The Ministry of Inside Things(van Zyl & Gulch)
28 June 28 1996Houston Hall Auditorium
3417 Spruce Street in Philadelphia, PA
Steve Roach (Graphic by Misc Media)
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Review: The Gathering with Steve Roach, The Ministry of Inside Things (Chuck Van Zyl and Peter Gulch), ambient DJ Jeff ("Echoes") Towne
While the highlight of Chicago's Projekt Festival was the atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the young crowd, the highlight of Steve's first Philadelphia show in 10 years was the music. Almost everyone in the audience was familiar with Steve's music, and most of them were listeners of Chuck Van Zyl's weekly space/ambient radio show STAR'S END. Getting over a cold, I didn't mingle with the crowd as much as I would have liked, but I did meet several nice people. The demographics here were more like what I would have expected for such a concert: 30's and 40's, mostly white. Quite a contrast to the where-can-I-get-a-fake-ID Projekt crowd.
The smart folks brought pillows and blankets to sit on; the rest of us endured uncomfortable folding chairs. After a surprisingly good (but too short) set from Chuck van Zyl and ex-Nightcrawlers' Peter Gulch (which I would compare to Tangerine Dream if every other synth group weren't already compared to them!), Steve came out with his didgeridoo, and began the show as he did in Chicago. There, the crowd was largely unfamiliar with Steve's music, so he held back on some of the quieter pieces. Here in Philadelphia, however, the opposite was true, and there was a varied mix of the loud and rhythmic, with the quieter pieces. The balance couldn't have been more perfect; just as the frenetic rhythms became overwhelming, the music backed off and breathed. Then, once people had zoned off into their private worlds, the music picked up again.
The Gathering crowd came for the music and the experience, not just to be entertained. Therefore the lighting was minimal, and no one seemed to mind that a slide show of ambient images didn't go off as planned. The music, and the sensation of drifting into and out of The Zone, were unforgettable.
by Cliff Tuel - July 1996
The Ministry of Inside Things (van Zyl + Gulch)
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Based on live improvisation, The Ministry of Inside Things creates electronic realizations that flow from theme to theme, within the context of a composed suite of music. Through use of textures and atmospheres as well as harmony, rhythm and melody, the group transports the listener on an internal aural excursion. Always bringing their own influences and innovation to the music process, MoIT produces a sound that is uniquely individual and personal.
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The Gatherings Concert Photos by Sean McQuaid and Andrea Snyder