About Headphone Commute

Headphone Commute (1400)

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Headphone Commute is an independent resource of candid words on electronic, experimental and instrumental music. The range of covered genres includes electronica, ambient, glitch, idm, modern classical, shoegaze, downtempo, bass, experimental, minimal and everything in between. Headphone Commute is not associated with any artist, band, record label, promoter, distributor or retailer covered by the reviews. There is no hidden agenda behind these words. What you see is what you get. All that means is that we share our love for music because we want to, not because we have to.

Remaining anonymous is important to the founder of Headphone Commute. This anonymity affords the mysterious HC the luxury of staying true to the writer’s opinion and acts as a safeguard to prevent the ego getting in the way of the one thing that counts: music. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the mysterious HC in this interview titled Fifteen Questions with Headphone Commute.


For feedback on the site, a recommendation on a feature, or an idea that you wish us to explore, please leave us a comment using the form below, and your message will be forwarded directly to us. All comments are moderated and will not appear on this page unless approved for the public.

submitting your album for review

At this time, Headphone Commute does not accept any unsolicited promotional material. We are deeply apologetic for this decision. There’s nothing worse, than having packages pile up on our desks which never get a chance to be heard. Similarly, we don’t want to make you sad by never replying to your messages. For every beautiful album we feature on the site, we get ten more sent by email, and there’s no way that we can ever catch up! The decision about accepting promos is not final, and may change in the future, depending our workload. Labels and artists with which we have had contact may reach out via the same methods of past communication. Otherwise, you can be sure that we’ll find you. We hope you understand where we’re coming from, and again, we’re sorry for this decision.

on facts and opinions

All of the content on Headphone Commute goes through a thorough fact-checking process, primarily by having the reviewed entity (artist and/or label) verify the writeup to be error-free prior to the post, or by relying on an official press release presented along with a promotional copy of the album. The interviews are posted in their raw, unedited form, with the exception of spelling corrections and/or grammar / sentence revision for the foreign language speaking candidates. The views expressed on Headphone Commute are those of the respective contributors. We strive to be a reliable source of information. Please submit any corrections that you find.

on our avatar

The face of Headphone Commute is none other than Zoetica Ebb – artist, writer, photographer, style technician and a co-founder of Coilhouse magazine who has written up a praise for Headphone Commute, and now agreed to be our new protagonist, if you will. Let’s be honest – we think Zo is beautiful, and love the presence she adds to the music, the mood, and the weight of our words. We hope you feel the same. Check out Zoetica’s site, Biorequiem.com, and drop us a line on your thoughts.

on text and content

All content on this site is Copyright © 2007-2017 Headphone Commute, unless otherwise clearly stated. All attributable work is credited and republished with permission of the author. All artist photos are courtesy of the artist, attributed with photographer’s credit when available. All album cover art is courtesy of the artist and/or label. All music and sound samples are embedded with permission of the artist and/or label. Additional media content is republished as made available by the original author. You may freely republish our reviews on your site, press kit, or promotional material, with proper attribution linking back to headphonecommute.com. You know the drill…


Most of the content on Headphone Commute has been written by the mysterious HC, who prefers to stay anonymous putting the music ahead of the ego. That seems to be working for the time being… In addition, exclusive content has been submitted by Josh Russell, Elizabeth Klisiewicz, Ben Rutter, Jón Ingi Herbertsson, Matt Leslieand some previously appearing articles by Peter van CootenMatthew Mercer, Brian Housman, Chris Doherty-Ingram, Will Long, Richard AllenRichard GürtlerDaniel MackenzieKyra Kordoski, OrangewarriorSarah Badr, and Jacob Arnold. All syndicated content has been republished with permission of the original author. See copyright footnotes for all appropriate credits.

non-exclusive publication

When it comes to recommending good music, we believe in a decentralized and distributed approach. Headphone Commute reviews are syndicated across various resources and are not exclusive to this site. You can hang out on here, or choose your reading interface from the list below:

Facebook | Twitter | Discogs | Amazon | iTunes

(archival link to our old contact page with over 70 comments on the site)

53 thoughts on “About Headphone Commute

  1. I can not adequately express how helpful Headphone Commute is to me. On a daily basis, you honestly, actually, truly, literally make my life better. I can not thank you enough.

