Blurstem is an off-shoot of Chris Bartels’ ambient moniker, Elskavon.

Brique a Braq is the ambient compositional project by songwriter/instrumentalist/producer Derek Mount (Club Danger, Juno Kids, Former Family Force 5)

‘Rubrik’ is the first single of Blurstem’s debut LP (release September 2019)

Rubrik is a fragile piano duet by composer/producer Chris Bartels (Elskavon, Bora York, Blurstem) and songwriter/instrumentalist Derek Mount (Brique a Braq, Club Danger, Juno Kids, former Family Force 5).  The partnership was birthed out of press, as both parties gleaned mutual respect upon reading one another’s interviews with the same publication. 

The duo connected via Skype and immediately began swapping files between Minnesota and Georgia, creating a serene, honest piece pulsed by the click of the pedal on Bartels’ old Wurlitzer spinet piano.  Each partner adds his own voice to the peaceful piece, which will serve as the first single of Bartels’ debut Blurstem album.


Minneapolis composer Chris Bartels has been writing ambient music under the name Elskavon for a decade, and Blurstem was born as a piano-centric offshoot of the project.

He and his wife were gifted an old spinet piano when they bought a house in 2015. Always slightly out of tune, a little dusty sounding, and very much imperfect, the instrument has its own character. But it wasn’t until Chris cut up an old sweater and taped it to the strings, so as to avoid waking up their children at night, that his love for that character really took form.

While piano is certainly a part of the Elskavon sound, Bartels was writing so many new songs on this spinet that he felt the need to start a whole new project. Blurstem was birthed. While the sound is a not-so-distant relative of Elskavon, the heart of it is a minimalist, raw, and intimate feel.

With a debut album set to release in September 2019, and with nearly every song being some sort of improvisation late at night after the rest of his family is asleep, Bartels has gathered a team of talented artists to put their collaborative touch on the album - including Lowercase Noises, Hotel Neon, Brique a Braq, and Kyle McEvoy.


Brique a Braq is a compositional project by songwriter/producer/composer/instrumentalist Derek Mount (Former Family Force 5/Club Danger/Vyceroy/Juno Kids).  Often minimalistic, the expressive pieces are striking chords in the hearts of fans gravitating toward solo piano, post-rock, and ambient music. Brique a Braq pieces have been employed by several creatives, receiving praise for their descriptive ability to aid in storytelling.

Mount's songs have appeared in feature films (NBCUniversal, Lionsgate), commercials (Nokia, Target), TV programs (CMT, MTV), retail stores (Journey's, Forever XXI), sporting events (ESPN, CBS, etc.), corporate pieces (BMW, KCRW), and more. He has co-written 8 #1 hits and 15 top-10 hits across various Billboard charts.

Brique a Braq has collected over 7.25 million Spotify streams, and is featured in over 22,500 playlists, including Spotify's "Intense Studying" playlist and the wonderfully-curated "Keskittymismusaa" playlist.  After closing out 2018 with the release of a Christmas single ("Jolly Old St. Brique") and a piece for Hawk Moons Records charity compilation, 2019 is slotted to be a big year for Brique a Braq, featuring a full-length release and several collaborations with talented composers across the globe.

You have permission to use single artwork and/or promo photos in your posts.  Click to view + download.