LYCIA: In Flickers (CD)


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Product Description

LYCIA is “haunting and gorgeous and heavy in an atmospheric way.” – brooklynvegan

1 In Flickers
2 A Failure
3 The Path
4 She
5 25 Years
6 Mist
7 34 Palms
8 Rewrite
9 Late Night Solitude
10 Autumn Into Winter

CD — 4-panel digipak. Limited edition of 1000.
LP — 140-gram color vinyl, orange with black splatter, ltd 2nd edition of 222. 24pt jacket.

Purchase in Europe for fast, inexpensive shipping:

Information in English here. Click to order CD or Orange Vinyl LP.

American darkwave/atmospheric act LYCIA returns to Projekt for the 4th release of their second era. Mike VanPortfleet’s LYCIA formed in 1988 and released seven darkly passionate albums on Projekt between 1991-2002. After several lost and unproductive years, a second era began in 2010 with Fifth Sun, followed by Quiet Moments (2013), and A Line That Connects (2015).

In their 30th year, LYCIA still pushes at the boundaries experimenting with sound; In Flickers is an emotionally charged album of deeply personal darkwave/post-rock. The ten tracks are intriguing meditations on forgotten paths, corrupted hopes, and faint memories of beauty. The open-ended melancholy captures a cold and desolate spirit, a sound as somber as the lyrics themselves. From the title track, “Silently they were taken away today / their future happiness and dreams were just thrown away / did they ever see the sun beyond the rain? / the only hope was they felt hopes in flickers / in flickers.”

POP MATTERS: “LYCIA’s influence, and the respect it’s afforded, has been far more profound than any record sales figures would suggest. While VanPortfleet might have felt his band was underappreciated, you only need look to the resurrection of deathrock, the rise of witchy and hauntological electronica, shoegazing metal, eerily psychedelic Americana, or the rejuvenation of dark ambient music to see that LYCIA’s legacy inspired a raft of musicians across a broad range of musical genres.”

In Flickers explores dynamic new sonic territory while reflecting back on the emotional atmospheres of LYCIA’s classic 90s sound. The current lineup of Mike VanPortfleet, Tara Vanflower, David Galas and John Fair brings together all past LYCIA members for an album fueled by the varied and vibrant current darkwave (and related) scenes and in turn by the 80s bands that influenced these scenes. LYCIA goes full circle back to their original inspirations. In that sense, the release feels both new and retro.

Mike began the album with a few solo acoustic tracks. Soon after, John and David brought in collaborative material that changed the direction of the project.

“John approached me about adding guitar to some synth songs he was working on,” Mike comments. “They took me back to the feel of our collaborations from the 80s and stirred up so much nostalgia. Even though they were stylistically very different from the ‘solo’ songs I was working on, the mood was a perfect fit, and I felt they needed to be part of what was coming together as the next album. Around the same time I started working with David on a couple of songs. I had him listen to a number of new bands before starting… curious as to how it would affect his writing. Like with my ‘solo’ songs, it did have a marked effect and really added a new feel to the established LYCIA sound. Plus he had a Cold outtake – “Autumn Into Winter” – which was magic when I first heard it. A true time capsule from 95/96.”

PITCHFORK: “For over two decades, Arizona’s LYCIA has been pioneers of “darkwave,” a reverb-drenched, gothic take on dreampop. This is the Cocteau Twins if they looked so far inward that they began to focus on the darker, downer-ridden side. (LYCIA is) one of the noteworthy and boundary-pushing acts on the goth music label Projekt.”

In Flickers thematically follows the lead set by Quiet Moments and A Line That Connects. “Over these last 3 albums,” Mike observes, “I’ve often found myself revisiting the lost and nearly forgotten times of my youth and all the disruptions that corrupted my path… and pining for the comfort and simplicity of earlier times. Maybe it’s because I’m older and have a young son and see things through his eyes. Maybe it’s my growing preoccupation about aging and time flying by and a sense of being left behind. In Flickers is an outburst and release of both. The beginning and the end.”


The ultra-limited LYCIA | 4 4CD box set contains 2010’s Fifth Sun, 2013’s Quiet Moments, 2015’s A Line That Connects and 2018’s In Flickers. All four second era LYCIA albums are in DigiPaks (no additional booklets or music.)

Order it here.

For customers who bought In Flickers on CD last year, the USA Webstore is making this hard box available as a 3CD set. It does not include In Flickers… but it’s the same box, so there’s a space to put your copy in the box. This is not available from the European store.

Recent press:

Reseña: In Flickers : una ecléctica e introspectiva obra de madurez | Void Music Magazine
This Week’s Essential Releases | Bandcamp
Exclusive premiere of Lycia’s “Autumn Into Winter” on Side-Line | Side-Line
Darkwave stálice Lycia se s novou deskou vrací k Projekt records | in Czech at
“What artistic delicacy!” | a review in Spanish at En Lux Atenea Webzine
“A Failure” preview mention at | Brooklyn Vegan
“Rewrite” preview mention at | Brooklyn Vegan
Autumn arrives just as Lycia returns | Tweet from NPR Music
Lycia Premiere Modern Synth Masterpiece “A Failure” |
Listen To The Enchanted Sounds Of Lycia “Rewrite” | CVLT Nation
Lycia Announce New Album, In Flickers | opuszine
Lycia returns to Projekt Records to release latest album | ReGen Magazine
Lycia Plans New Album, In Flickers | MusicTap


First LP pressing — 140-gram color vinyl (black with white splatter or white with black splatter). Limited edition of 300 (150 per color).

Second LP pressing — 140-gram color vinyl, orange with black splatter, ltd 2nd edition of 222. 24pt jacket.

