Zyl, Chuck van

He host the long running radio program of spacey soundscapes STAR'S END, which has been on the air at public radio station WXPN in Philadelphia since 1976. Every weekend from 1:00am Saturday night until 6:00am Sunday morning will find him at the FM broadcast studio spinning a wealth of Ambient, Ethereal and Spacemusic. Having originated The Gatherings Concert Series in 1992 initially as a listener get-together, in 2003 he founded The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of PA, and the series has continued as an independent, volunteer-run, IRS recognized non-profit organization ever since. Focusing on Electronic, Ambient, Space and other innovative music, The Gatherings has presented concerts with dozens of recognized and emerging musicians from all over the world. Performing Spacemusic in collaborations solo since the mid-1980s he has played live at an interesting range of venues and released numerous CDs, most recently with guitarist Art Cohen in our duo The Ministry of Inside Things. In 2009 he has been getting back to basics with several solo concerts and work on a solo studio CD.

Zyl, Chuck van
Chuck van Zyl + Gulch + Rath - Sound Museum

Artist: Chuck van Zyl + Gulch + Rath
1991 / 2001
The Sound Museum” is a set of recordings from the late 1980’s by Chuck van Zyl, Peter D. Gulch and Andrew Rath. It is mystifying that this music has been in the vaults for so long. Groove Unlimited has honored this synth trio by releasing the CD to the public.
The sound design features some heavy Berlin school sequencing and some seriously dark expansive atmospheres. Those atmospheres dominate the set. Chuck, Peter and Andrew created this when such atmospheres, while not unknown, had not been explored to their fullest. (That might help explain the delay in releasing it) Taken in context of new millennium minimalism, this disc stands out as a winner and absolute classic. Chuck and Peter have been on the cutting edge of electronic music for years. Chuck, best known for his Starsend radio program and for hosting Gathering concerts, has some incredible music in his discography. Peter, through his work with The Nightcrawlers and a previous collaboration with Chuck, has demonstrated an ability to step up to new ideas and embrace them. The massive atmospheres use silence as an instrument to augment the electronics. Listeners will find this vehicle to the edges of outer and inner space a delight.
This CD further enhances Chuck’s reputation as a leader in the genre. It also fuels the desire of his fans to witness a Gathering with him as the feature attraction.

14,90 EUR
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Chuck van Zyl + Gulch - Regeneration Mode

Artist: Chuck van Zyl + Gulch
"Regeneration Mode" is an album by the duo Chuck van Zyl and Peter D. Gulch (both known from the project The Nightcrawlers) filled with vintage, but most of all adventurous and future electronic music.
It’s cosmic music pur sang, now and then briefly tapping in the heritage of the Berliner School style of the early '70’s while taking the listener out on a 60-minute atmospheric trip through the vast unknown.
The highly cinematic outcome though is less traditional. A deep sense of mystery already announces itself on the strong, almost 30-minute album opener "Sector Zero Zero One". It’s a beautifully moulded sonic sci-fi story through dense soundscapes with quite some turns and twists along the ride.
The album continues with four shorter pieces that keep immersing in darkening, dense atmospheric moods. Its compelling and robotic-like sound design stays away from the comfort mode, as alienating effects and quite some some industrial elements pass by. On "The Automatons", its like Patrick Kosmos is shortly taking over the control panels.
All in all, "Regeneration Mode" is outer space music with stark textures and a firm high-tech rim, making a fascinating sonic travel guide to possible future worlds beyond.

Here the last copy!

19,90 EUR
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Chuck van Zyl - Celestial Mechanics

Artist: Chuck van Zyl 
P: 1993 / 2017

Limited edition of 100 signed and hand-numbered copies
Celestial Mechanics’ origin extends back to the era of tape. The 1980s found Chuck van Zyl recording spacemusic and releasing it on audio cassette. Synkronos Music put out a trove of releases, including The Moment of Totality (1990) and Callisto (1989). Each cassette held two side-long pieces of music, and established a series of releases by van Zyl representing his enthusiasm for astronomy and the cosmos. Released on CD in 1993 by Scotland’s Centaur Discs Ltd, that original CD has been out of print for years. But thanks to the Philadelphia-based industry8 label, Celestial Mechanics is back with us, re-issued, re-mastered and treated to modern audio enhancements, and a much improved fidelity. Housed in a limited edition, four panel digipak, and adorned with vivid NASA probe images, it offers the opportunity to encounter the significant backstory to one of our community’s most unique members.


