Ernest Jan Vincent Muñoz is an artist currently based in Paris, France and is better known as “Cardinal Zen” – a name that rapidly amassed international legions of Chillout, Electronica/Lounge, Ambient, Triphop and Downtempo enthusiasts, after Café Del Mar released its “Dreams 4” compilation in 2006. Popular for its collection of balearic house, ambient and chillout music by top international artists, Café Del Mar exclusively distributes one of Cardinal Zen’s original productions as part of their featured - “Dreams” series, on global and international music stores and major download sites like Amazon and iTunes today.

A Flashback from 1999 depicts Ernest as “Makkina”, modestly putting together his own unique musical expressions in a covert music-room in the suburbs of Manila. Harvesting the power of free file-sharing and online social-media networking, he slowly works toward becoming one of the first batch of electronica artists to emerge in the Philippines. He is no doubt, a well-endowed music artist who can actually play various musical instruments. He is a very meticulous producer and a punctilious music-remixer who also has exceptional skills in graphic design, illustration, and motion design.

Man-of-few-words, with innate modesty and sense of privacy, Ernest would most certainly shun big titles like “Artist” even when he fully-deserves being referred to as one. But his innate and rarely-acquired blend of abilities, would altogether pave a promising future for him in the music world. His compositions as Cardinal Zen are now exclusively-licensed to and widely-released by a number of prominent companies such as Café Del Mar Music (Spain), Drizzly Music Production (Germany), independent netlabel QED Records (Philippines), Tonedef Recordings (Philippines), and the latest and the most promising - his own label Transcode Recordings. All of his releases are also available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Deezer, Spotify, Beatport, Juno Download, and DJ Tunes.


Cardinal Zen has a random fondness for an eclectic mix of music styles and sound effects, that it is quite difficult to strictly categorize his work under Chillout genre alone, or all of the styles under its big umbrella. He often introduces himself as a Chillout/Electronica/Lounge musician, but his particular taste for complex song structures, complete liking for exotic instrumentation, and habitual use of drum programming and sound shaping might want his listeners to qualify his music as forward-thinking as well.

His works are highly-influenced by artists like William Orbit, Mandalay, Richie Hawtin, Massive Attack, DJ Krush, and Engima. With the use of analog synthesis and sampling, he is able to produce his own original blend of timeless music expressions as Cardinal Zen. His works unravel his own ethereal thoughts that are often infused with surrealism, whimsical moods and incongruous instincts. In the absence of lyrics and borrowed-poetry, his music encourages freedom for his listeners to explore the deepest realms of one’s own mystic world and nostalgic dreams.


As Cardinal Zen, Ernest is a trusted music producer and a personal favourite of top caliber international fashion designer – Happy Andrada. You will often hear his music in many local as well as international runway shows of the fashion artist. He is also the artist behind the official soundtrack for "PILAK" comic book of Art Asia Studios, and he diligently produce royalty-free loop libraries on Soundtrack Loops (U.S.A). When you don’t catch Ernest working on something at his home studio, you will witness him as a live electronica artist performing during major gigs and local events that he is so often invited to.

Discography (Albums & Singles)

Winter in Paris (Single)

Transcode Recordings (2016)

Tangerine Sunset (Single)

Transcore Recordings (2015)

Summer Solstice (Album)

Drizzly Music Production GmbH & Co KG (2013)

Floppy Pillows (EP)

QED Records (2005)



You can contact Cardinal Zen for bookings, music production services, and other inquiries.

  • Address

    Cardinal Zen
    5eme etage Porte 30
    60 Avenue Paul Doumer
    75016 Paris
  • Phone

  • Email