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Additional information

Weight N/A


Release Year


All Songs Written, Performed, Recorded & Produced By Lycia

John Fair: Synth & Drum Programs
David Galas: Bass, Synth & Drum Programs
Tara Vanflower: Vocals
Mike Vanportfleet: Vocals, Guitars, Synth & Drum Programs

Mastered By Martin Bowes
Photography By Mike Vanportfleet

1 (Vanportfleet, Vanflower, Galas)
2 & 6 (Fair, Vanportfleet)
3 (Vanportfleet, Vanflower)
4 & 7 (Vanportfleet)
5 & 9 (Galas, Vanportfleet)
8 & 10 (Galas, Vanportfleet, Vanflower)

Dirk Vanportfleet: Chau Gong

©2018 Lycium Music Bmi


  1. padmin

    From Rockportaal

    De ethereal darkwave van Lycia doet sterk denken aan Arcana of Dead Can Dance. Laten we de muziek een ‘light’ versie van deze bands noemen. Niet omdat hun elfde album In Flickers niet de kwaliteit heeft, maar meer om de stemming van de muziek. In Flickers heeft namelijk een meer dromerige sfeer waar de andere twee acts donkerder of bombastischer over (kunnen) komen. De vergelijking komt niet alleen door de muziek, maar zeker ook door het samenspel tussen vrouwen en mannen zang. De (regelmatig elektronische) percussie met synthesizer worden gemixt met een vleugje wereld en filmmuziek invloeden. Verder laat een nummer als Mist horen dat Lycia geen moeite heeft met wave en dat typische elektrische gitaargeluid dat daar bij hoort. Verdere afwisseling wordt onder andere verzorgd door het interessante Rewrite die een bijna postrock einde kent. In Flickers is een uitgekiend, sfeervol album. Het zou de band helpen als men nog meer ruimte weet te vinden voor ‘echte’ instrumenten. De dynamiek zou dan nog beter tot haar recht komen. Verder is er eigenlijk weinig kritiek te leveren op de band van Mike VanPortfleet, Tara VanFlower en David Galas. In Flickers is een mooie aanvulling voor fans van de genoemde genres en bands. -Ron Schoonwater

  2. padmin

    From Chain D.L.K.

    With In Flickers (2018) LYCIA present an excellent, unpretentious, very intimate and at the same time emotionally charged album (which is not a contradiction as LYCIA were able to demonstrate with songs such as “She” or “The Path”).

    The programmed drum patterns are carefully arranged, unobtrusive, but always supportive – mostly mixed in the overall sound: very aesthetic. The chord progressions of each song are simple/modest, but very fitting and aesthetic as well. Rock-inspired, heavily distorted guitar and bass are gently embedded in synth sound voicings and fine melody ornaments. They all merge into big ambient soundscapes, over which the fragile, breathy voices of Mike VanPortfleet and Tara VanFlower lie like fog.

    The vocals are also kept very simple: very fine, tender and intimate. With Mike, the vocals are more breathy (he might like to show a little more of his vocal sound!). Really nice melodies (mostly “ahh” backing melodies) very clearly sung and with a very authentic, natural sounding voice from Tara. The two voices are really well combined.

    The whole album seems to be from one single source: a defined, very meditative mood, with a lot of space and an overall dark-melancholic spirit. Everything is coordinated, partially almost a bit monotonous, mostly calm and with generally little mood and sound contrasts, but with atmospheric-distorted and milky-foggy soundscapes, which definately has its charm. The sounds are very well chosen for all instruments and well-coordinated!

    If there’s one thing I miss about this album, it’s the strong contrasts and tensions. Everything follows everything. Sometimes I really wanted at least a few more powerful sounds to be set in the compositions. The individual instruments and synth sounds could – at least in phases – be played more independently and take up a little more leeway. In this regard, I particularly like “Rewrite” because the bass here is strikingly more present than usual, which is really good! Or “25 Years”, in which the vocals of Mike and Tara are set a little stronger. In addition, this song has more metallic, penetrating sounds (somehow bell-like) coupled with more massive drums. Such elements fit perfectly and do not detract from the overall meditative mood.

    Most of the pieces sound like they were played or sung through fog, very atmospheric and in places almost romantic-beautiful, in a somber way – obscure and dreamy (pieces like “She”, “Mist”, “34 Palms”, “Late Night Solitude”, “Autumn Into Winter”). Songs like “A Failure” or “Mist” are a more rhythmic. I find songs such as “In Flicker”, “The Path”, “She” and “Rewrite” particularly well done, because they are very defined and original, with all the musical peculiarities of LYCIA. “The Path” is extremely atmospheric and expressive and my personal favorite (great drum programming!).

    A wonderful album! Especially for those special bittersweet, melancholic, dreamy moments when you want to immerse your soul in dark and gloomy moods.

    Personal listening tip: “The Path”

    What went through my head spontaneously: it could be exciting if there was a collaboration between LYCIA and the thereminist and singer Dorit Chrysler – at least for one song. I have the impression that they would fit together extremely well. -AndrA

  3. Reviews Editor

    A review from Void Magazine

    Este nuevo viaje es acompañado por los músicos que han formado parte del proyecto en distintas épocas: Mike Van Portfleet (voz, guitarras, sintetizadores y la programación de baterías) Tara VanFlower(vocales), a los que se sumaron David Galas (bajo, sintetizadores, programación de baterías) y John Fair ( sintetizadores, programación de baterías). In Flickers , refleja la luz mortecina de otoño , un trabajo sumamente maduro, que logra la química adecuada entre sus colaboradores, y en el que se puede apreciar el toque particular que aporta cada miembro. In Flickers es un disco en que convergen las varias líneas creativas de Lycia en su forma más madura, el álbum es sin duda una celebración de la longeva carrera de esta infravalorada banda y al mismo tiempo un ejercicio de reflexión sobre el camino recorrido. Uno de los discos imprescindibles de toda la colección de este proyecto, y sin temor a afirmarlo, de los más destacados del año.

