard Gürtler
Behind Warpness is hidden Norwegian soundcarver Tom Ståle Engebretsen, who is responsible for gemstones such as "Atmosphere", released in April 2017, or "Tralfamadore" recorded under the name Elrox Ambient Session. This one is out since August 2015. Warpness' newest EP "The Labyrinth" was released on Tom's Tape The Sound label during July 2017, the main idea behind this release was born after Warpness recorded a track "The Labyrinth" for a compilation on Italian label Eight Tower Records entitled "Labyrinth". The CDr comes in a plastic sleeve with 2-panel insert.
The 4-track EP reveals with the main composition, 5-minute "Part 1", which appears on above mentioned "Labyrinth" compilation. Emerging enigmatic, choir-driven drone reinforced by cyber-tech signals and bleeps along with ephemeral chopper fragments drifts, meanders and surreptitiously coalesces with persistently ascending and evanescing array of bizarre meridians. "Part 2" incorporates glimmeringly mesmerizing trotting rhythm bridged with rather minimal, ear-tickling icy sounds. Hissy quietudes clandestinely permeate across along with intangibly guarding buzzes, while reflective chords of electric strings slowly percolate as well. Intriguingly sparse, yet abundantly efficient. "Part 3", at 3:33 the shortest piece on the EP, delves into weirder and intenser terrains, merging constantly arising voice glimpses with rawer stringed tapestries and guiding steady cadences of light industrial fragrances, here and there imbued by peculiarly titillating sci-fi flares. Nearly 7-minute long "Part 4" closes this entertaining ride with nebulously squeaking timbres and relentlessly helixing oracular roars, which are tightly hanging above traversing laid-back downtempo repetitions and transient diaphanous stringed exotica occasionally thrown in.
Although "The Labyrinth" is to my taste more rhythm-charged endeavor, its sole creator has again managed to fully unfold his creatively distinctive insignias that were extraordinarily exhibited on already mentioned masterpieces such as "Tralfamadore" and "Atmosphere". Sure, a journey that lasts only for 21 minutes is a quite short for some deeper immersion, but even this brief effort clearly showcases the gift of Tom Ståle Engebretsen. And by the way, when ordering "Atmosphere" CDr, you get "The Labyrinth" CDr EP as a free bonus. Add to that "Tralfamadore" and you will get a bundle you simply can't go wrong with!!! And if you are a cassette aficionado, then you might want to include also "One Note" album released in December 2016.
Richard Gürtler (Nov 27, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Says it all on Ambient music guide!


The understated instrumentals of Tralfamadore (2015) are melodic and mesmerising. The spaces between say as much as the notes. The album has an extraordinary atmosphere; an eerie, alien, dark quality that’s neither cold nor overly grim which is an emotional balancing act difficult to strike in any genre.
Tom Ståle Engebretsen
country of origin: 
electronica, cinematic, drone, psyambient, art rock
decades active:
essential releases (as Elrox):
  • Tralfamadore (2015, Tape The Sound)
as Warpness:
  • Atmosphere (2017, Tape The Sound)
  • The Labyrinth ep (2017, Tape The Sound)

Reviewed by Mike G
The multi-talented Norwegian Tom Ståle Engebretsen (aka Elrox aka Warpness) came to making music fairly late in his career, starting to compose in 2011 after spending a long period as an artist, photographer and radio programmer. His online persona suggests a passionate, generous and kooky character and it's easy to love his unpretentious enthusiasm for his art. His small body of electronica to date is highly diverse - everything from proggy electro-rock to vocal synthpop to cinematic ambience and deep drone.
Several of his releases are exceptionally good. Engebretsen says his inspirations include Vangelis and Tangerine Dream but he often doesn't sound like either of them. In fact at his best I can’t think of obvious comparisons to any other artist.
Tralfamadore (2015) is his third album as Elrox and is based on writer Kurt Vonnegut's insanely fragmented and fantastically strange 1969 sci-fi anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five. Thematically, the album concerns the portion of the novel where WWII survivor Billy Pilgrim is abducted by aliens and taken to the planet of the album's title. The understated instrumentals are melodic and mesmerising. The spaces between say as much as the notes. The album has an extraordinary atmosphere; an eerie, alien, dark quality that’s neither cold nor overly grim which is an emotional balancing act difficult to strike in any genre. Many of the textures sound like they come from samples of gongs and bells that have been filtered, sustained and otherwise manipulated in a variety of ways. There are moments of awe-inspiring beauty, like the rising cloud-like chords on “Flying Saucer” and the celestial guitar notes of the title track. Tralfamadore is an original take on a one-of-a-kind work of literature and on its own terms a superb and distinctive work of atmospheric electronica.
The four-track ep The Labyrinth (2017) - this time recorded under his Warpness moniker - occupies the same eerie space as Tralfamadore and is equally as compelling. It has a bit more of an industrial clang and some of its cuts have more developed beats, evoking a future-noirish soundtrack for some imagined dystopian film. Very different from both of those and also released under his Warpness banner isAtmosphere (2017), an album of haunting, beatless psychedelic ambience with gorgeous extended harmonic drones. It's first class, even though it's less distinctive than his other two releases and occasionally echoes the work of others, specifically Eastern spacemusic master David Parsons and early Tangerine Dream.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ut på tur

