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The PiNG presents Paydirt and Gnostic Rocket

Wow! - It's the last PiNG of 2005. Thanks to everyone who's been
coming out to support the series and the performers. In 2006 I'll
be stepping back from the bookings and promo fronts and Jamie Todd
will be stepping up to the plate. After 6 years of giving the PiNG
my prime-time, it's time for me to focus on completing a few more
dreamSTATE albums. Don't miss rik maclean's column later in this
newsletter as he delivers his Top 10 for 2005. 

Peace and Love from all of us at the PiNG. - Scott M2
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THE AMBiENT PiNG   http://www.theambientping.com
Tuesdays @ HACiENDA - 794 Bathurst Street at Bloor - Toronto
(directly across from the Bathurst subway station) 
Doors open at 9pm - 1st set at 9:30 - PayWhatYouCan 
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This Tuesday December 13th - Gnostic Rocket and Paydirt

Gnostic Rocket is an experiment in rhythm, repetition and controlled
chaos. It is built on a foundation of dub and experimental music,
utilising Theremin (channeled through a Korg X911 guitar synth),
Yamaha CS-01 analog synth with breath controller, Korg ER1 drum
machine, self-generated samples and the Springboard Dub, a custom
designed delay/effects/sound-generating unit by Arius Blaze
(www.audible-ism.com). No laptops here. Intensive delay and
unpredictable analog sound generators with unusual control features
allow a unique improvisation between man and machine, each feeding
into and leading the other. An attempt to dethrone the tyranny of
the mind and reify the body, Gnostic Rocket is a one-man project
of Toronto-based Steve Barber, who has performed with a diverse
roster of artists including: Keyop, The Weights, Syntonics,
Bodega, Alvy, and most recently, Evil Doers.

Paydirt is Linux man Daphydd Hughes http://www.sideshowmedia.ca/
along with toy boy Dave Clark http://www.woodchoppers.com/davidjclark/
and stringulator Joe Lapinski. http://www.yummyrecordings.ca/joe/
Together these lads sift, shake and shape sound into smooth and
creamy textures one moment and shards of loving joy the next. Each
of these characters brings humour and intensity to the Paydirt sound.
Paydirt delivers the bread and the cheese directly from the source.

Between Sets CD - "PASSAGE" by dreamSTATE
It's the end of the year & we haven't featured the latest dreamSTATE
release "PASSAGE" yet between sets. The CD is a soundscape journey
from the light into darkness and back again. http://www.dreamstate.to
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Coming Tuesday January 3rd 2006 - Repair and Self-Service 
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rik maclean's *ping things* CD Reviews

Since this is the last PiNG mail out for 2005, I thought that I'd
jump on the year end bandwagon and do a retrospective of some of my
favorite releases from the last twelve months. It's a nice way to
further promote some of the best work that's come along over the
year, and much like clip shows on your favorite sitcoms, it means
that I don't have to work as hard to write a new review. It's a
win/win situation for everybody!

So here is my list of some of my favorite discs for the year. And
before anybody gets into a tizzy, please note that the discs are
alphabetical. Trying to put them in some sort of order is just too
difficult for somebody with my limited intellectual capacity. Better
to imagine that all of these discs are excellent & leave it at that.
In their own way each one is the best disc of the year.

Akumu "Magmas"
Akumu's exploration of diverse and beautiful sound sources continues.
Using source material from a recent trip to South America, Deane
Hughes has created one of the most emotional and moving pieces of
abstract electronic work I've heard this or any other year.

Sara Ayers "A Million Stories"
Sara Ayers' latest release showcases her incredible talents with a
moving study of environment and atmosphere. It's a tale spun through
voice and sound and music, a true work of art by one of the most
talented people I have had the joy of knowing.