  4. padmin

    Die Seele

    Lycia, the darkwave atmospheric band formed in 1988 by Mike VanPortfleet that has changed the landscape of modern darkwave, returned with the new album In Flickers three years after the previous A Line That Connects. Having released 11 stunning full-length studio albums they returned to Projekt records for the 4th release of their second era. The current lineup that also performed on the album is Mike VanPortfleet (vocals, guitars, synth & drum programs), David Galas (bass, synth & drum programs), Tara Vanflower (vocals) and John Fair (synth & drum programs).

    From the very first track, the homonymous “In Flickers” we are reminded of Lycia’s captivating music and why we have loved them all these years. We are introduced to their melancholic, cold and desolate sound that has coexisted with as all this time. Emotionally charged as ever, with Mike’s deep vocal and guitars drenched in reverb and Tara’s vocals following are just magical and captivating. Next, with “A Failure”, we are introduced to a new more electronic sound. A rhythmic piece that initially seems different to anything they have ever done before. But as the track progresses, we just get to see how this is so them. Its great to see band trying out new things, sounds and direction, but still retaining their character. On “The Path”, we have a nice haunting track that features a great mix of the drums and ethereal voices. Things get more acoustic with “She” with the strumming acoustic guitar, while on “25 Years” they get darker and more desolate.

    The second side begins with “Mist”, another track with a more electronic beat, yet again, another fine example of dreamy vocals and layers of distorted guitars. “34 Palms” is a dreamlike piece that has a more psychedelic feel, whereas with “Rewrite” we have the “heaviest” sounding track, with its stumping drums and distorted buzzing wall of guitars. With the next track, “Late Night Solitude”, things fall quiet again, an almost ambient night piece with drones and the trademark monotonous drum beat in the distant background. The album closes with “Autumn Into Winter”, a lovely track that sums up a brilliant listen. Here, the band has experimented more with the guitars and synths and as a supporter of theirs commented, its “As warm as the warm rays of the sun over the cold cloudy sky”.

    With this album, Lycia have made a real meditative masterpiece that captures the band at is best. The ten tracks are intriguing, pushing the Lycia sound forward while retaining the familiar vibe that has existed since the beginning. The music in general is gloomy as the lyrics themselves but with some psychedelic moments, making it a touch more interesting and as always, we have those adorable soothing vocals. -Nick Drivas

  5. padmin

    From Dark Entries

    Ik leerde Lycia kennen halverwege de jaren 90 toen ik hun derde album A Day In The Stark Corner uit de koopjesbak viste van de reeds lang gesloten Antwerpse platenwinkel Brabo. Ik kende de act vaag van naam en het zag er allemaal heel erg gothic uit: het artwork, de songtitels… Ik zal die eerste luisterbeurt nooit vergeten. Ik was er echt niet goed van. Zelden was ik zo onder de indruk van een album en van de sound van een band. Ik vond het toen ook een van de meest duistere en depressieve albums die ik ooit had gehoord. Als ik er nu op terugkijk zijn de albums uit het zwarte genre die in mijn leven de grootste impact hadden op mij in volgorde van belangrijkheid (en tevens chronologisch): First And Last And Always van The Sisters Of Mercy (1985), The Nephilim van Fields Of The Nephilim (1988), The Obvious Darkness van The Tors Of Dartmoor (1991) en als vierde dus A Day In The Stark Corner van Lycia (1993).

    Lycia onderscheidde zich door de unieke, desolate, koude, inktzwarte door en door depressieve atmosferische darkwave gothic sound met als belangrijkste kenmerk de wanhopige suïcidale fluisterzang in troosteloze treursongs met veelzeggende songtitels als “The Morning Breaks So Cold And Grey” en “Everything Is Cold” (tevens mijn twee favoriete songs van het album). Zoals gezegd: ik was er echt niet goed van. Dit album van Lycia was teven mijn kennismaking met Projekt, in de jaren 90 hét toonaangevende dark wave label in de VS.

    Lycia werd opgericht in mei 1988, in Tempe, Arizona, initieel als het soloproject van bezieler Mike Van Portfleet maar groeide alras uit tot een heuse band. Grote aanwinst in 1994 was Tara Vanflower. Zij reisde in oktober van dat jaar van Ohio naar Arizona om twee nieuwe songs in te zingen en werd gevraagd als vast bandlid. Van het een kwam het ander en de twee zijn al decennia lang een koppel en intussen ook al jaren getrouwd. The Burning Circle And Then Dust uit 1995 wordt beschouwd als hoogtepunt in de rijke Lycia discografie. Na een aantal jaren van inactiviteit was Lycia terug aan het dark wave front in 2010.

    Wat kunnen we nu zeggen over het nieuwe album In Flickers (10 songs, 43 minuten)? Wel, vanaf de opener en titelnummer wordt duidelijk dat aan die legendarische sound van op “A Day In The Stark Corner” nu 25 jaar later eigenlijk niets veranderd is, op één ding na: de wanhopige depri fluisterzang van Mike Van Portfleet wordt nu dus aangevuld met de vocalen van Tara Vanflower en veel vrolijker klinken die absoluut niet, wel meer etherisch. Ook integraal bewaard bleef de ‘grellige’ sinistere dark wave gothic sound met een perfect harmonisch huwelijk tussen inktzwarte postpunk gitaarklanken en al even zwartgallige synhesizergeluiden. De muziek klinkt nog steeds enorm gloomy en donker psychedelisch en ook de invloeden van morbide dark ambient en stikdonkere ethereal wave bleven bewaard in nog even sterke songs als “A Failure”, “She”, “Mist”, “Autumn Into Winter” en mijn favoriete song, het machtige “Rewrite”. De tien tracks klinken als intrigerende meditaties over vergeten of verkeerd ingeslagen paden, in de kiem gesmoorde hoop, de vergankelijkheid van alle leven en quasi vervlogen herinneringen in melancholieke schoonheid.