Så ble det et gjensyn med Oslo Kamera Klubb sin sommerutflukt. Hver mandag i hele sommer møtes medlemmene (og ikke-medlemmer som alle er velkomne) til en fototur i Oslo for bilder og sosial hygge. Dette var noe jeg var helt besatt av i mine glansdager i klubben. Derfor var det gøy å treffe på noen gamle ringrever i klubben nå. Fikk tatt et ganske kult bilde også! Barcode i Oslo. Det bygges og det bygges. / Was participating with old friends in Oslo Kamera Klubb to make a photo trip in Oslo. Got his picture!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bosa, Sardegna, Italy 2017

A very short photo collage from a trip to Sardegna, Italy. I just fell in love with this town named Bosa. It is an amazing place. Wish I could stay there for a long time... All this pictures you see here is made in one day. Just think what could happened in a long term stay. About the photo´s: I was trying to capture all corners as a 2 dimentions picture. Trying to eliminate the debth of the stairs and corners. Just get the color shape of this beautiful old town. The music is a short piece I have made at home. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Warpness on Eight Tower Records

Proud to be on this compilation from Eight Tower Records. This is a project by Raffaele Pezzella in Italy. He have really make things get happening for me.  My track is number 6 on this compilation and is named by the title of the project. The Labyrinth. You have to hurry up if you want CD from this compilation. Exclusively only 50 are made. Follow the link to this album.

I was invited to participate on this when I was in "Studio Flatdal" in may this year. So I composed a brand new track for this. And even more good news: There will be a cd-EP from me with 4 tracks to come. The Labyrinth! TBA.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review of Atmosphere by Richard Gürtler

Extremely good review from music journalist Richard Gürtler:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Warpness : Atmosphere

Berkdrums To me, one of the biggest surprise-albums of 2017 so far... Warpness (Tom Ståle Engebretsen) creates definitely his own sound with this album, a melange of recognizable ambient-styles... I notice some Chronotope Project (especially in part 2), some Roach, the use of field-recordings and small percussion sounds remind me of some Alio Die influence and Dataobscura-acts like Robert Davies. Even some space ambient floats around... A STUNNING album that puts Warpness on the map!! Highly recommended...

My latest release on the label TAPE THE SOUND! Lot`s of good respons allready. CD and digital! Only on bandcamp. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Gallery Music

Monday, April 17, 2017

Art Exhibition Galleri Vanntårnet 2017

Participating on this member exhibition at "Galleri Vanntårnet".  My picure on the poster! (The yellow/green one) This is also my album art on a new ambient release!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Little late but here is the summary of FAWM 2017! (February album writing month)

First  of all, I didn´t got the time I wanted and needed. Lot of moneywork in february, so a bit amputated this year. But I don´t cry about that. Much more time to comment others work, and be a part of the community. This year was all time high. Lot´s of old friends and several new ones.

After all I did 8 great songs this year! I even write some of them with norwegian lyrics. And yes: I did sing a lot this time. My voice is getting somewhere now I think....

I am not sure if I should put out a story about all the songs...
Trying to do a summary instead. There were so many comments and feedback this year. To much for a blog.

