Los Angeles-based electronic artist Robot Koch shares another glimpse of ambient side project Foam and Sand

January 20, 2023 BY Jason Currell

Today, ambient-electronic artist Foam and Sand, the side project of prolific electronic artist Robot Koch, announces his upcoming album Foam and Sand out March 17th via Nettwerk.

As Foam and Sand, Robot Koch has charted a thrilling new path in what has already been an accomplished career in the ever-changing world of electronic music. His second full-length and first for Nettwerk is a masterwork in ambient textures and sounds, bursting with emotive swells and lush sonics at every turn. It takes someone with precise touch and keen intuition to make ambient music that moves you, and Koch has indeed accomplished that goal and more with this record, cementing the project as an exciting new prospect in the world of ambient overall.

Today he shares the new single “Circle 35” featuring trumpeter Stewart Cole, whose heart-stopping performance can’t help but evoke the work of late ambient horns-player Jon Hassell, or the contemporary vibes of Joseph Shabason. Check out the new video on YouTube.

Foam and Sand was properly borne out of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic after Koch could not tour behind his most recent release as Robot Koch, the symphonic The Next Billion Years. After months of hunkering down and experimenting with tape loops in his Los Angeles studio space, Foam and Sand grew organically like a sapling from fresh soil. “It became something that can stand alongside my other music,” explains Koch, who’s previously supported acts like Madlib and Moderat and scored multiple TV shows and film projects across his expansive career.

Koch basically hit the ground running once Foam and Sand was established as a proper project; he’s put forth multiple releases on his Bandcamp page over the last several years, as his continued embrace of tape loops as a sonic bedrock has led him down a path of pure simplicity. His Nettwerk debut finds him plumbing new depths of gorgeousness, as his interest in the “beautiful imperfections” of loops collides with his twin-headed fascinations in the intersections between science and spirituality, as well as music and consciousness.

The result is truly transformative music, reminiscent of legendary ambient composer Harold Budd’s own reveries and the quiet ecstasy of early Sigur Ros. It doesn’t take a long time to make music as Form and Sand,” he explains. “It just comes together more quickly because of the nature of the music itself. I try not to overproduce and let the process emerge more organically.” 

Foam and Sand’s music might sound solitary, but Koch brought in several key collaborators throughout that add their own unique touches to this special music. Berlin-based vibraphonist and Leaving Records affiliate J. Foerster lends his patient sticks to the intrigue of “Circle 31.” Priscilla Ahn’s vocals hover above opener “Circle 28” like mist gracing the piano-dotted plains, while “Circle 29” features German techno duo Two Lanes offering a new, more minimalistic spin on their own approach to electronic music. 

And the art of magnification by reduction is what defines Foam and Sand, as well as Koch’s overall musical vision at the moment. “Music’s very autobiographical, and this music definitely reflects where I am at in my life,” he states. “The simplification of my process speaks to how I’m not very attached to material things at the moment—even my studio in Los Angeles is stripped down compared to what I used to have in Berlin. My philosophy is that less is more.” By that measurement, he’s offered a bounty to listeners this time around, with so much beauty that you’ll have trouble pulling yourself away from its endlessness.

Koch has done official remixes for the likes of Max Richter, Rammstein, Christian Löffler, and Adriatique and collaborated with conductor and Grammy Award Nominee Kristjan Järvi, along with the Nordic Pulse Orchestra. He has performed at renowned festivals such as Coachella, Mutek, Sonar, Boiler Room, Melt, and Splash, supporting acts such as Moderat and Madlib, and received the German Music Composers Award for the category of ‘Best Composer in Electronic Music’ for his work and several awards for “best immersive experience” for his acclaimed Full Dome show titled Sphere. B. 

Additionally, he has received support from major Youtube channels like Mr. Suicide Sheep and Ambient, as well as radio plays from BBC Radio 1’s John Peel, Friction and B. Traits, Worldwide FM, KCRW, and KEXP. As well he has scored for TV and film and had his music placed on several TV shows which, include the acclaimed ABC Network show How to Get Away with Murder and NBC’s The Blacklist and Dark on Netflix, to name a few.

“Circle 35” video


1. Circle 28 (w/ Priscilla Ann)

2. Circle 29 (w/ Two Lanes)

3. Circle 30

4. Circle 31 (w/ J Foerster)

5. Circle 32 (w/ Priscilla Ann)

6. Circle 33

7. Circle 34

8. Circle 35 (w/ Stewart Cole)

9. Circle 36