    In Flickers is na 30 jaar Lycia een dikke aanrader voor de liefhebber van rijke atmosferische dark wave en ethereal wave soundscapes met dikke lagen echoënde gitaren, stikdonkere etherische keyboardklanken en koude doomy drummachinebeats. Als u Lycia nog niet mocht kennen – en we kunnen ons dit gapende gat in uw cultuur amper voorstellen – is het nu de moment! – Henk Vereecken

  6. padmin

    From Textura

    One would expect that after thirty years of operation, Lycia’s darkwave might be showing signs of rust, but there’s little sign of it on In Flickers. By way of explanation, one possible factor is that that long tenure included an extended break. Mike VanPortfleet formed the band in 1988, after which seven albums appeared on Projekt between 1991 and 2002; following a prolonged interval, 2010’s Fifth Sun announced Lycia’s return and Quiet Moments (2013) and A Line That Connects (2015) reaffirmed the group’s status as an ongoing entity.

    Perhaps another reason for the vitality of the band as presented is that In Flickers isn’t VanPortfleet plus anonymous hired guns; instead, the album sees him joined by Tara Vanflower, David Galas, and John Fair, all of them past Lycia members. Though the recording started out as a few solo acoustic tracks by VanPortfleet, it gradually developed into a full-blown group project once Galas and Fair came aboard with their own contributions. Rather than resist the natural path the album seemed intent on following, VanPortfleet allowed it to organically evolve, the result being both a classic riff on Lycia’s darkwave style and a logical extension of themes that emerged on the preceding two albums, ones having to do with aging, memories, life choices, fading hopes, and time’s rapid, incessant flow; song titles like “Late Night Solitude” and “Autumn Into Winter” alone hint at the emotional terrain covered. A longing for simpler and innocent times is clearly conveyed on In Flickers, and such articulations lend the material an emotional resonance that makes it something more than a purely sensory experience.

    Sonically, the material emphasizes reverb-heavy vocals, often VanPortfleet’s lead backed by Vanflower’s soft, ethereal voice, accompanied by guitar, synthesizer, bass, and programmed drums. Every song carries a songwriting credit for VanPortfleet, with the others sharing credit in varying combinations on eight of the ten. True to the darkwave template, In Flickers is atmospheric, haunting dreampop that, oddly, sounds both classic and fresh; it’s possible to hear echoes of The Cure, Bauhaus, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, even if Lycia opts for a slightly more underground sound than theirs. It’s one of those albums where no one song towers over the others and so is best experienced as a whole; that said, one could do worse than start with the punchy “Mist” as a good example of the album’s sound. “25 Years” is Lycia at its darkest, in this case a plodding doomcore exercise spiked by squalling guitars, while the award for album’s heaviest would likely go to “Rewrite.”

    On the lyrics front, this verse from the title track is characteristic: “Silently they were taken away today / Their future happiness and dreams were just thrown away / Did they ever see the sun beyond the rain? / The only hope was they felt hopes in flickers.” As downtrodden and bleak as that reads, the album itself is no depressing affair; on the contrary, its presentation suggests that it is possible to sound creatively vital thirty years into a musical career. Other bands of equivalent long-standing would do well to follow Lycia’s example.

  7. padmin

    A preview from MusicTap


    Lycia is a band of many approaches. The shadowlands of ambient intersected with a branch of music that defies not only categorization, but actually is its own segment within the vast world of Rock music. It makes for a compelling and daring mix of music. But make no mistake, Lycia creates impressive songs and tunes that demand to be heard. It’s your loss of you choose otherwise.

    On their last album release, A Line That Connects (2015), the band continued to lay claim to their unique display of ambient and darkwave (both of which are unfair designations…but it’s all I got). Previous albums since their inception in 1988 provided a high level of critical praise. Eventually, Lycia chose to lay low after their Empty Space (2003) album but delivered a stellar new album with Quiet Moments in 2013 reminding everyone that Lycia still exists!

    On October 26, Projekt Records will release the new Lycia album, In Flickers. With ten tracks, it’s interesting to discover that one of the tracks is actually an outtake from the Cold sessions. If the sole available song, “In Flickers” is any indication of the album, then we have a ready classic that will be adored for decades to come.

    In Flickers will be available in a limited CD run of 1000 copies. There will be two limited runs of 300 each of 140g-weight vinyl LP color discs (Black Splatter and White Splatter vinyl configurations).

    Lycia is a one of a kind band, a rarity in today’s world of replication and influence. If you’re unaware of the band, it’s a good time to acquaint yourself. With several classics behind them including their 1996 gem, Cold, you can’t go wrong with a blind selection (although I’d recommend Cold as a starting point).

    It should be noted that any run of Lycia albums sell out. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate.

    How is it that Mike VanPortfleet has not been asked to score a film yet? Hollywood fail!

