Local artist releases ambient music album

Posted 9/7/22

Exploring the expanse of outer space as an interpretation in tones. This is the kind of ambient groove local musician, poet, and filmmaker Robin Lum Cheong has created under the name Robinicus for …

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Local artist releases ambient music album

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Exploring the expanse of outer space as an interpretation in tones. This is the kind of ambient groove local musician, poet, and filmmaker Robin Lum Cheong has created under the name Robinicus for his album “Celestial Hope,” released by record label Nuit Blanche in August.

Half African and half Chinese, an immigrant of Trinidad and Tobago, and diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, Lum Cheong has not led a typical American life.

Instead, he has turned to the arts to help create some sanity in a world of destabilizing challenges.

“It’s what prevents me from going crazy,” Lum Cheong said.

After living alone on the streets of New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle, Lum Cheong has channelled these trials into two books of poetry, two novels, one short film, one non-fiction book, and years of music.

“When I saw Ace Freely, that was my inspiration,” Lum Cheong said of his musical roots reaching back to first seeing Kiss perform at Madison Square Gardens in 1979.

While Lum Cheong’s latest musical foray is less fire-y licks more solar flare, it’s only because he is constantly trying new things.

“I’m just an explorer and an observer by nature,” he said, adding, “I can relate to the space theme because it’s all about exploration.”

In addition to those rock roots and ambient experiments, he’s also travelled Nashville performing country music.

While “Celestial Hope” is his first ambient release with a record company, he has been releasing individual tracks as Robinicus through Bandcamp over the past year. While those earlier individual tracks have a very wide-open, atmospheric feel, the new album brings in downtempo elements like rhythm and groove, at times creating head-bopping beats.

Lum Cheong hopes the success of this album will lead to a chance to perform his music live where, as always, he’ll be pushing into new frontiers with the “psybient” genre combining more raucous psychedelic music within the spaciousness to create a dynamic experience.

“Celestial Hopes” by Robinicus can be purchased through Amazon.com.

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