The outward appearance of Celestial Mechanics is that of a CD album, but its true origin extends back to the era of tape. The 1980s found Chuck van Zyl (and his many compatriots) recording Spacemusic and releasing it on audio cassette. During this span, Synkronos Music put out a trove of cassette releases, including The Moment of Totality (1990) and Callisto (1989) by Chuck van Zyl. Each held two side-long pieces of music, and established a series of releases by van Zyl representing his enthusiasm for Astronomy and the Cosmos.

So Celestial Mechanics may be viewed as compiling these early works onto a CD, and getting them out before the public… and that is exactly what Centaur Discs Ltd of Scotland did in 1993 – thus presenting Chuck van Zyl to the world beyond his small mail order following.

That original CD edition has been out of print for some time now. But thanks to the Philadelphia based industry8 label, Celestial Mechanics is back with us, re-issued, re-mastered and treated to modern audio enhancements, and a much improved fidelity. Housed in a limited edition, four panel digipak, and adorned with vivid NASA probe images, it offers those interested listeners and collectors the opportunity to encounter the significant backstory to one of our community’s most unique members.

Inspired by space, the physical universe, and all of its intricacies, as well as by classic Kosmische Musik works from out of the 1970s Berlin-School, van Zyl realized the four pieces found on Celestial Mechanics as personal electronic odes – to the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, and the astral motions of the solar system.

Clearly influenced by Crystal Lake and Rubycon, as well as by the direct mentoring of The Nightcrawlers (the NJ Space trio with which he was so closely associated), the release of these cassettes found van Zyl himself finally making music that, not only properly portrayed his cosmic yearning, but was representative of the restless, creative spirit which inhabits him to this day.

As we listen to Celestial Mechanics, we can feel this world of discovery still living on. The repeating music box sequencer intro of the title track immediately turns our thoughts to the virtues of The Universe as a place of possibility and wonder. Sounds build out, and additional lines of rhythm are introduced. A magic machine pulse provides a distinctive energy, one more of the mind than of the air. Confirming synth lines surface – reassuring the lost, and arousing the adventurous – with dramatic chord changes helping us ascend further still. As we pass through eerie amorphous interludes of drones, metallic tones, and wondrously modulated aural accents, the mounting tension resolves.

The emergence of an ever repeating pattern of echoing bass notes supports the lilting melody of a soft synthesizer lead. Minimalist sequencer runs motor on, then gradually brighten. Individual notes are transposed and repeated, minutely altering the pattern and quickening the music’s pulse. After a few variations in momentum, the music slows, and expends its previously built mass in thoughtful repose. Transitioning out of this energetic phase, the magical beauty of its closing section solemnly brings Celestial Mechanics to its conclusion.

While Celestial Mechanics includes all of the texture and atmosphere the Spacemusic genre is known for, its biggest success is in its entertainment of a most unusual idea… of traveling while being still. New musical territory can only be discovered once… and Chuck van Zyl has built profoundly on all of his finds, using them as reference points – in a field that is inexhaustible.

18,90 EUR
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Chuck van Zyl - Cenotaph

