2005 EVENTS • JANUARY
Hacienda / Tequila Lounge
5th 2005 • Repair with
IN THE LOOP :|| Repair:
the Chill before the Storm
AMBiENT PiNG moved to a new night and a new venue
on Wednesday, January 5, 2004. The first show at the Tequila
Lounge featured Repair with visuals by Self
Service. Repair, a
trio best know for their techno/house beats, is comprised of
Mark & Matt Thibideau and vocalist Dawn
Lewis. Despite arctic
temperatures and a storm watch, the trio played to a full house,
treating the crowd to an evening of ultra-cool chill-out music.
Repair structured both sets with a series of discrete songs
that combined their beat-centred synth stylings with Dawn's
spare vocal improvisations. The crowd reacted warmly,
clearly impressed by the trio's electronic virtuosity and
sense of sonic adventure. Self Service offered two screens
of visuals, heightening the hip factor with reels of experimental
video art at its best. Jakob Thiesen and Rebecca
the artists behind the projectors, presented evocative image
collages that looked to the past through an avant garde lens.
In keeping with the evening's governing sense of serendipity,
the video collages often seemed to evolve in synch with
Repair's down-tempo rhythms.
Curators of THE
AMBiENT PiNG couldn't help but be pleased
with the turnout and Repair's high-calibre show. Speaking of
turnout, rumour has it that the show attracted some star-power
that night in the form of The Cure's keyboard player Roger
O'Donnell. Things are definitely looking up for TAP in the
New Year with a promising new venue and an impressive
line-up of acts booked well into the spring.
Repair's new limited-edition CD of rarities and previously
unreleased tracks is available here.
12th • ARC with Pholde +
low frequency pilot
ARC with Pholde
THE LOOP:|| Temperatures
Rising: ARC with Pholde + ltp
January 12, 2005 saw THE
AMBiENT PiNG host an evening of
electronic rock-oriented experimentation at the Tequila Lounge.
Hamilton-based trio *low frequency pilot* opened the night with
guitar, drums, electronics and treatments. The guitar-dominated
first set riffed from intense grooves to spaced-out airwaves,
setting the tone for an exciting evening.
As PiNG-goers continued to come in from the rain, ARC and
Pholde (Alan Bloor, aka Knurl) took to the stage, treating the
crowd to a superb second set of improvised soundscapes.
The set began with the tribalesque rhythms of Rich Baker &
Christopher Kukiel on hand drums. Aiden Baker, well-known
for his innovative guitar-playing, joined the percussionists along
with Pholde. Building in intensity, the music was raw and
intriguing, much like the metal sculpture created by Pholde
for the show. While the atmospherics were at times chaotic,
the performance was never less than compelling: there was
always a sense that something was happening in this
soundscape, something definitely not to be missed.
PiNG regulars echoed the evening's great vibe with an
enthusiastic response to TAP's new digs. Impressed by the
vibrancy of the neighborhood, regulars commented on the
new venue's potential for attracting a stronger PiNG following.
Based on the sonic adventures of this past week, their
predictions seem prescient rather than optimistic.
19th • Faceless Forces of Bigness
Forces of Bigness
THE LOOP:|| The
Big Picture: Faceless Forces
Forces of Bigness enveloped PiNG-goers with
images of summer on Wednesday, January 19, 2004.
Caught in a mid-January deep-freeze, this Torontonian was
reminded of warmer climes as the Faceless Forces presented
a surrealistic video road trip accompanied by a propulsive,
effects-driven soundtrack in their first set.
Creating a visual ambience that developed from looping retro
black & white images of the open road with infusions of
psychedelic color, the Faceless Forces' first set reminded
the audience of good things to come with out of the blue/green
images of butterflies and flowers - the stuff of hot, hazy
summer days. Grounded by a pulsing soundscape and driven
by undercurrents of lyricism, their performance transformed
TAP into a nexus of possibility. This sense of possibility was
realized as the video images arrived in a landscape rife with
big city flashing lights. Devolving into images of random text,
the aural dimension was reinforced by an intermittent visual
through-line of frequency indication. All in all, despite my
regret for having missed the second set, this journey was
a fit respite from a cold winter's night.
Always of the moment, PiNG organizers are also looking
to spring - and summer - with plans of a June "living room"
concert by James Johnson. While the details are still being
finalized, the event promises to be an intimate highlight
of the 2005 PiNG concert series.
26th • Wally
Jericho with SPROG
Jericho with SPROG
THE LOOP:|| Miles
Traveled: Wally Jericho with SPROG
Last Monday, the evening news reported that, according to
some grim mathematical calculations, January 24th is
"the worst day of the year". Only two days later, The PiNG's
fourth Wednesday night concert marked an upturn in this
bitterly cold winter season. Luna T received a special birthday
gift that night: three beautifully surreal sets by the fearless
captain of Jericho Station, Wally Jericho, and his special
guest, Arnold Sprogis (aka SPROG) of Ambient
The evening's first set featured an Ambient
TV production by
SPROG, who revisited the tragic events of 9-11 with a sparse
set of sweeping textures, synchronized to grainy video images
of that day's events. SPROG opened things up a bit in the
second half of the set, this time using visuals from Orbital
a Kensington Market art gallery, alongside a soundscape that
called to mind starry, starry nights.
In the second set, the evening's centrepiece, PiNG-goers
warmed to Wally Jericho's cool grooves and even cooler
trumpet playing, reminiscent of Miles Davis' later work.
Funky beat-driven rhythms underpinned the sensual
trumpet sections, creating a mesmerizing ambient oasis
in the midst of the almost inescapable end-of-January blues.