  2. Literally just wanted to thank you for your unique and articulate blog. You have really helped me deepen my love and knowledge of creative music.

  3. Hi there,

    Just wanted to say thanks for putting my album up for best of 2016.
    In my mind I make music to listen to on headphones and my fav place to do this is on public trans (prefferably not going to work though). So you can see the connection.

    Kind Regards,
    Eric Holm

  4. Hey man. I’m 39 years old. It’s funny because since the digital age I look back on my cd/ record catalogue and when I look it up on iTunes, if they have said album, your review is there. Hence the glorious words for said album. Doppelgänger. De ja vu. Many beats and or noise commute.

  5. I would really like to know, if someone so obsessed with experimental (and other) music can offer a site like yours potentially hundreds of unexplored worthwhile releases this year alone, is there any way to make any money?

    1. If you want to make money on doing music reviews, you’ll end up writing about what other people want to read about, and so, you’ll cater to your audience, as opposed to your true self. You’ll try to capture more traffic in order to make money on advertising (the only way to make $ in this). The other way is win loyalty via subscription… But either way… to be honest, if you try to make it about the money, the whole thing will lose focus and become more of a business, rather than a labor of love.

  6. Thank you for your text “On Digital Audio, Codecs, DACs and Bluetooth…”. Now, when someone bothers me, I can easily link them to those words almost written like I would do it. Very inspiring content and nice looking blog. Regards from Belgrade, Serbia.

  7. First off, thanks so much for the site. I’ve discovered so much new music by reading the reviews.

    A new release by composer Jeremy Zuckerman would be right up your alley if you aren’t aware of it yet. It is called “Khaos” and is really fantastic – at times dark, soothing, and uncomfortable. A fantastic headphone listen.

  8. Stumbled here via your review of the Colin Vallon Trio’s “La Vent.” This is a fabulous site with a solid concept, which is followed through with integrity and tickles my eclectic tastes.

  9. Just a general THANK YOU for the massively positive influence you have had on my listening life and the lives of so many musicians whom you have interviewed, profiled, and reviewed here…as well as the countless others helped by such projects as the benefit compilation. The new artists I’ve encountered on this site have become an integral part of my own creative endeavors…and I’m sure when my SubPac arrives in the next few weeks thanks to your review, I’ll be even more deeply moved by their music (quite literally). Hope to see you at the Richter/Loscil/AWFTS concerts next week in New York, a special trip I’ll be making in large part due to this site!

    1. Hey Hugh, thank you for the kind words… As I’ve been saying all these years, feedback like this is the only thing that keeps me going! I’ll see you at the Le Poisson Rouge then!!! :)

  10. Thank you for reviewing the “Dark Pool” album by Black Rain! I would never have found it otherwise and I love it. This music strikes some kind of chord in me…not sure if that’s good or bad…
    I do know that I have a longstanding appreciation of dystopian sci-fi and music. This is probably the album of that sort that I like most since I stumbled across “When I Fall” by The Wretch.

  11. Just found your site by chance today by following a link to an album I love by Kangding Ray. I am so happy I found your site: it’s like finding treasure! I love the way you’ve grouped the 2014 reviews based on feelings and moments. I am going to spend many happy times checking out the riches here. Just really want to say a big warm and wet thank you for doing what you all do! Al

  12. I have been trying to identify a song in the podcast: “Mike Jedlicka – Fleeting Desolation: Optic Echo’s Headphone Commute Mix”.


    It starts at around the 17m mark and fades out around 20m. It would appear to be a song by ‘Stars of the Lid’, but I can’t locate it on the album listed in the podcast description. I’d greatly appreciate it if someone could tell me the name of the song! Thank you!

  13. Hey there, I just wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Liebster Award. No pressure to do anything, Happy New Year and Keep the sounds coming!

  14. Hey guys, you site seems a bit out of date on indexing. The interviews page does not list any of the interviews conducted after 2012.

    1. Yeah, that’s mostly my fault, because this ‘indexing’ is very manual, and I have to update that page by hand. I’ll get around to it shortly and try to be less lazy when I add new articles – I promise! ~HC

  15. What a find! So chuffed I stumbled across this gem of a musical hub.

    Please keep this beacon to bliss burning…

  16. I really get the sense of a close-knit “zine” when I first found this site, and I’m very happy that I found it :)

  17. I’m (so far) always impressed with the interesting, quality EM chosen for HC. Whoever you are: you’re good, you. Oh yes you are.