Artist: Chuck van Zyl
Real influenced by the german electronic from around the 70ies.
Over the course of his musical existence Chuck van Zyl has developed a signature exploratory style. By blending the primitive machine beauty of classics like Ricochet with the highly formed values of more recent groups such as Redshift and Arc, his solo studio works are the result of a persistent creativity. With Cenotaph (70'22") Chuck van Zyl has melded the intimate with the epic. Fans will find the results of this release riveting. Its tone veers from synthesized and atmospheric, to the reckless energized pulse of tumbling sequencer patterns, on down to a somber interiority - moving between the three in an impressive aural narrative. With plenty of cool modulated effects, ethereal Mellotron begot harmonies and melodies, and interlinked shifting arpeggios Cenotaph seems timeless in its purity.
Along with an arsenal of electronic instruments, key in producing the hallmark sounds of classic cosmic music, is van Zyl's sense of pacing, arrangement and contour. His lead lines hover wistfully above the throbbing pulse of interlocking, multi-layered sequencer patterns which race ahead then diminish into swirling ether. The compositions are restrained, rendered without any sharp edges, and posses a Berlin School authenticity of both tone and spirit - right down to the yearning of a generation seeking to find its place in the cosmos.
With his solid melodic invention, atmospheric modulations and heroic shifts in tonality, van Zyl masterfully realizes the fascinating patterns, riffs and pulses that dominate the tracks on Cenotaph. As the five pieces form, climb and sustain, listeners are pulled into a highly distinctive mindscape. Tone patterns weave and collide as go-for-broke keyboard lead lines dance above - while synthetic strings draw long lines across a cool digital plane. Chuck van Zyl is at home in this endlessly inventive genre, offering ample muscle for the adventurous, archaic modulations for the experimentalist and dreamy floating space for the cloudwalker.
Layers of mechanistic patterns grow, synchronize then switch direction and color in breathtaking dexterity - mixing, shifting and dividing in a twisting double helix of echoing electronic tones. Progressing through their brawny phase these performances then gently turn ethereal and otherworldly. Moving into the quiet drama and dark imaginings of the misty reality between sleep and wakefulness the delicate blending of sounds and re-circulating structures pulls us into deeper levels of our own mind.
Exercising his capabilities for symbolism, imagination and creativity van Zyl summons a mysterious cosmic energy - emanating from the nexus of technology and thought. Spacemusic fans know of a new way of listening, as the construct of music has dematerialized into a heightened inexpressible experience. But the greatest music reaches past the initiated.
Chuck van Zyl hits on all the major aspects of this genre, his melodies are human, rhythms machine-like, harmonies ethereal and the range of timbres he creates to voice his music are original and extraordinary. This music is a sincere exploration of the mood and mystery of the Spacemusic genre. With a strong core idea and strong execution Cenotaph offers vast sonic riches. Here we find an intelligence extending beyond the cold logic of machines - as well as a significant contribution to a most intriguing musical universe. The man who made this music is in this music - attending to his own inner theater. Chuck van Zyl makes us believe that we have not just listened to his work, but lived it.

17,80 EUR
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Chuck van Zyl - Memory Space

Artist: Chuck van Zyl
His solo album "MemorySpace" features van Zyl's trademark mastery of synthesized timbres and ethereal atmospheres. "MemorySpace" provides plenty of room to savor each gorgeously sculpted tone. Never thin, always uncluttered, sumptuous minor key drones and spare melodies sonically compliment the inner narrative of the audience.
Sometimes referred to as "the children of space", Chuck van Zyl's generation of musicians are more than just carrying on an earlier tradition. Seeing creativity as a component of his own personal spirituality, van Zyl's realizations are fueled by everything from music technology to a greater cosmic awareness. His musical sensibilities evoke a sense of discovery, with each album marking a new frontier of sound.
If you are enamored by classic "Teutonic electronics" you'll love this album. It contains extended spatial excursions like "September Cemetery" (12:33), "Marble Orchard Nocturne" (14:56) and "Stories in Stone" (13:40) which overflow with rippling sequences, crystalline synthesizer bell-tones and spaced out effects. These longer tracks are interspersed with shorter ambient soundscapes, "Time", "Grave Matters", "Desolate Consort" and the mesmerizing album closer "Momento Mori". They offer more reflective moments which allow you to get deeper into the myriad layers of sound that ebb and flow around the room as you experience the album as a whole.