#1Blue Waters  @arthurrossi
8 weeks
#2 Dream Catcher  @jezbel
8 weeks
#3Hvem skulle det vært?
7 weeks
#4Jimmy´s back in town  @arthurrossi
7 weeks
7 weeks
#6I don´t believe you
6 weeks
6 weeks
#8 Who Will  @negasi 

Here are the songs! And also some collabs this year! I think some of them would be something for the future to release. 
"Theresesgate"is allready something I know will be used.... Probably at a new ELROX album next year. Probably an album in norwegian....
"Who Will" should definitely be a single this year....

Thanks for all the comments I got this year! Allready looking forward to next year. February is really the month to compose new songs.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

FAWM 2017: "Dream catcher"

Participating at Fawm.org again this year. (February album writing month) Can´t be so involved this year because of money work. But I will use a lot of my freetime, to create new songs. I like this concept. I am not into any genre, and are completely free. So this one you can listen here, is some minimalistic, dark ambient, teckno. I am satisfied with this. It got something.... Lyrics is written by fawm collaborator @jezbel. Enjoy.


The spoken voice makes me think of some obscure Lee Scratch Perry song, and I guess adding some short reverb/echoes could work great on them, enhancing the daunting feeling. The drum loop thats driving the whole track is awesome. Nice job!
@engebretsen  just now
Thx for comments on "Dream Catcher". Yes: I think you´re right about using reverb/echoes. Will see if I can do this after fawm this year.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Elrox/Holstad/Stabell Kulø : Blow out

Time to blow your ears of! This is something we did together some time ago, but not published before now. This is Rock. This is Prog rock. This is Rock´n roll!
So after this "Blow out", I think 2017 will be an ambient year for me to come. 2 releases on the schedule. More to come. All the best to everyone this year!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Warpness: One Note

Review from Ra Sonologyst:
Ra Sonologyst deep sound returning on itself so that you can listen to this release in any order you like, like a cosmic continuum. Recommended

Warpness: One note (The story)

Another release on my label Tape The Sound. Well, I do regret that I called myself for Warpness on this. Not only confusing my listeners, but also myself. I will use 2017 to sort out what to do. Anyway I made cassettes out of it. I am thinking about making CD´s later. 
This is the concept of this album:

How to experiment with one chord? That is what this album is about. The result is downtempo silence in a beauty impact. But there is something beneath... The deep, sometimes disturbing bass tone, once in a while. 
You can listen to this, over and over again.


released December 5, 2016

Project by Tom Ståle Engebretsen


Pinhole Photo

This beauties have been in my archive for a while now. I thought I maybe use them for album cover some day. But as many other things these days, time is running fast. So I put them out on my blog now. So can the future tell what this images can do later.

All pictures was taken in Nordstrand, Germany. Using different kind of shoe boxes etc.
We developed this shoots at our room, the same evening, when we exposed the pictures.
We used black and white paper inside this boxes. They are then reversed in Photoshop at home.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dirk Serries Interview

There and then.

About a year ago Dirk Serries was visiting Norway with the band Yodok III. I really had to talk to this man about music. You know: The things you have to do.
To be honest I was thinking about publishing this, in a ambient printed fanzine. But, time´s running and my schedule is to tight. No magazine yet.

Anyway I think the conversation we had at Chateu Neuf in Oslo is something to write about for all ambient fans and Dirk Serries fan especially. The occasion was Yodok III concert the same evening.

About Yodok III
Dirk tells with his own words:
- Christoffer Lo and Thomas Järmyr invited me about 4 years ago. (Now it is 5) They said they know my music, and they thought drum, tuba and my guitar would really work well together.
So they flew me over to a studio in Oslo, and we recorded our first album.
We communicate through music. I didn´t really know what to expect. But we started up a jam without talking. 20 minutes later with we had our A-side on the album.
From that moment it has been a constant work with projects and that´s why I am in Norway so often.

Dirk tell´s about how Yodok III works:
- The secret behind Yodok III is that there is no ego between musicians. It´s about the beauty of create.
It´s improvised. We don´t even know who´s gonna start playing at the concerts. It´s purely improvised.
Also the albums are. But that´s the beauty of it, and an amazing experiment.