  8. padmin

    From Lux Atenea

    ¡¡¡Qué delicatessen artística!! Como analista musical en este medio de información cultural underground, para mí es un honor el poder publicar la reseña de este deslumbrante álbum. Además, como fiel seguidor del grupo musical estadounidense Lycia durante más de dos décadas, es todo un privilegio el poder disfrutar esta auténtica joya discográfica en su edición original digital a principios de este mes de octubre, ya que su publicación oficial está prevista para el próximo día 9 de noviembre (ya saben nuestros lectores que solamente publico reseñas sobre ediciones originales que he comprado o recibido como promocional). Quién me iba a decir en el año 1991, cuando compré el mítico álbum de Lycia “Ionia” recién publicado por el mítico sello Projekt que, en el año 2018, iba a poder escuchar, analizar y disfrutar el nuevo álbum de Lycia (In Flickers, Projekt) enviado por el propio grupo musical. Sin duda alguna, no me lo hubiera creído. En el año 1991, en ese mismo momento, fui poseído artísticamente por el estilo musical único y tan siniestramente atrayente de Lycia, y ese mágico hechizo no ha desaparecido a día de hoy, potenciándose aún más a lo largo de todos estos años que ya puedo contar por décadas. Parece que fue ayer cuando, a lo largo de la década de los noventa, en Madrid no paraba de recomendar cada uno de los nuevos álbumes de Lycia que iban apareciendo en esta escena musical (Wake (remastered), A Day In The Stark Corner, Live, The Burning Circle And Then Dust, Cold, Estrella…), auténticas joyas discográficas en CD que aún hoy día sigo disfrutando. Cada nuevo álbum de Lycia que se presentaba oficialmente, en dos semanas estaba en mis manos para ser escuchado y disfrutado, y para ser inmediatamente recomendado a amigos y conocidos dentro de la escena gótica en Madrid. Parece que fue ayer cuando, en el año 2007, en Lux Atenea Webzine decidí publicar la reseña de su impresionante álbum Empty Space mientras celebrábamos el primer aniversario de este medio de información cultural underground. Todo este tiempo ha pasado y Lycia forma parte de mi vida personal, de mi selección musical más exquisita, y de mi perspectiva existencial a través de la cual vivo mi vida en cuya banda sonora están presentes las canciones de Lycia. Ahora, en este año 2018, tengo el honor de publicar la reseña del excelso álbum In Flickers. Como fiel seguidor de Lycia a lo largo de todos estos años, ¡¡¡aún no me creo que pueda estar publicando la reseña de su grandioso álbum In Flickers en estos momentos!!!Ya disponible en pre-pedido, este extraordinario álbum será publicado el próximo día 8 de noviembre en formato digital a través de la página oficial de Lycia en Bandcamp, y por el prestigioso sello discográfico estadounidense PROJEKT RECORDS en formato digital, en una edición limitada de 1000 unidades en digipak CD de cuatro paneles, en una edición limitada de 150 unidades en LP 12” en vinilo negro salpicado en color blanco, y en una edición limitada de 150 unidades en LP 12” en vinilo blanco salpicado en color negro (edición ya agotada). Engalanado con un precioso y elegante diseño con fotografía a cargo de Mike VanPortfleet, la belleza del álbum In Flickers viene marcada por la elegancia de la estética clásica que envuelve su portada, reflejando la fuerza visual de lo mitológico a través de la icónica imagen del toro capaz de romper con la realidad a través de lo trascendente, y con ese trasfondo real del mundo únicamente perceptible a través de la mirada periférica después de un parpadeo. El toro, el minotauro, la cultura mediterránea, la cultura cretense ancestral… vendrán a la mente del melómano lector de Lux Atenea Webzine que adquiera esta joya discográfica perfumada con la esencia musical de Lycia en estado puro. Diez temas embriagadoramente pioneros capaces de estimular tu espíritu y tu alma con la psicodélica y siniestra iridiscencia de la pasión, y que podrán disfrutar plenamente en la insustituible y fetichista edición en vinilo gracias a esta excelsa calidad de sonido alcanzada tras el detallado e impecable trabajo técnico de masterización realizado por el maestro Martin Bowes en The Cage Studios (Coventry, Reino Unido). Un conjunto artístico global de máxima calidad.

    Formado actualmente por Tara Vanflower (vocalista), Mike VanPortfleet (vocalista, guitarras, sintetizador y programaciónes de batería), John Fair (sintetizador y programaciónes de batería) y David Galas (bajo, sintetizador y programaciónes de batería), en su nuevo álbum In Flickers, el grupo estadounidense Lycia ha podido contar con la colaboración profesional de Dirk VanPortfleet (chau gong), puliendo al máximo cada uno de estos temas hasta crear este obscuro hechizo sonoro que, desde el año 1988, no ha dejado de sorprendernos y de maravillarnos en estas tres décadas de ilustre e innovadora carrera musical que celebran este mismo año. Una prestigiosa labor artística que encumbra a Lycia hasta erigirlo como uno de los grupos musicales más relevantes, longevos y excelsos dentro de la escena underground actual. Con una permanente inquietud conceptual como fundamento principal de su fructífera creatividad dentro de la vanguardia, ese impulso artístico ha llevado a Lycia desde el estilo darkwave y gótico a lo ethereal, y de lo ethereal a lo atmosférico que caracterizó a su primera etapa musical. Ahora, con la presentación de su nuevo álbum In Flickers, éste se ha convertido en el máximo estandarte musical de su renacimiento conceptual iniciado en el año 2010 con la publicación de su álbum Fifth Sun. Una segunda etapa musical en el historial artístico de Lycia, que potenciaron y siguieron renovando conceptualmente en los años 2013 y 2015 con los álbumes “Quiet Moments” y “A Line That Connects” respectivamente, y que, en este año 2018, en su trigésimo aniversario celebrado con el glorioso álbum In Flickers, vuelven a sorprendernos con otra contundente demostración de maestría en la composición musical a través de ideas artísticas de vanguardia y espíritu pionero. Este talentoso grupo estadounidense ha transformado cada uno de los diez temas que vertebran este álbum, en un contundente despliegue de ingenio en la estructuración musical, de sensibilidad fluyendo vaporosamente en lo melódico, de esencia existencial candente en su lírica, y, sobre todo, de radiante pasión mostrada en la virtuosa interpretación instrumental y vocal de cada tema. Pero Lycia sigue yendo mucho más allá, y está expandiendo las fronteras musicales del post-rock y del darkwave hacia nuevos límites no explorados hasta ahora, de ahí la grandeza artística de este nuevo trabajo musical. Por este motivo, Lycia vuelve a consolidarse en la primera línea de vanguardia dentro de la escena cultural underground más selecta en esta segunda década del siglo XXI, y que, sumado a que vuelven a publicar en el sello discográfico de referencia de la década de los noventa, Projekt Records, parece que estuviéramos viviendo en un vórtice temporal en nuestro presente que comunicara precisamente la década de los noventa con el presente actual.

