The Ministry of Inside Things, includes Chuck van Zyl on synths and Art Cohen on guitar. Their music has been inspired by the Berlin-School of cosmic spacemusic and influenced by everything from sci-fi themes to nuclear fission to chillout room abstractions.
MoIT enjoys the live environment and uses it to further explore and invent their musical stylings. The ultimate goal is to create in the mind of the listener a sense of movement through space along the arc of a dynamic contour. Owing much to improvisation, each original performance traverses many sonic terrains.
Cohen and van Zyl have had the opportunity to play live at a variety of interesting venues over the past several years. While their music touches on many of the hallmarks of Berlin-School Spacemusic (cyclical sequencer patterns beneath soaring lead melodies contrasted by passages of deep synth tones and glissando guitar), they bring their own influences and innovation to the process. The result is a sound that is uniquely individual.
Everlasting Moment is the first conventionally replicated CD release from MoIT. Music from this double disc set has been drawn from several year 2002 performances and features definitive live versions of classic MoIT pieces like "Neutron Flux", "Function Four" and "VM-75". Each disc plays for about one hour, easily flowing through a variety of themes, moods and styles of Spacemusic.
Review: Everlasting Moment
The Ministry of Inside Things is the improvisational duo of synthesist Chuck van Zyl and guitarist Art Cohen, offering up this sprawling live double set of electronic bliss that seems to take its cue from Phaedra-era Tangerine Dream. van Zyl is probably best known for his Pennsylvania-based electronic music [radio] show Star's End, now over twenty [five] years running, and his "Gatherings" electronic [music] concert series; he also has a number of releases out, both on his own and in collaboration with others. For his part Cohen offers many effected and heavily treated guitar parts that blend in smoothly with the synths, creating myriad sonic textures that energize the sound and provide some structure amid the flow of spontaneous creativity. Cohen's influences might include Manuel Gottsching and David Gilmour, and the final track "Grateful" is no doubt a tribute to Jerry Garcia's fluid soloing style. The sequenced synths overlaid with blistering guitar leads on "Voyage for Guitar and Synth" seems to tap into Ash Ra's Inventions playbook, and with excellent results, being one of the set's most energized pieces. Sequenced percussives offer some rhythm in many parts, and "Chromatix" employs some sampled, treated voice loops to good effect. Each disc contains a number of tracks, but they are provided mostly as index points in what will seem to the listener like one continuous improvisation, although a quick look at the liner notes shows that the program was recorded at four different shows in 2002 and edited together after the fact. In all, this is an excellent release that fans of the Berlin electronic style would do well to check out.
Peter Thelen/EXPOSE (Apr04)