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The PiNG presents Planet Of The Loops

THE AMBiENT PiNG   http://www.theambientping.com
Tuesdays @ HACiENDA - 794 Bathurst Street at Bloor
(directly across from the Bathurst subway station) - Toronto
Doors open at 9pm - 1st set at 9:30 - PayWhatYouCan

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This Tuesday July 26th - Planet Of The Loops

Andrew Aldridge's quarterly series Planet Of The Loops lands at
THE AMBiENT PiNG for an evening of creative loop-based improvisations.
This edition will be a *must* for guitar fans as Toronto's two giants
of looping guitar meet onstage for the first time since the late 90s.

Aidan Baker is an ultra-prolific Toronto musician and writer making
experimental/ambient/drone music using electric guitar, looping pedal,
and various electronics to create music that ranges from minimal
abstractions to maximal walls of enveloping sound. (rik, from the
ping things CD table, will be bringing a wide selection of Aidan's
works on CD and vinyl for this concert.)  http://listen.to/aidan

Andrew Aldridge is the founder of Planet Of The Loops & Sterling Moss
and is an in-demand guitarist for artists like Wild Strawberries,
Universal Honey, Little Man Hands, Swallows and many others. He's
just returned from a European tour with Sarah Slean and will be in
top form and ready for something completely different... Don't miss it!

Between Sets CD - "Calling Down The Sky" by Robert Rich
A live recording from a "living room concert" in Denver, Colorado
on July 26, 2003 (precisely 2 years before tonight's Planet concert)
during which ambient master (and looper) Rich states that everything
"came into focus" as he created a completely improvised performance
for this intimate audience. http://www.robertrich.com

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Coming Tuesday August 2nd - GeekWeekend 

Rob Hoare (sax, flute, laptop, words, dice) - http://www.robhoare.de
Steven Sauve (synthesizer, laptop, dice) - http://www.karmafarm.ca

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||: IN THE LOOP :||  by Luna Tek

Tuesday, July 19th was a feast of "untouchable" music at the PiNG as
the audience was treated to two different sets of music featuring the
Theremin (played by moving your hands in the air near its antennae)
as the central instrument. This was probably the earliest electronic
instrument and was invented by Leon Theremin in the 1920s. More info
at: http://www.theremin.info/ and http://www.thereminvox.com

In the first set Gnostic Rocket (Steve Barber) played his own brand
of experimental dub music. Across his downtempo grooves, he injected
arcs of sound from his Theremin, which was channeled through a Korg
X911 guitar synthesizer and then through a unique custom-designed device
called the Springboard Dub, a "circuit-bent" analog delay unit in a
charming toy piano casing with springs inside the keyboard area, which
could be plucked or touched with probes to create short-circuit sound
modifications. There's some photos and a detailed description at
http://www.audible-ism.com/soundart/aconic/springboard.html the site
of its creator, Arius Blaze. Gnostic Rocket's first show was a
definite success with the PiNG audience, who were thoroughly
chilled with his cool sounds and gently throbbing rhythms.

Then electronic music veterans PHH!K took the stage to perform
"Thereminstahs" taking a more abstract approach to their set.
Each armed with a Theremin and other non-tactile instruments and
controllers (like the Buchla "Lightning"), they soon had the sound
system buzzing with sliding frequencies and sonic chaos with
orchestral undercurrents. Luna last experienced PHH!K with special
guests Christine Duncan on vocals and Rick Sacks on drums, so this
night's core duo performance (Peter Hannan and Henry Kucharzyk) was
a more challenging listening experience but was great fun to watch
as their non-tactile techniques looked like conjuring tricks. Their set
was very well-received and the duo obliged the audience with an encore.
More info at: http://www.phhk.com

*** iPOP PING magazine is shaping up to be a wide ranging, whimsical
collection of ambient thoughts, experimental attitudes and innovative
art. Articles, poetry and art submissions are still being welcomed.
Luna Tek -  luna@theambientping.com.

