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Galactic Travels Monthly Special Focus Log for 2001



January's special focus was
Mind~Flux

also known as Thomas Fanger and Michael Kersten. This German duo is known for Berlin School tendancies as well as more dance oriented music. Both types fit very well on Galactic Travels.

Date Title Label
01/04 Splashdown Starflux/Manikin
01/11 Script Manikin
01/18 Konception of Space IC/Digit
01/25 Collector's Edition #1 Starflux/Manikin



February's special focus was
Kubusschnitt

consisting of Andy Bloyce (UK), Tom Coppens (Belgium), Ruud Heij (The Netherlands), and Jens Peschke (Germany). This pan-European group creates Berlin School music of the highest caliber, adding their own personal stamp. The members of the band can be found hanging around at the beyond_em mailing list.

Date Title Label
02/01 The Case Neu Harmony
02/08 Concerts at Jodrell Bank Neu Harmony
02/15 The Cube Neu Harmony
02/22 The Singularity Neu Harmony



March's special focus was

Robert Scott Thompson

Dr. Robert Scott Thompson

Robert Scott Thompson works in the electroacoustic, contemporary instrumental, pop and avant-garde genres. As Associate Professor of Music at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Dr. Thompson is Director of the Center for Audio Recording Arts (CARA). He runs the Aucourant Records label which has released selections of his work in a wide range of styles. He has also released music on the Mirage label.

Date Title Label
03/01 Blue Day Aucourant
03/08 The Silent Shore Mirage
03/15 Alchemy Aucourant
03/22 Cloud Cover Aucourant
03/29 In Ruins Aucourant



The April special focus was delayed one week to present a special "Hurry On Spring" Membership Campaign event. The April 5th program presented the world premier of the complete playing of the new DVD by

Robert Rich

Robert Rich - SOMNIUM

Robert Rich, famous for his sleep concerts, has released a seven-hour DVD entitled SOMNIUM. It is possibly the longest continuous musical composition ever released on any format, representing an ambient music landmark. Although Somnium was designed to be heard at any hour, at any volume, it works best quietly at night. The best listening levels are obtained by adjusting the first 10 minutes of SOMNIUM so that it plays at a soft, comfortable volume for falling asleep. The environmental sounds during these opening minutes should be nearly inaudible. The music gradually slows down and becomes quieter during the first hour, so that when you are sleeping, it should be soft enough to hover just at the edge of awareness.

One autographed copy of this standard DVD-video format, playable in all DVD players, was given as a thank you gift in return for a pledge of $150 shortly after the presentation during NPR's Morning Edition.

Check out the Stereophile article about SOMNIUM.

Robert Rich - SOMNIUM



April's special focus was on

James Johnson

Link to James Johnson's web site
Photograph by Jamie Todd


James is from near the Chicago area, close to the Wisconsin border. Yet his music is known the world over in ambient circles. He has collaborated with Ma Ja Le and, most recently, Stephen Philips. And, of course, he is a solo artist. His music ebbs and flows, engulfs your senses, and washes over your emotions. All these facets were explored on his CDs from labels like Zero Music and Hypnos.


Date Title Label
04/12 Entering Twilight Hypnos
04/19 Linger Space for Music
04/26 Lost at Dunn's Lake Zero Music



May's special focus was on

Jodrell Bank Concerts

These UK concerts, organized by SMD, take place in a planetarium among an array of radio telescopes. This special place seems to imbue EM concerts with a special aura. Each week's Feature CD at Midnight was by a different band from the Neu Harmony (see also Neu Harmony) six CDR set, "Concerts at Jodrell Bank." Since the Kubusschnitt disc has already been a Feature CD at Midnight and there are only five Thursdays this month (there are never six!), this disc was not featured again.


Date Artist
05/03 Radio Massacre International
05/10 AirSculpture
05/17 Arcane
05/24 Paul Nagle
05/31 Under The Dome



June's special focus was on
Link to Pyramid Peak's web site

This German trio records on Torsten Kuhn's Invisible Shadows record label, producing dynamic electronic music influenced by Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, and Klaus Schulze. Andreas Morsch, Uwe Denzer, and Axel Stupplich have a history that goes back to 1988 when Axel and Andreas met through a common friend. After some success, Andreas stopped making music due to health reasons and Axel went it alone. In 1995, Uwe joined Axel and they took on the name of Pyramid Peak. Andreas returned to the band in the summer of 1998.


Date Album
06/07 Random Events
06/14 Atmosphere
06/21 Ocean Drive
06/28 Fish'n Love



July's special focus was on

The Ministry of Inside Things

Link to the web page of The Ministry of Inside Things

This popular Philadelphia area spacemusic group consists of synthesists Chuck van Zyl and Peter Gulch and electric guitarist Art Cohen. Chuck and Art paid a visit the studios of WDIY on July 12th to perform a live on-air concert. (Peter is on temporary hiatus.)

The Ministry of Inside Things are considered among the most innovative of US electronic musicians today. Influenced by the early music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Ash Ra Tempel, their spacemusic is linear, leading the listener across many sonic terrains. Based on improvisation, The Ministry of Inside Things creates electronic realizations that flow from theme to theme, with the experience often lasting up to two hours. Through the use of textures and atmospheres as well as harmony, rhythm and melody, the group transports the audience on an internal sonic excursion.