16,80 EUR
incl. 19% tax excl. Shipping costs
Chuck van Zyl - Recitals (2CD)

Artist: Chuck van Zyl
P: 2016

"Recitals" (2016) is the live solo CD by Chuck van Zyl. Extending the trajectory of "MemorySpace" (2010), "Cenotaph" (2012) and "Rituals" (2014), this double live album is scheduled to be released by Synkronos Music on 12 November 2016 - to coincide with the Chuck van Zyl performance at The Gatherings Concert Series.
Meant to exhibit something of an untamed interior life, Chuck van Zyl hopes his concerts are part of an ongoing chain of innovation. His carefully realized designs are based on a consistent, timbral grammar developed through decades of work. As artists bring greater clarity to their vision over a lifetime, with further live experiences Chuck van Zyl has become more proficient at his craft, and more of who he is musically. Injecting emotion and expression into what would otherwise appear to be a formal exercise, his concerts are a manifestation of his urge to tell.
The double CD "Recitals" presents music recorded at five May 2016 performances, and like contemporaneous works by Redshift, Node and Arc, draws on higher-order capacities. His shows for Event Horizon, MUSIC WITH SPACE, STAR'S END, DIGITAL DREAMS and Digital Underground were documented with an ordinary two-track recording device. After months of review, two 70+ minute sonic journeys were produced, and released as "Recitals". Each event offered an essential setting, audience and atmosphere - as well as its own unique challenge.
To better connect with his audience, van Zyl set up his equipment among them, explaining that they were welcome to observe him up close as he traversed the next hour's worth of of unrestricted sonic space (video documents of each concert have been posted for truer scrutiny of these performances). Through an impressive collection of vintage and modern synthesizers and keyboards, electricity was transformed into sound, and we were lifted into infinite spaces.
Beckoning toward the eternal, reverberant Mellotron flutes and strings light out in expressive fanciful flights. In a brace of free improvisation van Zyl flaunts angelic harmonies, just as easily as he mines subterranean frequencies - all in keening consonant concord. Each movement finds portent sounds building dense harmonic forms, out of which emerges motoric sequencer patterns. These echoing interlocking runs of notes expand, contract and breakdown in ever heightening circles. The mounting compositional tension, released in our minds as impressionistic cerebration, feels energizing. Minor key chords slowly sweep across the sound field. Synthetic drones hold, darken, then lighten, informing the music's mood. In an ascending rush, then a descending calm, we depart our more common thoughts... for mysterious regions. Eventually we find the end of this journey, as the music resolves, and settles the listener into the drifting dream of gently humming circuits and charged solid states.
"Recitals" is a wonderful example of van Zyl's talent for spontaneous composition within the context of an improvised live performance. It is a reflection, realized through action, intervened upon by spontaneity, which leads the listener into contemplation - and a wonderful reverie realm.
Chuck van Zyl relentlessly seeks to identify the greater virtues of Electronic Music - yet enjoys the fact that his endeavors still hold some secrets. "Recitals" features works of passionate intensity, and is for anyone seeking a deeper examination of sound and mood. It pulls us through a spiraling cerebral cosmos - where a musician finds his moment.

22,50 EUR
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Chuck van Zyl - Recitals Vol. 2 (2CD)

Artist: Chuck van Zyl
P: 2018

Chuck van Zyl has been a man finding his moment, in any live space that will hold him. The double CD Recitals 2 presents music recorded at two late 2017 performances. His shows for The 6th Floor and DIGITAL DREAMS were documented with an ordinary two-track recording device. After months of review, two 60+ minute sonic journeys were produced, and released as Recitals 2.
The possibilities of Electronic Music make it the perfect tool for exploring spontaneous composition. Recitals 2 is an example of two such events - both without a pre-determined outcome - where the gathered and the musician experienced the music together. A receptive audience brings out van Zyl's strengths, while the hushed space receives his work. The heat of this struggle melds into the music and spirit, softening and melting, then hardening and tempering the player. Each of this album's two concerts moves powerfully and naturally, unsettling the world into which they intercede. A musician of the imagination van Zyl's seeks the pure delight of providing an epic intimacy in the digital age. Determined to conjure kinetic joy an animating force tickles your mind and tugs on your heart - as agile sequencer antics thrill and the vulnerability of improvisation connects. In ever strengthening whirlpools of thought, rows of echoing tone patterns are deployed. Amidst the lines of echoing, dancing arpeggio notes a racing heart turns, runs and trills in melodic invention. Heroic keyboard leads and Mellotron harmonies peak over a pumping, commanding bassline - only later to be drawn down into shifting shadows of sustaining synthesized textures and a quiet sense of mystery. While cliff-high chords stall the dramatic momentum, an infinity of volumes provides a feeling of elation and abandon - only to descend to a skeletal negative space and a bewitching haze of free form randomness.