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rik maclean's *ping things* CD Reviews

"Shadow Puppets" by the Machine in the Garden

I've been a fan of the Machine in the Garden for some time now,
having been introduced to them in the early days through a chance
discovery on mp3.com. They've always impressed me with their
sophistication, the elegance of their lyrics, their excellent
musicianship. I hold them in very high regard and I look forward
to each new release with a tremendous sense of anticipation. But
nothing could have prepared me for the brilliance of their latest
disc, "Shadow Puppets". Summer Bowman and Roger Frace of the
Machine in the Garden have surpassed all previous expectations 
presented by earlier discs and created an epic, beautiful collection
of songs that stand among the best I've heard so far this year.

Opening with "This Silence", the tone is set with languid guitar
arpegios and beguiling percussion leading into a swelled chorus
that totally rocks. Summer's vocals sound sensual like honey on
this one, drawing the listener deeper and deeper into a new plane
of existence. Go ahead, step inside, you can thank her on the
other side...

Track two, "The Inside World", employs a steady kick drum beat
and tension ridden guitar masterfully played underneath fully
controlled vocals. Secrets, solopsisms and magic all rolled up
into one. Brilliant.

"Winter Fell" is next, a chilled piece of music that stands as
one of my favorites on the disc. It's a slowly building track that
draws from a slight intro into more intense emotional territory.
Chilling, beautiful and all together wonderful.

"Mantra" opens with a burbling, glitchy electronic intro, all
feedback laden and processed noise, mad experiments in sound 
bubbling up from test tubes and beakers. Vocals take on a 
particularly automated quality here, a processed element that
brings to mind images of black rainfall and Daryl Hannah using
spray paint as makeup. This is a good thing by the way. Sheerly
robotic in a most appealing fashion.

"Suspend" uses fluid vocals over sparse keyboard work leading
into guitar melodies and dramatic rhythm patterns. There's a
theatricality to this piece, a really lovely cinematic quality
that would lend itself well to a video. Ummmmmmm, Summer? Roger?
Are you taking note here? kthxbye!!!1!

The next song, "More Unto Fire Dreamt", is a slower paced,
arpegio based track that reminds me of earlier work by the band.
It's a lovely piece that allows Summer's vocals to stretch out
and flow, a great showcase for her impressive talents.

"Mother" is a cover of a song by Elaine Walker of ZIA, an
incredibly powerful piece that captures the helplessness of
illness. It's a powerful example of the way music can be used
to vocalize emotions and sentiment, a very impressive work that
stays with the listener long after its completion.

"Spider's Bride" follows, a vaguely unsettling track filled with
layered vocals and driving percussive patterns. Roger makes a
brief appearance on back up vocals on this one, adding a dramatic
quality that really complements the song. Vocals wrap around each
other, intertwining, building in intensity. A lovely piece of
string taut tension.

"Illusions in Rain" features vocals and piano overtop a steady
droning melody. Sparse, minimal, beautiful. Saying anything more
would only take away from its wonders.

"If Ever" opens with a lovely blend of acoustic guitar and
ethereal vocals, a yearning need, reaching beyond oneself.
As time progresses electric elements are added to accent the
strength and desire in the piece and by the time the song
is over, you want and need everything in just the same way.

"Goodbye" closes the album with a steady synth line and
swooning vocals. A lovely way to close a disc filled with
beauty, wonder, secrets and mysteries.

So what more is there to be said that hasn't already been
mentioned? "Shadow Puppets" is a slick production, lyrically
strong and mature, filled with great programming and a lovely
blend of both organic and electronic elements. Whether you're
a long time fan of the band or if you're looking for something
new to check out, you owe it to yourself to investigate this 
disc. You'll be glad you did.

rik maclean - rik@pingthings.com

http://www.pingthings.com = ambient + electronic + chill things

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THE AMBiENT PiNG is a social sound/art event presenting
live performances by Toronto's finest ambient, chillout, improv
and experimental music artists plus performers from across
the continent, every Tuesday evening at HACiENDA -
794 Bathurst Street at Bloor. http://www.theambientping.com

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Please forward this e-mail to any friends who may be interested
in live ambient, chillout and experimental music performances
or to any of your appropriate newsgroups. Thanks.