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Rendered at 18:37:30 05/22/18
Lycia compapp1 2
Lycia compapp1 2

Lycia - Compilation Appearances Vol. 1 & 2 Two CDs


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Projekt Records





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Lycia - Compilation Appearances Vol. 1 (Songs Recorded Between 1990-1994, The Arizona Years) Vol. 2 (Songs Recorded Between 1995-1999, The Ohio Years)2007 Projekt Records. The full two volume set covering the band's many compilation appearances, this collection of material also serves as an overview of VanPortfleet and company's recording history. Volume 1, subtitled "The Arizona Years," Compilation Appearances consists of material composed and recorded from 1990 to 1994, when the group was based out of Phoenix. While more fractured than Lycia's full-length releases, given that the almost severe uniformity of mood the albums demand from a listener, the individual joys of VanPortfleet's darkly appealing music more than make up for it. Arranged chronologically, the collection begins with cuts from an early Projekt label sampler, done when Fair still worked with VanPortfleet. The aggressive drumming on "Down" alone marks out the song as distinct from the shadowy howl of Lycia's other early material, while VanPortfleet's vocal rasp is astonishingly clear, much different from his usual echoing shroud. From there the tracks include both outtakes and alternate versions from regular albums like Ionia and A Day in the Stark Corner and selections from aborted sessions and side projects. Perhaps the most fascinating material comes courtesy of a stillborn effort entitled "Dust." While consisting of the usual performers -- Galas mixed its five tracks, while Fair rejoined VanPortfleet to handle drum programming -- here Lycia aim for an in-your-face approach that's reminiscent of Bleak, but even more amped up and out for blood. Two intriguing covers come from the Of These Reminders release on Projekt, consisting of that label's acts reworking songs by its flagship group, Black Tape for a Blue Girl. The fusion of Lycia's performing style with Black Tape's emotional extremes makes for a thrilling combination. Vol. 2 is subtitled "The Ohio Years," reflecting Vanportfleet and company's move to that state, and covers tracks from 1995 to 1999. As with the first volume, there is no one overall mood or atmosphere, reflecting the multiple interests of the group and the varying nature of the projects and compilations they contributed to. The fact that not one but two Christmas carols appear shows that much -- both originally from the seasonal Excelsis collections on Projekt, "We Three Kings" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" receive thrilling, mysterious reworkings. Turning the former into what almost sounds like a majestic death march, Vanportfleet starts with just himself and minimal backing before launching into a classically lush Lycia arrangement, echo-heavy and haunting. There's also one other cover, and a striking one it is -- "In a Lonely Place," one of the last songs Joy Division wrote before Ian Curtis' death, given an absolutely mesmerizing rendition by Galas and Vanportfleet, a true tribute without being a note-for-note recreation. Opening track "This Brilliant Nightmare" is actually a solo project from Galas, Snowblind, with Vanportfleet singing over a lush, dark synth string orchestration, an attractive combination unlike Lycia's regular work due to the lack of guitars and beats. Other spin-off Lycia groups represented include Estraya, whose "Caterpillar Butterfly," sung by Vanflower, is an early take on the song "Estrella" itself, and the near-white noise "Dome," recorded by Vanportfleet solo as a potential follow-up to his Bleak solo effort. Other cuts of note include two live songs recorded at the Projekt label's 1996 Chicago festival and a variety of outtakes from Estrella planned for a separate release as the El Diablo EP. In all, this welcome release perfectly complements the earlier volume, sure to satisfy fans of Lycia's gloomy, uncompromised art. In light of Lycia's uncertain existence in the 21st century, this two CD set makes for a MUST-HAVE for fans and a reasonable start for newcomers alike. Both volumes have a light crease down the middle of the tray card, but otherwise are in EXCELLENT condition. Vol. 1 Tracks: 1. From Foam - Lycia, Fair, John 2. Down - Lycia, Fair, John 3. Excade Decade Decada - Lycia, Welch 4. Byzantine - Lycia, Welch 5. The Deception 6. Everything Is Cold 7. Nine Hours Later 8. Sleepless 9. The Facade Fades - Lycia, Galas, David 10. Wake - Lycia, Fair, John 11. Across a Thousand Blades - Lycia, Rosenthal, Sam 12. This Lush Garden Within - Lycia, Ogle 13. Fields 14. Approach 15. Dusk 16. Dementia 17. Wind Vol. 2 Tracks: 1. The Brilliant Nighttime - Lycia, Galas, David 2. We Three Kings - Lycia, Hopkins, John Henry 3. In a Lonely Place - Lycia, Joy Division 4. Everything Is Cold 5. Clouds in the Southern Sky (Sweeping in Like Waves) 6. Caterpillar Butterfly - Lycia, Vanflower, Tara 7. The Morning Breaks So Cold and Gray 8. Grey Clouds 9. Dome 10. Defective 11. Transition 12. The Devil 13. The Time Passes Quickly 14. O Little Town of Bethlehem - Lycia, Brooks, Phillip

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