In the final set, SPROG joined Wally
Jericho onstage for a
dynamic merging of sensibilities. The result was a dramatic,
progressively edgy set that highlighted the best both artists
have to offer. More info on Wally Jericho here and
2nd • Kathode and
THE LOOP:|| Out
of the Shadows: Kathode and Odradek
AMBiENT PiNG celebrated Wiararton Willie's prediction
of an early spring with an evening of experimental music
performances at the T.Lounge on Wednesday, February 2, 2005.
Readers might remember SPROG's
Ambient-TV concert from
last week. This time around, PiNG-goers experienced another
kind of TV show: Kathode (Tomasz Krakowiak) started the
evening off with the sounds of a "pure cathode ray tube run
through a bowl of cables". Using a closed cycle of audio-
frequencies..., Kathode landed onstage with the sound of
beating helicopter blades from a black & white television set.
The sense of anticipation kindled by this dramatic opening
was rewarded later in the show as Kathode incorporated
some remote control antics into the mix by continuing
his set from the bar. A little while later, Kathode wrapped
things up with another signal change and a final flick
of the TV's remote control.
Bailey, Michelangelo Iaffaldano and
picked up on the playful tone of Kathode's
an improvised series of free form pieces.
by the trio's
name, I discovered its origin: a story
fragment by Franz Kafka.
Like Kafka's titular subject,
Odradek's music was, at times,
cartoon-like in its
while undercurrents of longing
building streams of tension. Even as
of high pitched bleeps melted into
this set's sonic turmoil lingered.
9th • cheryl
o and friends
(Rob Piilonen, Jen Gillmor and Michael
IN THE LOOP :||
Although I reported in an earlier column that January 24th is
reputedly the worst day of the year, February 9 almost claimed
the title for everyone involved in THE AMBiENT PiNG when the
show scheduled for Wednesday, February 9, 2005 had to be
cancelled at the eleventh hour.
Giles, one of the T.Lounge's sound technicians, found
the club in complete disarray when he arrived on Wednesday
evening. The club had been torn apart for painting: all the
booths were torn out, stuff was piled on the bar, there was
painting going on and a big mess everywhere. Left scrambling
in the wake of these unscheduled renovations, the PiNG crew
attempted to salvage the evening by hosting a chill-out party
replete with cheap beer - courtesy of the sheepish club owners
who cleaned up most of the club by stacking the various
materials in the VIP Lounge area.
The scheduled event, promoted as an evening of potent musical
jambalaya, drew a solid crowd of experimental music enthusiasts.
Disappointed to miss a show featuring cheryl o and friends
(Rob Piilonen, Jen Gillmor and Michael
Keith), those who
decided to stay and hang out enjoyed a nice vibe created by
ambient videos and CDs courtesy of Scott M2.
Despite an empty stage - and an enormous amount of stress
and disappointment for the PiNG artists and organizers - TAP
persevered by making the best of things. After all, what's art
without a bit of adversity?
16th • Hypnotech
Tobas Mong with Bleep
3 with Bleep
Mong with Bleep
IN THE LOOP :|| Hypnotech
3 and Tobas
Mong with Bleep
AMBiENT PiNG was back in the loop this past Wednesday
night. Although renovations at the T. Lounge aren't quite finished,
cool vibes pervaded and the PiNG party pulsed on. February 16,
2005 marked a departure from the purely ambient/experimental
fare we've seen so far this year with two sets of upbeat music.
3 opened the evening with a set of throwback
electronica. Minimal pulsebeats and a lyrical bent created
an inviting let's-dance ambience. Tobas Mong picked up on
Hypnotech's warm tones with rhythmic melodies of his own.
Behind the edgy beats of each set was a morphing geometric
and at times psychedelic backdrop created by Bleep Visuals.
Tequila Lounge metamorphosis that began with a fresh
coat of ocean blue paint continues with the adoption of a
new moniker. Soon to be known as Hacienda, owners of the
T. Lounge envision a rebirth for the club in 2005. PiNG-goers
and organizers, still enjoying their new neighborhood, are
keeping their fingers crossed that Hacienda lives up to its name.
23rd • Planet
Of The Loops
Of The Loops with Andrew
Aldridge and Les Cooper
IN THE LOOP :|| Planet
Of The Loops
AMBiENT PiNG concert on Wednesday, February 23,
2005 proved to be the high point of an otherwise miserable
end-of-February week. Faced with the prospect of trudging
back out into the cold, I almost bailed - despite the gentle
chiding of my better half about being a fair weather writer.
Andrew Aldridge, founder of Planet of the Loops and a
guitar/loops/treatments maestro, was joined by Les Cooper,
a Hamilton-based guitarist/songwriter/looper, for a brilliant
Planet of the Loops session. Together they created a lovely,
gathered-around-the-fire vibe for the dedicated PiNG-goers
who turned out for the show.
Early in the first set, I realized just what I would have missed
by staying home: comfort food for the ears. Their music,
at times reminiscent of Bill Frisell's "Good Dog, Happy Man"
work, traversed a number of emotional planes while remaining
rooted in its wistful, groove-driven center.
Also on the menu last Wednesday night was a cheeseburger
from George's Deli and Barbeque downstairs - the perfect
accompaniment to the Steam Whistle lager I selected from
Hacienda's improved beer selection.
With renovations scheduled to wrap up this weekend, Hacienda
is looking good and ready for business. Just in time, too, for
dreamSTATE's CD launch party next week. While trying to
stay positive despite the snow and cold's refusal to abate,
it's nice to know that good things loom on the horizon:
longer days, warmer temperatures, an upcoming appearance
by my favourite PiNG muse, Sovaak (a Vulcan sock monkey),
and a new CD from dreamSTATE. What more could Luna
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