Here in Norway, Christoffer Lo also play in the famous band Highaskite. So he is a well known man here in Norway. But maybe less known for this cooperation. 
Dirk Serries roots are from Antwerpen in Belgium. He now lives in the suburbs nearby. Living together with his wife and a couple of animals. To my relief he is not religious or spiritual fascinated. 
- No. I read a lot of philosophy books. Nietzsche and Goethe. But of course; ambient music, atmospheric music, can create a sort of special enviroment if you listen to it. But I never say how you gonna experience my music. Because everybody experience it in a different way. So why would you explain this? Why would you add up a concept around it?
Dirk explains his own questions;
- Everybody appreciates the music in they´re own way. Some read books to it. Some relax to it. Some sleep to it. But don´t force it upon your listener. That´s not cool. That´s not right to do, I think. The only things that illustrates my music is the photographs and the abstract titles. That´s it.

Vidna Obmana (vidnaObmana)
You can't talk with Dirk Serries without talking about his pseudonym vidnaObmana. He used this name from 1984 to 2007. Literally it is translated to "optical illusions" and it´s originally a word from Croatia. 
- In 2007 I stopped vidnaObmana completely. Because I was changing style a bit, and I didn´t feel comfortable with the name. 
I had to tell people that I was moving in other direction. And also for the first time in my life, I was comfortable to actually doing something in my own name.

When Mr. Serries talks about this, he also open his mind about the change to come.
- I had a serious "burned out" in 2003. I was at home for almost 1 1/2 year. Being dissatisfied that people expected for me so much; What to do and what to release. I feel that I could´t look back, with what I did, with pride. I look back with vidnaObmana with a sort of negative feeling. Like I was sick of it. I didn´t feel right with it.
-And then I rediscovered myself. All this facilities with ongoing search, for who am I, for what can I do, and what can I achieve with the ability I have. I have limited ability as a guitarist, but I have good ears. I can see what´s coming. I can respond. I know to react. And suddenly to all this kind of research, I can´t condemned my past.
I have to feel positive about what I did with vidnaObmana. That also make me as the person I am now.

Dirk has made a remarkable list over releases during the years. He also collaborates with several artists, and I had to ask about he´s own favorite album.
- I think I can look back to releases in the early 90´s. Like Passengers beauty (-91). Before that I was into industrial music. So this album was a complete makeover so to speach. And that still is a very important album for me. Of course I listen to it and think I could make it better. But at the time period, with the limitations I had…
After that, Steve Roach became a very important person to me. I learned a lot about technics and working with people.
But to tell about the most exciting time, was my first album under my own name; The origin reversal.
That´s a very important and favorite record. But there is difference with solo albums and collaboration album.
Yodok III is very close to my heart.

Streams of consciousness 
By now Dirk has released 10 album with Streams of consciousness as the title. All the releases in his own name. And he uses his iPhone to take all the picture to the album art.
- "Streams of consciousness" I just play. I hit the record button and play. They are all real time. Just cleaning up a little with EQ and mastering. That´s it. That´s the beauty of it. I transpose the idea of me as an ambient musicians. The sound need´s to be clear, need to be fine and precise. Totally different from a free jazz thing. 
But with ambient music, every little mistake, every little thing which is not correct… You can hear that. 
It destroys the mood you are creating. But I find out, that you can do it anyway. Even if you´re not prepared. Even if you love the control. You can do that. And you can come out with the same level of quality.

He tells me more about this:
- One day you sit in the studio. Delete something. Add something. Using 20-24 tracks. I was there. But suddenly I feel that I didn´t make music anymore. I wasn´t playing. I actually work in a laboratory. Like a doctor.
It was a long way for me to go. The only thing that didn´t change was how I use loops. How I use the repetition. How I layers things… That didn´t change. Either it was synthesizer or acoustic instrument, that is now a guitar. But the approach changed completely. And that is how you evolve and grow as a human being.

What Dirk Serries listen to.
- I think it is quite healthy for musicians, not only to focus on one genre. But listen to as much as you can. Because that educate yourself as well as a human being. 
So I listen to a lot. I listen to a lot of jazz. John Coltrane, Miles Davis. Fusion-works from the 70´s. On the other side I love Arvo Pärt. Now and then I listen to independent rock music. Like Radiohead. I was a huge David Bowie fan. But not so much ambient music though. The ambient music I play, is probably a big part of myself.
That is maybe why I don´t listen to much on others ambient music. Strangely enough.