  18. headphonecommute.com is quite possibly the best music blog around. Thank you so much for all of your good work.

  19. #FF @H_C a lovely explorer of the soundscapes of dreams, full of memories, surprises, twists & turns and sparks of light. (via Twitter)

  20. Just discovered this about five minutes ago. Was reading the page on Slow Dancing Society- which I just discovered tonight.

    I appreciate what you are doing, and look forward to digging in- thanks!

  21. This is so excellent! I’ve really been getting into this type of music again lately, and I’ve discovered some truly great artists within this genre just within the last couple of days, courtesy of Headphone Commute. Headphone Commute is really doing an outstanding job giving some well-deserved exposure to an entire variety of different types of artists, and the wording of the write-ups is just exquisite. My proverbial hat is tipped toward you, with my thanks!

  22. I just want to thank you for doing what you do. I discovered so many music through your website. I’ve been listening to Loscil, Max Richter, The Green Kingdom, Emeralds, Lights Out Asia, Tim Hecker, Boy Is Fiction. I didn’t realize how much I was ignoring. Unbelievable! I’ve been searching for somebody like you to open doors to the unknown territory. There are way too many artists/musicians release their materials every week and I feel confident and comfortable to follow your taste in music from now. Arigato!

  23. For the past several years, I’ve expanded my knowledge of ‘contemporary’ electronic music ten fold thanks to following you and slowly educating myself. I’ve always loved musique concrete of the old days, and used to find it overwhelming to stay abreast with current day. I tip my hat to you and thank you for your, shall we say…service?:) Many thanks!!!!

  24. I can’t believe it took me so long to find this wonderful site. After feeling so alienated by other music sites (people don’t seem to be aware that there is other music besides “indie rock”), it is as if someone plugged into my brain and downloaded all the music I love and care about and put it in one site. Thank you so much for this! I look forward to many more visits.

  25. Thanks for the totally awesome website that consolidates everything good and wonderful about music into one package, guiding the lost, shining light into the dark, enlightening the masses, one by one, we will all listen to… GOOD MUSIC!!

  26. I’m currently sifting through all the Best of 2009s using Spotify. SO MUCH NEW AND WONDERFUL MUSIC. Thank you.

  27. So neat to see a journalist at heart reviewing and interviewing the artist that fills the gaps between twilight and day dreams. Your work is greatly appreciated and fully saluted by me. Keep up the great work, because you just never know who might be looking . Blessings…

  28. I’m following your posts for quite a long time. You often guided me to pure musical heaven. The last one was the Mountains EP. So, just a quick thank you for pointing all this out.

  29. I am so excited and happy to have found a website such as this. I have bookmarked HC and I will keep coming back for many visits.

    Thank you so much.

  30. Great work – this is an excellent music blog and great music journalism. I want to keep coming back. Thank you.

  31. Thank you, thank you for all of your hard and loving work! (Today I found you via your link on the Murcof Facebook page.) Great to have you here. I really appreciate your one-stop-shop for valuable info on this beautiful and expanding genre of electronica and the like. :-)

  32. I have been searching for so long a place to expand, through various sites. im glad i have found a place i can now consult for beautiful works from a vast amount of artists. like chris tenz my area has lost the passion for these genres of music. i can tell you now i will be a frequent reader and a passionate listener on your site and those associated. thanx again for taking time from your day to post such wonderful entries into what i feel is an amazing and interesting musical taste. (and god you have that taste down!)

  33. Hello, i keep stumbling upon your fantastic reviews with all my new musical discoveries lately. First saw ‘Headphone Commute’ on ‘The Music Lobby’. Your reviews have great substance and integrity. I fully enjoy reading them and have discovered more unique and interesting artists/labels because of them. I’m much appreciative of your work…keep them coming!

  34. I have to say, the more I read on your site, the more grateful I am that you are doing this. So many of the artists are exactly the genre I’ve been into, and there’s not many sources where so many inspiring and wonderful artists are covered like this. In the city where I live, this kind of music is essentially dead. It can feel pretty isolated when nobody really understands it, so I’ve been happily reading your reviews as a reminder that somebody does really stop, and feel what these artists are creating. Hell, you’re not just listening, you’re completely absorbed into the music. So I commend you and thank you.

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