Chuck is well known as the host of the long-running and popular show Star's End and the producer of The Gathering Concert Series. He and Peter have been recording electronic music and performing live for more than 15 years, including a collaborative CD, Regeneration Mode on the Synkronos label. Peter was a member of The Nightcrawlers, whose LPs from the '80s have been documented by the Travelling Backwards CD on the Manikin label. Art Cohen has been pushing the limits of the electric guitar in the studio and in live performance for well over 15 years.


Date Album or Event
07/05 Live at the ICA
07/12 In-studio Concert
07/19 Live at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
07/26 Live on Star's End



August's special focus was on

Radio Massacre International

Link to the web page of Radio Massacre International

Steve Dinsdale, Duncan Goddard, and Gary Houghton create and record their music in the moment that it happens without multi-tracking or overdubbing. Their sound is one of music evolving before your very ears.

Rather than using drum machines, their hypnotic rhythms are created by analogue sequencers manipulated in real time to create a constantly shifting base, in a conscious move away from dance oriented music.


Date Album
08/02 Zabriske Point
08/09 Knutsford in May
08/16 Borrowed Atoms
08/23 Frozen North
08/30 The God of Electricity



September's special focus was on

Pete Namlook

Link to the web page of Pete Namlook

Pete Namlook is the artist name used by Pete Kuhlmann. He owns and operates the FAX label which releases his own music as well as the music of many other fine artists. FAX is an experimental German electronic music label started in 1992 by Peter Kuhlmann. (Kuhlmann = "Cool Man" in German; therefore Namlook is Cool Man backwards!) Music released on FAX showcases artists who draw from elements of Brian Eno's ambient music, the structure of 70's Progressive Rock, old Tangerine Dream space music, techno (Intelligent Dance Music), and environmental soundscapes. FAX is distributed in the USA by Ear Rational, a mail order service.


Date Artists Album
09/06 Pete Namlook & Peter Prochir Possible Gardens
09/13 Pete Namlook & Tetsue Inoue Shades of Orion
09/20 Pete Namlook & Geir Jenssen The Fires of Ork II
09/27 Pete Namlook & DJ Dag Adlernebel



October's special focus was on

Two Dutch Bands Visiting America

Link to the web page of Wave World   Link to the web page of Free System Projekt

In October, two bands on the Quantum label visited America.

Wave World brought their multimedia show to America for the first time.   Wave World's show is a synthesizer and computer based musical project which includes computer generated video.   Members Gert van Santen and Harry Kessels perform the music wearing hooded robes and eerie make-up while Rolf van Slooten's video wizardry is projected for extra visual impact.

Free System Projekt has been to the USA twice before when Marcel Engels attended and performed at the Okefenokee event.   A wonderful CD of the 2000 event, Okefenokee Dreams, is soon to be followed up by a CD of the 2001 event.   Both CDs feature Marcel.   For this tour, Marcel was joined by Ruud Heij (of Kubusschnitt and Patchwork) and Frank van der Wel who has a few solo CDs on the Quantum label himself.


Date Artists Album or Studio Concert
10/04 Free System Projekt Pointless Reminder
10/11 Free System Projekt Studio Concert
10/18 Wave World Dimensions
10/25 Wave World Structures



November's special focus was on

The Hampshire Jam

The Hampshire Jam Page

In response to some cancelled and postponed EM festivals in Europe this Fall, Steve Jenkins took it upon himself to organize a one day festival.   As a result, Under the Dome, Free System Projekt, Radio Massagre International, Headshock, and AirSculpture all performed on Saturday, October 27, 2001, at the Millenium Hall in Liphook, Hampshire, UK.   I caught these performances on minidisc and presented one group per week in place of the Featured CD at Midnight during November. Many thanks to Andy Bloyce who did the actual engineering to allow me to enjoy the concerts.

Many of the musicians and audience members belong to Beyond EM, a Yahoo group mailing list for discussing electronic music.   The messages and photos folders contain reviews, impressions, and pictures of this fabulous event.


Date Group
11/01 Free System Projekt
11/08 Under the Dome
11/15 Quark Soup by AirSculpture 1
11/22 Headshock
11/29 AirSculpture
11/29 Radio Massacre International
1   A technical glitch prevented the use of the minidisc player. A CD of a live show by AirSculpture was substituted at the last minute.   The AirSculpture set was rescheduled for the 29th.



December's special focus was
Link to Orbital Decay

This local band is from nearby Quakertown.   Originally founded in 1979, the year when Skylab's orbit decayed, causing a firey return to Earth, guitarist Scott Watkins and synthesist Terry Furber formed a band influenced by the likes of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Shulze, and Pink Floyd.   Today, Terry and new guitarist Tim Richardson make electronic space music with the improv and energy of fusion styles from the 70's.   As a special holiday treat for the listeners of Galactic Travels, Orbital Decay performed a live, in-studio, on-air concert during the 12-27-01 program.   This event marked Tim Richardson's debut as Orbital Decay's new guitarist.   For more information about Orbital Decay, visit the artist profiles area.


Date Event or CD Title
12/6 Drastic Park
12/13 Re-entey
12/20 Orbital Decay
12/27 Live in-studio Concert


Galactic Travels is designed to bring WDIY listeners hour-long soundscapes of electronic, ambient, and space music.
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