A few hours after this conversation, Dirk Serries went on stage with Yodok III. 
Thank you Dirk, for sharing lot´s of thoughts with me. And thank you also for all the music pleasure you give.
Tom Ståle Engebretsen

Text and copyright photo by Tom Ståle Engebretsen


Elrox: Prayer (teaser video)

One of the "Time is now" album songs is "Prayer". Seems that many people got this one, as they`re favorite.  Of course I love it myself, but I also am a bit surprised. .. More uptempo songs in the future for Elrox?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Julejam 2016 på Kom&Bli

Lokalpatriotismen er selvfølgelig stor på arrangement som dette på Nesodden. Filmet og klippet av undertegnede. / Jam at my homeplace.  Didn´t play myself, but I do the film and cutting work. Many great talents!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Eye candy

2 photos from this december. (2016) The blue one, nearby Bolkesjø. The brown one is taken on the road to Seljord. We are of course in Telemark, Norway. The land of the mysterious and trolls. And the photos inspire me to make music..

Also published on my instagram account. Follow me? @tomstaleengebretsen

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Studio gear

I must admit that I am a software synth guy. I don´t know if this post is interesting, but I tell you anyway!  It was the software synth that actually made me start doing music. Finally there was something I could do. History goes back to 2010-2011. That was my start on making music. I still have to thank Anton Jawdokimov for learning me a lot about the mix and process in making music. Later, Tore Stabell Kulø became my mentor. Things has evolved quickly because of him.
So even if I have tried live gig, I think I prefer to be a "studio-rat" a little bit longer. I am simply not ready yet for performance in front of audience. I am not afraid of it, but I have to be better as musician myself. Doing all the things on my computer is what I still prefer. Using a M-audio keystation 61 midi keyboard, and also got a Yamaha p-35. I also got a cheap guitar and a bass guitar.
I use Logic pro 9. (Don´t take the chance to upgrade it... I also got a Korg Wavedrum I love to use, but somehow I don´t use it, at my music. Have to do something about that...)

 I got software synth: Omnisphere (The heart of all things I do) But also full package from Arturia.
(With all the lovely sounds from Würlitzer, Vox, Oberheim Etc)
Including a hardware drum machine from Sparks. Using it more and more... Also got the Stylus RMX drum software synth. Most used on my music. Up to now I was satisfied with this. But I have to extend my interests in instruments. It comes naturally. So this christmas I bought myself a Blofeld synth. (Picture) I have tried other solutions before, but could not quite understand the use. So my Korg moog 20 was sold again. But my new Blofeld has the sounds and things I really think I could handle. So 2017 is maybe the year I start to think about LIVE. Just think...

Elrox: Time is now CD!

And here is how it looks! The CD of my electro pop album.  And I got this from my musician friend Hagen von Bergen in Germany:
Absolute Empfehlung !! "TIME IS NOW" von Tom Ståle Engebretsen aka Elroxund seinen Gastmusikern :-)
Vorweg, das Album ist einfach nur zu kurz, sonst stimmt hier alles.
Treibende Sequencen, schneidende Gitarren, verschiedene Sänger/rinnen kommen hier zu einem leicht psychodelischen, melancholischen dunklen Poprockelectro Album vom Feinsten zusammen. Anspieltipps The Song of Freedom, Prayer, Burn the midnight oil und das hitverdächtige In the rain....dieser Song gehört in die Charts !!!!! Besten Dank nach Norwegen für dieses klasse Werk auf CD !!!   

Do I need to say more? I made it as a digital wallet with a 4 page booklet. All photos are from Helene
Fjell. I did the design myself, and I am proud of this.

Order the CD from my bandcamp site:


Monday, December 26, 2016


Experimenting with photo also. This one´s I do like. Looks like painting, but it isn´t. Straight photography. From one of our summer trip in the Oslo fjords. Why look at the horizon, when I find things like this, in a small puddle..

Something special. Experimental ambient mix

Some favorite experimental ambient songs during 2016. (and a few from 2015) Take your time on this one. (Over 90 minutes.) Is psyambient a good category? Whatever. Here you got a bunch of good artists and songs.


This upload was 63rd in the Chill chart and 88th in the Experimental chart !!!