Recitals 2 takes each member of its audience on their own personal journey. With its deep space gateways and brilliant, skull crushing sequencer breakdowns, from the heights of its combustible, cut loose, superb heedlessness, on down to its quietly ominous consuming dark fields, this music invites wonder. Beginning with simple electronic devices and ending with the multi-dimensional world known only to the imaginative, Chuck van Zyl harnesses the machinery of night. Unblinking, completely in control, he performs in a cool constraint. It is remarkable that, after so many years, the creative flame still burns bright. His concerts are a probe of the calm facade, of the internal mystery - and reach towards the unseen depths within us all. Recitals 2 tells a powerful story of an exhilarated mind - a mind roaming well beyond the concert stage.

19,90 EUR
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Chuck van Zyl - Rituals

Artist: Chuck van Zyl
As one who devotes so much time to delivering music to the world, it is good to see radio show host, reviewer and concert producer Chuck van Zyl also spending time at being an Electronic Musician. His release "Rituals" (57'01") is one of Spacemusic's sonic miracles. An album with incomparable penetration Rituals is so alluring and ingenious that listeners will find its atmosphere of cosmic yearning on an equal level with that of its ceaseless sonic invention. The mood and message of this third volume extends the trajectory of his two previous CDs. While "MemorySpace" (2010) and "Cenotaph" (2012) took two years each to conceive, concertize, record and produce, "Rituals" (2014) took just two weeks. Using modular systems, a variety of modern analog synthesizers and sequencers and operating at an emotional and enthusiastic pitch, van Zyl realizes music that possesses as much the buzz and crackle of electricity as it does the frigid black of space. From his instrument's storm force of sound comes delightful throbbing bass lines, echo-warping chimes and a mystery machine pulse, against which van Zyl sways and plays Rhodes piano, synth strings, Mellotron choir and full-blooded melodies. Staccato synthesizer blips interlock and pound out mighty sequencer patterns, yet this mechanical rigidity is somehow softened - as lines of dancing arpeggios pump up against tuneful leads and ethereal harmonic progressions. Disarmingly quiet passages reduce the level of density and energy with insinuating modulations and vaporous aural forces. "Rituals" pushes and pulls itself, expands and contracts, and manages to establish an interesting contour through various scenarios and scenes... to attain a rare unity. Offering vivid synthesized sonorities the appeal lies in its minimalist values and in this musician's ability to create an intimate and absorbing listening experience. As with albums by Arc and Redshift "Rituals" has an immediacy that can overwhelm, yet its cosmic beauty is easily experienced over and over. The creative act is the one defense against the ruin of the world. Singing the mental electric with an inventive sonic flair Chuck van Zyl makes music that fills up the empty spaces and places of life. Embracing the early-day attitudes of the Kosmische Musik movement, he transcends them - elevating the most familiar themes to another sphere. Anyone in love with Spacemusic and its very specific poetry will want to hear this recording.

17,80 EUR
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Chuck van Zyl - SpaceTones

Artist: Chuck van Zyl 
P: 2019

SpaceTones is the entire concert that Chuck van Zyl did during E-Day 2018. An entire live set improvised by the master of the Berlin School in the United States, A pure listening pleasure. Some minor play faults are always there during concerts but here there are almost none!! The master at work is the message here. Pure Magic!