    Iniciamos la audición de esta obra maestra musical marcada firmemente en lacre por Lycia, adentrándonos en la opaca bruma musical del primer tema que da título al álbum: In Flickers. Los ojos quedan tapados por la niebla sonora del darkwave, haciendo que nuestros oídos concentren su atención en el más mínimo detalle artístico de esta etérea canción. Poco a poco, avanzamos en el interior de este fantasmagórico caleidoscopio y sus coros evanescentes nos rodean y nos guían, creando otra realidad, otro universo, otra dimensión musical con el inconfundible sello artístico de Lycia. Una sonrisa aparece en nuestro rostro porque tomamos consciencia de la excelsa joya musical que Lycia ha creado, que ha concebido y perfilado pacientemente como legendarios aurifex de la música darkwave. A continuación, en clave electro-dark se presentará la canción “A Failure”, para luego transmutar a lo atmosférico con los magnéticos registros de voz masculino y femenino armonizándose con maestría hasta convertirse en ecos del espíritu, llevándonos directamente hasta el tema “The Path” con los instrumentos de percusión creando la base rítmica de esta estructura musical tocada por lo angelical, sumergiéndonos y fundiéndonos con lo etéreo en este ancestral ambiente ritual. Una delicia musical que, en “She”, adquiere la luminosidad melódica del folk entremezclada con las iridiscencias de la psicodelia más espiritual, perfilando un conjunto musical multicapa donde cada plano melódico y lírico aparece y se diluye en el aire. Unos cromatismos sonoros que prolongarán su protagonismo en el siniestro tema “25 Years”, pero en un entorno más agreste y tenso donde la languidez tiene la misma acidez de lo mortuorio, alargándose como una eterna agonía existencial gótica. “25 Years” incluso presenta influencias conceptuales del doom en su definición sonora, en su densidad instrumental, y en sus colapsos musicales a lo largo de todo el tema. Pero, en la grandiosa canción “Mist”, retornaremos al darkwave con los planos musicales para sintetizador creando esta ambientación difusa, quedando engalanada con las pinceladas sentimentales de su lírica hasta embriagarnos completamente, apareciendo el tema “34 Palms” con una configuración instrumental más clásica en el estilo musical atmosférico, presentando reminiscencias artísticas enraizadas en la música antigua donde melodía y voz son cuidadas hasta el más mínimo detalle para crear armonía vital. ¡¡¡“34 Palms”, el mágico universo musical de Lycia!!! La entrada del plano musical para guitarra eléctrica romperá con el estilo, añadiendo ese elemento sonoro transgresor. Mucho más poliédrico en su estilo artístico se presentará el potente tema “Rewrite”, formado una amalgama sonora de enérgico impacto musical donde la contundencia de la batería hunde firmemente los pilares del tempo de esta canción, desembocando en la terrible tenebrosidad del excelso tema “Late Night Solitude”, expandiendo el halo fantasmagórico de la noche en su esencia más espectral y mágica, hasta transformar este ambiente selénico en el prólogo de esa ruptura dimensional de donde surgirá lo inimaginado, lo inefable, lo supraterrenal. Finalmente, con el tema “Autumn Into Winter” perfumando el aire con el dulce y denso olor de la melancolía, su tempo lento y pausado nos llevará hasta el ocaso de este álbum a través de una sucesión de brumas opacas nacidas en lo velado, nacidas en la individualidad del Conocimiento místico. Como analista musical, mi consejo personal a los melómanos lectores de Lux Atenea Webzine es que no duden un segundo en comprar esta joya discográfica en su edición en vinilo LP 12” si tienen un buen equipo de música de Alta Fidelidad. Me lo agradecerán cuando escuchen estos temas con cada matiz musical en su perfecto registro sonoro. ¡¡¡Pura magia!!! In Flickers, seductora pasión artística, obscuro placer sonoro, y la siniestra belleza de la lírica perfumando esta auténtica obra maestra de Lycia convertida en exquisito hedonismo musical. ¡¡¡Disfrútenlo!!! – Felix V. Diaz

  9. padmin

    From Bandcamp

    Included in Seven Essential releases of October 26!
    The records Lycia released in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s—mostly via the storied Projekt label—were morbid, suffocating masterpieces. On albums like A Day in the Stark Corner and IONIA, principle member Mike VanPortfleet’s voice was drenched in echo, sounding more spectral than human, wrapped in a bleak burial shroud of synths. The albums worked because they conjured a funereal mood without resorting to melodrama; artists working on the gothier end of the musical spectrum are always in danger of ramping up the camp, but Lycia’s records were unsettling precisely because they remained still and controlled. (Think of it as the difference between a horror film using gaudy CGI and one that generates scares via practical effects.)

