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Galactic Travels Monthly Special Focus Log - 2014


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The Special Focus for January was
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Born in 1959 in Duisburg, Germany, Detlef Keller bought his first synthesizer in 1974, a Crumar DS2. Inspired by Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, and Vangelis, Detlef produced his first album on cassette in 1993. "Sound Thought" was only offered to his circle of acquaintances.

In November, 1993, he became acquainted with the Dutch musician Bas Broekhuis. Bas' Audioworks label issued Detlef's first CD, "The Story of the Clouds." Through Bas, Detlef was introduced to Mario Schonwalder in the spring of 1994.

In July, 1994, Detlef and Bas visited Mario in Berlin to rehearse for a September concert he at the Munsterdamm plaetarium in Berlin. Thus, the trio of Broekhuis, Keller, and Schonwalder was born.
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All albums are on Manikin Records.
Date Title
01/02 Ways to the Rainbow
01/09 Masquerade
01/16 Behind the Tears
01/23 Harmonic Steps disc 1
01/30 Harmonic Steps disc 2

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The Special Focus for February was
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Max Corbacho was born in the southwest of Spain. This land, sprinkled with oaks with its starred summer nights, caressing nocturnal breezes, sedative crickets song, immense horizons, deep blue skies, and silence, is perhaps the deeper track that marks his music. With these influences, his extremely dense and hypnotic sonic landscapes have the ability to transport listeners to this wonderful mystery.

Originally a guitar player in local rock bands, Max slowly become interested in electronic music, influenced by Tangerine Dream, Richard Burmer, Vangelis, Brian Eno, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, vidnaObmana, Alio Die, and Michael Stearns. He started releasing music in 1999. After many solo albums, Max started a record label, ad21music, with Argentine artist Bruno Sanfilippo, inaugurated by the release of a collaborative album together.

Max's latest albums progress into deep, silken ambiences in search of sublime melody-free magnificence, ethereal electronics and vaporous textures.
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Featured CD at Midnight by Week
All albums are on ad21music.
Date Title
02/06 BreathStream
02/13 Ars Lucis
02/20 The Ocean Inside disk 1
02/27 The Ocean Inside disk 2

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The Special Focus for March was
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Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bruno has lived in Barcelona since 2000. He has a degree in musical composition from the Galvani Conservatory (Buenos Aires). With Max Corbacho, he founded ad21music, a label that focuses on ambient, minimalism and contemporary musical forms.

Bruno composes soundtracks for feature films and has performed at events small concerts and festivals. Live performances usually include improvisations on piano and strings or electronic/laptop.

Bruno has contributed music to several compilation albums and has collaborated on numerous projects with such noted artists as Mathias Grassow, Max Corbacho, Marsen Jules, and Alio Die.

Bruno has been a Special Focus on Galactic Travels before:
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Featured CD at Midnight by Week
Date Title Label
03/06 Piano Textures 2 ad21music
03/13 Cromo (with Mathias Grassow) ad21music
03/20 Subliminal Pulse Spotted Peccary
03/27 Urbs Hypnos

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The Special Focus for April was
STEVE ROACH
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As a pioneering cornerstone of electronic music, internationally renowned artist Steve Roach has dedicated over three decades to exploring uncharted soundworlds that connect with a timeless source of inspiration. From the expansive, time-suspending spaces reflecting his spiritual home in Arizona to the fire breathing, rhythmic-shamanic expressions woven from all things electric and organic, Roach has earned his position in the international pantheon of major new music artists through a long list of groundbreaking recordings, fueled by his prolific nature and uncompromising approach. The core of this innovative world of sound has been nourished by years of intense live concerts in many extraordinary settings worldwide, further enhancing the emotive, cinematic soul-stirring depth of his music.

This month, we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Steve's classic, ground breaking album "Structures from Silence." The 3-CD reissue includes a high quality remastered reissue plus two CDs of new material in the same vein.

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All albums are on Projekt Records. Featured CD at Midnight by Week
Date Title
04/03 Structures from Silence (30th Anniversary) disc 1
04/10 Structures from Silence (30th Anniversary) disc 2
04/17 Structures from Silence (30th Anniversary) disc 3
04/24 Day Out of Time

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The Special Focus for May was
MODULATOR ESP
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Modulator Experimental Synthesis Project (Modulator ESP) is Jez Creek from Nottingham in the UK. He performs improvised music that explores the boundaries of dark ambient, drone, Berlin School sequencing, and noise using modular synthesis, real-time sampling, sound manipulation, and live looping.

Modulator ESP has been described variously as "vintage synth overload to propel you into the outer reaches of the cosmos" and "one man will descend to (this) earth in a hail of analogue synth tones; called upon from the singular consciousness of John Carpenter and Vangelis - like a 2046 dystopian dream with the optimism of Jean Michael Jarre, and his penguins."