14,90 EUR
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The Ministry of Inside Things - Ambient Elsewhere

Artists: The Ministry of Inside Things
P: 2008
Ambient Elsewhere feels dark and isolated when compared to the two earlier releases by The Ministry of Inside Things. While Everlasting Moment explored the edges, dynamics and tension of space and atmosphere, and Contact Point embraced the more unified themes of cosmic, biospheric and macrocosmic interaction, Ambient Elsewhere moves through a strange new territory in-between and outside of traditional Spacemusic. Drawn from a range of chilling themes, this album sonifies wintertime, desolate landscapes and the soul's midnight. Moving through the timbral badlands of the empty quarter, Ambient Elsewhere offers up a courageous intimacy. Always bringing their own influences and innovation to the music process, MoIT produces a sound that is uniquely individual and personal.
The Ministry of Inside Things released their new double CD at their performance at The Gatherings Concert Series on 20 September 2008. The music from Ambient Elsewhere has been drawn from several recent tour performances and features definitive live versions of classic MoIT pieces like "Love Attack" and "Naylor's Run". The album contains two one hour long suites of spacemusic and easily flows through a variety of themes, energy levels and styles.

24,50 EUR
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The Ministry of Inside Things - Contact Point

Artists: The Ministry of Inside Things
P: 2006
Contact Point is the second live release by MoIT, and feels warm and earthly compared to their debut double CD set Everlasting Moment. While their earlier album explored the edges, dynamics and tension of space and atmosphere, Contact Point presents the more unified themes of cosmic, biospheric and macrocosmic interaction. Through the use of environmental field recordings, drifting melodies and soft sonic textures set against submerged drones, billowing sequencer patterns and breezy guitar and synth lead lines, Contact Point depicts the mystery and beauty of telluric ideals. While their music touches on many of the hallmarks of Berlin-School Spacemusic, MoIT brings their own influences and innovation to the process. The result is a sound that is uniquely individual. Music from Contact Point has been drawn from several live performances and features definitive concert versions of classic MoIT pieces such as "Fortescue", "Serenity Cove" and "Nightscene". The disc plays for about one hour, easily flowing through a variety of themes, moods and styles of Spacemusic.
 The Ministry of Inside Things is the Philadelphia-based space music duo of Chuck van Zyl (synths) and Art Cohen (guitar). Individually, both Chuck and Art have been involved in the Philadelphia electronic/space music scene for well over 20 years. Chuck is best known for hosting the Philadelphia radio show Star's End. He has a number of solo releases (cassette and CD) as well as collaborations with Peter Gulch of the Nightcrawlers. Art has a number of solo releases as well. Chuck and Art formed The Ministry of Inside Things about 6 years ago and have released two CDs of live material, EVERLASTING MOMENT (2002) and CONTACT POINT. Their music is firmly rooted in the Berlin space music school of Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra, and Klaus Schulze. There are seven tracks on CONTACT POINT that take you from quiet ambience to energetic rhythms. The obvious comparisons are with Tangerine Dream (cyclical pulsating sequencer patterns), but I also detect the influence of Pink Floyd's "Echoes". On top of this are some artistic found sounds peppered throughout the CD (lapping water and chirping crickets). The duo of Chuck and Art, with their musical roots in two different genres (electronic and rock), work together to craft beautiful music that can stand the test of time. Highly recommended to all fans of space music.
Henry Schneider (Aug06)
Recorded live at the following venues:

· Third Floor from the Sun, Gloucester City, NJ - 31 January 2003.
· Novins Planetarium, Toms River, NJ - 5 March 2004.
· Beck's Decks, Bridgeton, NJ - 23 July 2004.
· Voices Beyond the Dome, Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh, PA - 25 June 2005.

19,90 EUR
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V/A - Home Patterning

Artist: Van Zyl, Rich, Rapoon u.a.
P: 2011
LTD 300
One Thousand Pulses, Northeast New Jersey's premier home concert series for electronic & experimental music, presents its first compilation. Home Patterning highlights some of OTP's finest moments, extracted from a year-and-a-half of unique and special performances. These nine new & unreleased works, set down live in the OTP soundspace, are exclusive pieces of music forged by the artists in the moment, now made available to a wider audience. Like the live events themselves, these works whittle away neatly-defined categorical boundaries to instead focus on each of their artist's particular brand of sound and vision.

15,90 EUR
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