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Echoes profiles WXPN's Chuck Van Zyl

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We recently explored some of the early 1980s Philadelphia electronic music scene in our interview with The Nightcrawlers, the electronic trio who's 1980 cassette recordings have just been collected on The Biophonic Boombox Recordings. This was music steeped in the sounds of 70s German electronic artists like Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel (now just Ashra). Among the leading acolytes of this sound was Chuck Van Zyl. He is a DJ at WXPN, hosting the old Diaspar show and taking over the reins of Star's End from me in the 80s. He still hosts the show on WXPN to this day. Chuck also produces The Gatherings concert series, which has brought live electronic music to Philadelphia since 1992 including performances by Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Richard Pinhas of Heldon and Cluster. But Chuck wasn't content spinning the discs of his electronic heroes. He started making his own music. He released some of them on cassette, some under his own names, some as Xisle, an ad hoc group that sometimes included members of The Nightcrawlers, and released a CD with his duo, The Ministry of Inside Things. Last year he released an epic double CD live album, with the inauspicious name of Recitals and now he's readying Recitals 2, another set of live performances. Van Zyl is currently getting ready to play E-Day 2018 in Holland opening for Zanov and Ulrich Schnauss. Here's a video of Chuck Van Zyl playing one of the segments of Recitals 2.

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