When Modulator ESP discovered that there was more to EM than TD, Jarre, Pickford and Shreeve by finding bands like Arc, RMI, Redshift, Airsculpture, and Arcane, bands that were doing a more retro-styled improvisational take on EM, it came as a revelation to him. One of the reasons he'd left the band he was in was because he wanted to do something a bit more freeform. He knew he still wanted to play live but without playing along to pre-programmed, structured backing tracks.

Things started to snowball when he discovered certain synthesizers, both hardware and software, step sequencing, and delay processors.

Modulator ESP loves playing synths because he loves the electronic, synthetic, other worldly nature of the sounds. This makes Ambient, Berlin School EM the best style for his interests. He plans to stretch the boundaries by incorporating some of his progressive influences.

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All albums are on Electro-music Media.
Featured CD at Midnight by Week
Date Title
05/01 Adventures in Sound Episode 191
05/08 Adventures in Sound Episode 192
05/15 Adventures in Sound Episode 194
05/22 Adventures in Sound Episode 196
05/29 Adventures in Sound Episode 198

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The Special Focus for June was
ROBERT RICH
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Across three decades and over 30 albums, Robert Rich has helped define the genres of ambient music, dark-ambient, tribal and trance, yet his music remains hard to categorize. Part of his unique sound comes from using home-made acoustic and electronic instruments, microtonal harmonies, computer-based signal processing, chaotic systems and feedback networks. Rich began building his own analog synthesizers in 1976, when he was 13 years old, and later studied for a year at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

Rich released his first album Sunyata in 1982. Most of his subsequent recordings came out in Europe until 1989, when Rich began a string of critically acclaimed releases for Fathom/Hearts of Space, including Rainforest (1989), Gaudi (1991), Propagation (1994) and Seven Veils (1998). His two collaborations with Steve Roach, Strata (1990) and Soma (1992), both charted for several months in Billboard. Other respected collaborations include Stalker (1995 with B. Lustmord), Fissures (1997 with Alio Die) and Outpost (2002 with Ian Boddy). Rich's contributions to multi-artist compilations have been collected on his solo albums A Troubled Resting Place (1996) and Below Zero (1998). His group, Amoeba, explored atmospheric songcraft on their CDs Watchful (1997) and Pivot (2000). Live albums such as Calling Down the Sky (2004) and 3-CD Humidity (2000) document the unique improvised flow of his performances.

Rich has performed in caves, cathedrals, planetaria, art galleries and concert halls throughout Europe and North America. His all-night Sleep Concerts, first performed in 1982, became legendary in the San Francisco area. In 1996 he revived his all-night concert format, playing Sleep Concerts for live and radio audiences across the U.S. during a three month tour. One of those concerts was WDIY's first over night broadcast. In 2001 Rich released the 7 hour DVD Somnium, a studio distillation of the Sleep Concert experience, possibly the longest continuous piece of music ever released at the time. It's worldwide radio premier was on Galactic Travels.

Rich has designed sounds for television and film scores, including the films Pitch Black, Crazy Beautiful, Behind Enemy Lines and others. His musical scores grace films by Yahia Mehamdi (Thank you for your Patience, 2003) and Daniel Colvin (Atlas Dei, 2007, with 90 minutes of Rich's music in surround); and a video installation by Michael Somoroff (Illumination, 2007). Rich works closely with electronic instrument manufacturers, and his sound design has filled preset libraries of Emu's Proteus 3 and Morpheus, Seer Systems' Reality, sampling disks Things that Go Bump in the Night, ACID Loop Library Liquid Planet, WayOutWare's TimewARP2600, and synths by Camel Audio. Rich has written software for composers who work in just intonation, and he helped develop the MIDI microtuning specification. As mastering engineer and mixer, he has applied his ear to albums in all styles, and his studio was featured twice in Keyboard Magazine, and elsewhere worldwide.

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Robert Rich has been a Special Focus on Galactic Travels before:
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Featured CD at Midnight by Week
Date Title Label
06/05 Calling Down the Sky Soundscape Productions
06/12 Open Window Soundscape Productions
06/19 Zerkalo (with Faryus) Faria
06/26 Nest Soundscape Productions

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The Special Focus for July is
RON BOOTS
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Ron Boots was introduced to electronic music through the album "Timewind" by Klaus Schulze. Ron was so overwhelmed by this style of music that he decided he wanted to play electronic music himself. In addition to the well-known electronic music names like Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Steve Roach and Patrick Kosmos, Ron was also influenced by other music genres. His favorite bands and artists included Simple Minds, David Sylvian (from the band Japan), Pearl Jam, Marillion, and film composers John Williams and Maurice Jarre. In 1984 he bought his first synthesizer, a monophonic Yamaha CS10. His first excursion into music was in 1977 as a singer in a school band to get girl friends. Using the CS10 he began to seriously compose and in 1986 Ron gave his first electronic music concert... for family and friends.