    Now, nearly 20 years after his first release, VanPortfleet returns with In Flickers, an album that finds his gift for chilling melancholy fully intact. “The Path” winds a gauzy guitar pattern over Dead Can Dance-style percussion, a Tara Vanflower’s ghostly voice floating lonesome in the background; “25 Years” is as mercilessly crushing as any song VanPortfleet has ever written, but the razor-edged bassline that lopes and growls gives it the feel of a deathrock ballad. And “Late Night Solitude” allows layers of drone to build steadily, cresting in a chorus of vocals from Vanflower that howl like the wind through an old house at midnight. And while VanPortfleet’s voice is more prominent here than it was on early Lycia releases, his gift for slow-creeping melodies keeps the sense of mystery intact. It’s tempting to bill this album as arriving “just in time for Halloween,” but to do that would be to sell In Flickers woefully short. These 10 stark funeral ballads will continue to haunt long after October has ended. -J. Edward Keyes

  10. padmin

    From For All and None

    more delicious cradling atmospherics from the arizona drylands on this, lycia’s eleventh studio album. a band whose uncompromising, resounding sound has often been described as cold and desolate, i see their role as warm, meditative blankets to envelop and timelessly be engulfed by. their magnificent new work bathes endless heat and as the first real icy chill of a coming new season is just hitting the uk the presence of this comforting glow is most welcome. anyone who’s immersed themselves within mike vanportfleet’s shimmering landscapes since projekt unleashed ionia in 1991 will have shared many emotions through his intense, caressing (sometimes crushing) environments. a steady progression of drenched guitars sensuously slowed and drawn, enigmatic keys, crisp percussion and mike’s uniquely forceful whispered voice continuously flood untrodden textures beyond ambience and post-rock.

    casually drowned in gothic black boxes by much of the media, lycia have always offered listeners so much more. exploring past experience, life’s immeasurable pathways and the perceived accelerating process aging presents on the mind this album draws on the past whilst moving vigourously forward. a truly collaborative work with david galas and john fair, familiar dense, electrically-charged layers tremble with a tight, shining intensity. any abrasive edges firmly left refined and subtle. from the opening title track which immediately draws close before moving into mesmeric calm and then release the whole flows along the exquisite beauty of a failure, the path and 34 palms, 25 years and rewrite’s harsh expressions and the stressing lilt of she and late night solitude’s gentle serenity. tara’s soft, haunting vocal tones augment throughout adding complete dynamic vibrancy. one possible surprise (possible, because it shouldn’t be a surprise) is the joyful, sequential drive of mist, possessing the kind of diversionary pop sensibility last witnessed on mark lanegan’s ode to sad disco. another artist usually consigned to the darkest recesses when melancholic truth can, in reality, actually be a happy leveller. also intriguing, the closing song is actually a cold outtake from 1996. a triumphal cascading end and new beginning, its title being a perfect summation of spiritual subject, sound and current moment in time. lycia have always risen above darkness and right now as autumn into winter fades with the sun at its highest, a renewed generational hope is felt. perhaps, if only personally fleeting, that’s a rare and inspirational chemical reaction to cling onto. even just in flickers.

  11. padmin

    From I Die: You Die

    Speaking of Projekt, we somehow had no idea Lycia was dropping a new album last Friday, and now that we do know, it’s basically all we want to listen to. We loved 2015’s A Line that Connects (seriously, it was one of our top 10 records that year), and what we’re hearing from In Flickers is promising indeed: the group’s patented lush, shoegazey darkwave, enhanced with some upbeat drum programming and synthwork that we wouldn’t have expected but is hitting the spot. Check out “A Failure” and keep an eye out for our review sometime soon!

  12. padmin

    From Void Music

    Lycia ha cumplido recientemente treinta años y han publicado este mes su tercer L.P. de esta década: In Flickers (2018) y onceavo en su carrera (trece si sumamos a Estraya y Bleak a la lista ). Una entrega ecléctica, en el que se retoman las múltiples aristas desarrolladas en su extensa carrera. El disco marca el regreso de la banda a Projekt Records, que abandonaron en 2002, siendo Tripping back to the Broken Days del mismo año la última publicación de ese primer periodo bajo el sello de Sam Rosenthal.

    Tres años después de su última publicación, In Flickers es una prueba de la gama sonora inherente a Lycia, que los coloca con un sello característico y diferencial dentro de la escena oscura. En una sinuosa y complicada carrera alejada del mainstream, el grupo ha demostrado no conformarse en su estatus de culto, sino que gustan del difícil arte de la introspección psíquica y musical para expresarse a sí mismos con distintos matices. Esta nueva producción, a pesar de no ser un disco uniforme o engarzado por una temática, los diez cortes se decantan en la mirada retrospectiva, en el misterio de las razones azarosas que conforman nuestro ser actual, las oportunidades perdidas, las opciones abandonadas y los pálidos recuerdos de la efímera belleza y felicidad que se presentan como ensoñaciones, tan fugaces como los parpadeos.

    Este nuevo viaje es acompañado por los músicos que han formado parte del proyecto en distintas épocas: Mike Van Portfleet (voz, guitarras, sintetizadores y la programación de baterías) Tara VanFlower (vocales), a los que se sumaron David Galas (bajo, sintetizadores, programación de baterías) y John Fair ( sintetizadores, programación de baterías). Musicalmente se pueden establecer paralelismos entre las composiciones antiguas y las nuevas, sin que esto signifique revistar o reproducir el material antiguo. Dentro del material inesperado- que da mucha frescura al disco – encontramos cortes de una suave electrónica como “A Failure” o “Mist” , cortes que son duda nuevos favoritos para los amantes de la música oscura bailable, que nos recuerdan esa afortunada mezcla reminiscente a al trabajo hecho por Clan of Xymox en sus primeros años, pero en una versión sumamente fina de lo desarrollado por Lycia en el seminal Wake (1989). Otra sorpresa destacada es “Autumn Into Winter”, tema compuesto por Galas , que data de las sesiones de Cold (1996) y que fue retomado para materializarse como un corte etéreo a la altura de la “ Drifting”, aunque de tonalidades más oníricas.

    Otros cortes se encuentran afines a Tripping Back Into the Broken Days (2002), como “34 Palms”, o el tema que da nombre al disco In Flickers, corte de duermevela de poca duración que sirve de marco de referencia del disco como conjunto, estableciendo el humor general del disco. En un camino híbrido “She” oscila entre la producción antes mencionada y The Burning Circle and Then Dust (1995) por su aura, la temática amorosa y su formato semi acústico. En “Late Night Solitude”, disfrutamos un tema fantasmagórico y etéreo, donde una vez más encontramos a Lycia en su quintaesencia; en su vocación ambiental, inquietante y adornada con la voz de Vanflower flotando espectral.