Nadja "Body Cage"
Choosing a single release by Aidan Baker is very difficult,
especially in a year like this one where he's put out sooooooo much
great music. But when I had to make a choice, I couldn't help but
think that "Body Cage", a conceptual disc by Baker's darker side
project Nadia, was the best of his 2005 releases. It's a fascinating
piece of work influenced by the condition Fibrodysplasia Ossificans
Progressiva, a rare illness where muscles and connective tissue
slowly turn to bone ultimately causing immobility. By way of slowly
building tension, a sense of dread and unease, the disc succinctly 
and powerfully captures the fear of one's body slowly becoming a
prison. Powerful and emotive, "Body Cage" is most certainly an
excellent example of uneasy listening.

The Circular Ruins "Degrees of Separation"
The Circular Ruins returned in 2005 with "Degrees of Separation",
an inspired and beautiful new work which proves once again that
Anthony Paul Kirby is an impressive musical talent with a firm
understanding of ambient/electronic ideals. It's a stunning
collection that stands up with the best of Kirby's catalogue,
continuing and developing on the work that he's done in the past.

dreamSTATE "Passage"
Fans of Toronto electronic artists dreamSTATE were thrilled by
the 2005 release of "Passage", a series of soundscapes specially
created for an installation mounted in Goderich, Ontario. Inspired
by the poetry of Lynn Harigan from her book Moon Sea Crossing,
"Passage" tells the story of Aina, an Irish immigrant who settles
in Huron District during the 1840s. Her life during this time is
filled with hardship and turmoil, ultimately resulting in a
mental breakdown, which leads to her being confined in the 
Huron District Gaol where her mental state further declines.
Through a masterful creation of sound and environment,
dreamSTATE is able to draw the listener into Aina's plight
and brings her story to life in a powerful and haunting manner.
"Passage" proves that dreamSTATE are among the brightest stars
in the Ambient/Electronic scene today.

The Machine in the Garden "Shadow Puppets"
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 and 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 & created an epic, beautiful collection
of songs that stand among the best I've heard so far this year.
"Shadow Puppets" is truly wonderful darkwave from one of my
favorite bands in the genre.

Mercurine "Waiting for Another Fall"
I heart Mercurine and with the release of "Waiting for Another
Fall" I heart them even more than I did before. They create
nu-wav/pop bliss that is by turns joyous, happy, celebratory,
cerebral, intense, tense and just a little creepy, but in a
good way. They are a band who have nurtured and developed 
their already impressive skills and they are a band who are
destined for great things some day very soon. Without doubt
Mercurine shine on this disc and you owe it to yourself to
hear them now so that you can say you knew them when.
You don't want to be a bandwagon jumper when they're
playing the Enormodome...

Numina "Eye of the Nautilus"
Another collection of stunning and beautiful works by the
brilliant Jesse Sola. "Eye of the Nautilus" is subtle and
magical, playing right on the periphery of the senses. I sit
very still while I'm listening to it, afraid that any movement
or noise might mean that I miss some of it, something crucial.
Something important. It requires focus. And it returns that
focus with an intense beauty. Shimmering. Wonderful.

Sylken "Terraforms"
Eric Hopper's collaborative project Sylken released Terraforms"
at the end of 2005, and it's a beautiful example of the ambient
ideal. Working with some of the brightest talents in the AMBiENT
PiNG community including frequent collaborator Steven Sauve,
along with Wally Jericho, Jamie Todd of dreamSTATE, Terry O'Brien
of Anomolous Disturbances and Gregory Kyryluk of Alpha Wave
Movement, Hopper has collected a series of melodic ambient
tracks of great beauty and wonder. An astounding work by
some astounding artists.

Tara VanFlower "My Little Fire-Filled Heart"
With "My Little Fire-Filled Heart" Tara VanFlower has created a
diverse collection of songs, all of which wonderfully showcase
not only her writing and vocal skills but also her eclectic and
unique approach to music. "My Little Fire-Filled Heart" is a
stunning collection of work by one of my favorite artists.

So there you have it. Ten discs that made 2005 one of the best
in recent history for musical releases. They're all great, all
worth checking out. And if you're interested, they're all
available at ping things...

Happy Holidays!

rik maclean - ping things


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.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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
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