Using a couple of keyboards, Ron started composing and recording, making his first cassette in 1987. In 1988, Ron was asked to give a concert at a KLEMdag festival held in his home town of Best.

In 1990, Ron and Bas Broekhuis started Synteam, a recording label for electronic music. The label's first release was Ron's first CD, "Dreamscape." This release is why listeners of the German electronic music radio program Schwingungen voted Ron "Best newcomer of the year." When this label ended, Ron formed Cur Records NL and eventually took on Kees Aerts as a partner. The label ultimately changed name to Groove Unlimited.

Ron is an award winning recording and performing musician, a label owner, and a concert promoter (E-Live). He has collaborated with many musicians; John Kerr, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, Bas Broekhuis, and Eric and Harold van der Heijden, Ron Doesborg , Guido Negraszus , Kees Aerts, Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel, Volker Rapp , Harold Theunissen , and Ian Boddy to name a few.

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Ron Boots has been a Special Focus on Galactic Travels before:
Featured CD at Midnight by Week
All albums are on Groove Unlimited Records.
Date Title
07/03 Detachment of Worldly Affairs
07/10 Tainted Bare Skin
07/17 Dream Weaver
07/24 Liquid Structures in Solid Form
07/31 Dreamscape

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The Special Focus for August is
JUTA TAKAHASHI
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JUTA TAKAHASHI was born in Miyagi, Japan in 1959 and spent his childhood in Aomori. As a teen, he was strongly influenced by Progressive Rock and synthesizer music. He went to Tokyo for school and his career as a musician started afterward. Although he started as a guitarist and played music in the style of King Crimson that valued improvisation, he gradually devoted himself to electronic music. He now resides in Sendai, Miyagi and is independently producing music using synthesizers and computers. Influenced by electronic/ambient musicians such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Vangelis, and the late Pete Namlook, his music is basically beautiful, calm, emotional and melodious. Sometimes aggressive sounds reminiscent of his musical roots are used. Since Juta-san prefers analog instruments over digital ones, his works are characterized by the former. His music composition method is based upon improvisation. His first commercial album was released in August, 2007.

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Featured CD at Midnight by Week
All albums are on Lunisolar Records.
Date Title
08/07 Quiet Rain
08/14 Angel
08/21 Seabound
08/28 Transcendence

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The Special Focus for September was
DREAMWIND
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Dreamwind is an electronic ambient band from Birmingham, Alabama. The members include Rick Bales (keyboards), Andy Douglas (keyboards), Ray Whirlwind (bass guitar). The music is electronic ambient with a touch of space rock, jazz, and techno. Many find their music to be relaxing. Whirlwind and Douglas, who have known each other since the 1970s when they both played in rock bands, started the band with Bales in July, 2000 after Douglas met Bales at a music store and the threesome had a few jam sessions. The music is all original Instrumental/Electronic Ambient/Jazz/Space/New Age music.

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Featured CD at Midnight by Week
Date Title
09/04 Best of Early Years
09/11 Best of Later Years
09/18 Warp Date
09/25 Ambient Trails

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The Special Focus for October is
CRAIG PADILLA
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Craig Padilla's first encounter with electronic music was in 1986 while visiting the Schreder planetarium. During a lecture about stars, Craig noticed some of the music which turned out to be Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygene 4. Craig had never heard this kind of electronic music before. This was the beginning of Craig Padilla's adventure into the sonic universe created by synthesizers.

After more than a decade of playing live shows in his native northern California, Craig Padilla has become an internationally celebrated electronic musician. His style reflects EM artists of the past while finding new, unique sounds and styles.

Using vintage instruments that lend themselves to the sought after, full bodied sounds EM afficianados crave, Craig also uses custom designed, one of a kind synths that, in many cases, have been modified. Blending modern software synthesizers (softsynths) into the mix, Craig creates new sonic worlds of ambience and subtlety. This would mean nothing if it weren't for Craig's melodic sensibilities to make music that captures the essence of humanity and are works of grandeur and timelessness.

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Featured CD at Midnight by Week
Date Title Label
10/02 Vostok Spotted Peccary
10/09 Below the Mountain Spotted Peccary
10/16 The Heart of the Soul Spotted Peccary
10/23 Sonar - LP 1 Fruits de Mer
10/30 Sonar - LP 2 Fruits de Mer

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