    Dentro de la línea profunda y oscura, la breve y contundente “Rewrite” se posiciona como uno de los momentos más álgidos del disco, similar a lo hecho por el proyecto alterno Bleak en el disco Vane (1995) o A Day in the Stark Corner (1993) con un tratamiento de mayor densidad y atmósfera opresiva. “The Path” y “25 years” conservan el sentimiento de Estrella (1998) , aunque más orientados a algunos cortes de A Line That Connects (2015) por los bajos marciales de Galas que aportan un sonido más pesado, cercano al drone. La sensación general es más cálida que Quiet Moments (2013) o Cold (1996), obras invernales, majestuosas como enormes témpanos sonoros. En cambio In Flickers, refleja la luz mortecina de otoño , un trabajo sumamente maduro, que logra la química adecuada entre sus colaboradores, y en el que se puede apreciar el toque particular que aporta cada miembro.

    In Flickers es un disco en que convergen las varias líneas creativas de Lycia en su forma más madura, el álbum es sin duda una celebración de la longeva carrera de esta infravalorada banda y al mismo tiempo un ejercicio de reflexión sobre el camino recorrido. Uno de los discos imprescindibles de este mes, y sin temor a afirmarlo, de los más destacados del año. -David Rangel

  13. padmin

    From Darkroom

    Nell’anno del trentennale dalla sua formazione in quel di Tempe, Arizona, ed a poco più di tre anni dal precedente A Line That Connects, la storica creatura di Mike VanPortfleet torna col quarto album di quella che viene definita la sua seconda era (complessivamente il dodicesimo in studio), rientrando peraltro nel roster di quella Projekt che fu determinante per l’ascesa del progetto durante tutti gli anni ’90. Con David Galas già tornato in formazione da qualche anno, nonché col ritorno di John Fair, Mike e Tara Vanflower danno vita a dieci nuovi brani all’insegna di quei marchi di fabbrica che hanno reso fondamentale la darkwave firmata Lycia: dalle pieghe più eteree al vibrante sgorgare delle chitarre shoegaze, non senza spingersi oltre il proprio illustre passato e mostrando chiaramente come l’ispirazione sia ben lungi dall’essersi esaurita. Subito le voci dei due coniugi s’intrecciano e si mescolano fra la leggiadria notturna e la dolcezza della title-track, ma è con la seguente “A Failure” che i Nostri dimostrano il proprio stato di forma, realizzando una impeccabile ed irresistibile hit che va a fare il paio con l’affine ma più seducente e magnetica “Mist”, entrambe fra i picchi dell’opera assieme alla sulfurea ed ipnotica “Rewrite”. Se la vibrante e drammatica “The Path” incarna appieno gli stilemi magistralmente plasmati negli anni da Mike e soci, non sono certo da meno quei frangenti dall’incedere più lento come la sofferta “25 Years” e la più atmosferica “Late Night Solitude”, mentre “She” si muove su coordinate più ariose e melodiche con suggestive punte evocative. “34 Palms” si fa amare per le sue movenze tanto suadenti quanto spettrali, mentre in chiusura “Autumn Into Winter” pone l’accento su una maggiore eleganza, conseguita attraverso arrangiamenti sontuosi. Un nuovo capitolo che non mancherà di regalare le giuste emozioni a tutti quei fans che con la musica dei Lycia sono cresciuti, e che all’interno di “In Flickers” ritroveranno la maestria e tutte le migliori prerogative di una band sempre e comunque imprescindibile. -Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi

  14. padmin

    From I Die You Die

    Lycia’s late career renaissance has been a real pleasure to track, especially when each release still feels so unexpected and fresh. While the band’s long-established blend of post-rock, shoegaze and darkwave is always recognizable, each venture out of the gate for Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower (joined on their latest by longtime on/off collaborators David Galas and John Fair) has an invigorating newness that few projects of their vintage can manage. Now returning to Projekt Records for the first time since 2002, the band have released In Flickers, a record that once again changes our understanding of who Lycia are, and who they can be when they so choose.

    Central to the record are two numbers, “A Failure” and “Mist”, which fall strangely in line with broader trends in modern darkwave. The former number has a bubbling synth bassline that is almost jarringly spritely in the context of the band’s signature textured reverbs and guitar filigree, moving the song along with an uncommon energy. “Mist” emphasizes simple drum programming and VanPortfleet and Vanflower’s distinctive dual vocals, a rhythmic heartbeat that compliments the song’s delicate guitar lines as they weave their way through the song’s arrangement of synths and delays. Lycia are no strangers to uptempo rhythms (often in the service of more crushing and monolithic sounds), but this is the first time they’ve ever felt lively and kinetic in this way.

    Those songs aside, there are other renovations in to the Arizona act’s approach to be found on In Flickers. Check out the fuzzy electric bassline that forms the basis of “Rewrite”, transforming what could have been one of Lycia’s occasional sojourns through eastern-tinged darkwave into a massive slab of grinding post-rock. Subtler still is the way closer “Autumn in Winter” uses warm synth and organ sounds to counterpoint the song’s frosty atmosphere, giving it a bright and sanguine feel. Fans of the band’s classic sound should still find plenty to enjoy here – standout “The Path” is a gentle and forlorn strummy elegy that could have been plucked from any of their classic LPs – but the real meat of the record is in the new wrinkles they explore.

    In thinking about Lycia it’s interesting to consider how they became a definitive American darkwave act without ever standing still creatively for any length of time, their early century hiatus notwithstanding. That push forwards is their greatest asset, and In Flickers is further evidence that the book on them and their legacy isn’t just open, it’s still being written.

    Buy it. -Alex

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